Voice Carried my Family is a stunning new collection from a popular poet. It will be published to coincide with Robert's visit to New Zealand in mid-2005. This new collection has great variety but also strong pervasive themes such as the rewriting of New Zealand myths from a Polynesian perspective; there are also a number of beautiful love poems. The power of the spoken word has particular meaning for an inheritor of an oral tradition and Robert sees himself continuing in his poetry a long line of storytellers, wits, singers. Deeply moved by his ancestors Robert yet engages directly and unsentimentally with the modern world, its complexity and moral ambiguity. Similarly his formal techniques borrow from ancient times and acknowledge contemporary styles and emphases.
Robert Sullivan, of Nga Puhi and Irish descent, is the author of four earlier books of poetry, a graphic novel, and a prize-winning book of Maori legends for children. He won the PEN award for the best first book of poetry and he was the Literary Fellow at the University of Auckland in 1998. He has co-edited a contemporary Maori literature issue of the American journal Manoa, co-edits the online literary journal Trout and is co-editor of the prize-winning anthology of Polynesian poetry, Whetu Moana. He is currently teaching creative writing at the University of Hawaii.