Hopurangi—Songcatcher: Poems from the Maramataka

Robert Sullivan

Author: Robert Sullivan
Format: Paperback, ebook
Pages: 144
Published: 9 May 2024
Specs: 22.5cm x 17.0cm
ISBN: 9781776711222


Ngā mihi whakawhetai nui ki a rātou e whai ana i te ara mātauranga o ō mātou mātua tūpuna!

A new collection from acclaimed poet Robert Sullivan, inspired by the Māori lunar calendar.

Three birds flew from me:

a sparrow from my chest
a tūī out my throat
a pīwaiwaka from my thigh

they flew to see my father
to let him know I am well

from ‘Tamatea Kai-ariki: ‘Three birds flew from me’

After rejoining social media, Robert Sullivan wrote and posted a poem a day over two and a half months – the poems collected in Hopurangi—Songcatcher. Inspired by the cyclical energies of the Maramataka, these poems see the poet re-finding himself and his world – in the mātauranga of his kuia from the Ngāti Hau and Ngāti Kaharau hapū of Ngāpuhi; in his mother’s stories from his Ngāti Manu hapū at Kāretu; in the singing and storytelling at Puketeraki Marae, home of his father’s people of Kāti Huirapa, Kāti Māmoe, Waitaha and Kāi Tahu Whānui in Te Tai o Āraiteuru; and in the fellowship of friends on Facebook. 

Tīhei mauri ora!



Robert Sullivan (Ngāpuhi, Kāi Tahu) is the author of nine books of poetry as well as a graphic novel and an award-winning book of Māori legends for children. He co-edited, with Albert Wendt and Reina Whaitiri, the anthologies of Polynesian poetry in English, Whetu Moana (2002) and Mauri Ola (2010), and an anthology of Māori poetry with Reina Whaitiri, Puna Wai Kōrero (2014), all published by Auckland University Press. Among many awards, he received the 2022 Lauris Edmond Memorial Award for a distinguished contribution to New Zealand poetry. He is associate professor of creative writing at Massey University and has taught previously at Manukau Institute of Technology and the University of Hawaii at Mānoa. His most recent collection was Tūnui | Comet (Auckland University Press, 2022).



‘Rich, accessible and fun, intense and moving, Hopurangi—Songcatcher presents poems charting the increasing harmonisation of a Māori literary intellect with his world in cultural, spiritual and physical terms.This harmonisation is focused through his intensifying connection with the Maramataka, the whenua he inhabits, his Māori community (online and in real life), and his own body. The poems are extraordinarily appealing – technically tight, warm and emotionally moving.’ — Tina Makereti, Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington



‘The collection absorbs plural lineages — creative, literary, cultural — and reflects the author’s commitment to speaking, singing, and writing in te reo Māori.’ — Tru Paraha, Aotearoa New Zealand Review of Books

‘At the heart of Hopurangi lies a deep love and respect for all things language: both English and te reo Māori.’ — Chris Reed, NZ Booklovers