Artistic Statement
Writing Tips
About the time, the first poet, took the floor, a three pounder, took my Mrs Simpson & fled, the reel screaming; the Arnold turned, into a leaden sheet, as the rain came in, over bush electric, with cicadas; and when the light was beached, shadows rode in, on the scent of the night, hunting; therefore a toast to you, my friends, and for your fishing, kia ora.
I was brought up in Temuka – a small town in South Canterbury. I went to the Temuka Primary School and Temuka High School (now Opihi College). Many of my poems still reflect those days – eeling, whitebaiting, building tree huts, floating rafts down the river, bird nesting, and just doing things as a family.

I was always interested in writing, reading and books. At High School I entered and won a poetry competition. The poem was called 'To A Mountain', and was written after a rugby trip to Central Southland College in Winton. For a prize I was given a book called "The Lonely Sea and the Sky" – the autobiography of Francis Chichester.

My parents urged me to send some poems to another magazine and I was published in a Maori magazine called Te Ao Hou. Like a fish on the end of a line I was hooked on writing!

When you begin to write you must read the work of other poets. I did read a wide range of poets at school – particularly the English poets. But I think New Zealand poetry was more meaningful and relevant to me coming from a typical Kiwi background.

After High School I went to Canterbury University and then to Teacher Training College. I spent many years teaching primary schools in Canterbury and on the West Coast.

Now I am writing full-time, but I occasionally teach if I am needed. I always enjoy going into classes. Sometimes I share my poems. Sometimes I teach simple te reo Maori to the classes, tell a legend, or sing songs.

I have a collection of bird bones – penguins and albatrosses – which amaze the children – especially stories about the albatross. A poem may be triggered off as we talk about the birds – and children begin to write their own poems without knowing they are doing it!

Classes always like hearing about New Zealand poets, who they are, and how they came to write their poems. One of their favourites – and mine - is "The Magpies" by Denis Glover. Denis went out to Leithfield Beach one weekend. He stopped at the side of the road for a rest and listened to the magpies in the trees above him.When he arrived at his friend’s bach (another poet called Allen Curnow) all he could say was: Quardle oodle ardle wardle doodle!

Rangi's CV Resumé - Printable Version
Freelance Writer
If you need a writer, anthologist, copywriter, editor, poetry judge, or author – Rangi can give advice and experience in a wide range of educational, literary, and historical topics.

Rangi Faith is available also for:
  • Story writing and story reading to school classes
  • Poetry readings and poetry classes
  • Research
  • Writing educational units on Maori legends, New Zealand history, and environmental topics.
  • New Zealand Poetry courses for adult groups
  • Narration (voice-overs) of prose and poetry

Contact Rangi