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Writers Playlists

Welcome to Writers Playlists, which features five East Auckland poets and writers.

Areez Katki, Kitty Chang, Marilyn Bakker, Natasha Bidesi and Ruth Hammond challenged themselves – with limited technology and from within their own bubbles – to produce audio recordings to share during these extraordinary times of social distancing. The range of writings include poetry, Chinese immigration stories, children’s book excerpts and spiritual pieces based on overcoming adversity, highlighting the unique diversity of East Auckland writers.

Images (left to right): Areez Katki, Kitty Chang, Marilyn Bakker, Natasha Bidesi, Ruth Hammond

Areez Katki

Areez Katki is a multidisciplinary artist and writer, born in Mumbai, India and raised in Howick, Tamaki Makaurau. He addresses his value for craft sensibilities through a research driven contemporary practice. Over the duration of his career Areez has focused on the significance of textile materiality in the domestic realm and an ongoing engagement with these narratives.

Please note this recording includes sexual references. Discretion is advised.

Kitty Chang

Kitty Chang came to New Zealand as a migrant child in 1950.  She trained as a teacher and taught in early childhood education through to university level. Following her teaching career, she worked for New Zealand Qualifications Authority and Careers Services and is a lifelong learner.

Kitty writes stories based on the experiences of early Chinese migrants to New Zealand.  She has completed oral history recordings funded by the Ministry of Culture and Heritage. These are available on loan from the National Library in Wellington.  She is working on a book about the New Zealand Chinese experience.

Marilyn J Bakker

Marilyn J Bakker is a writer and small business owner, who lives with her partner, Wally, in East Auckland. Educated in Gisborne, Marilyn left home as a teenager to further her education at Ardmore Teachers Training College, eventually settling in East Auckland. As a young mother of three, she completed a degree at Massey and Auckland Universities, developing a life-long love of history in the process. Work experiences include teaching, sales management, writing, graphic design, print, and small business ownership.

A visit to the Netherlands, Ireland and France in 2013 provided fascinating stories of local folklore which the author has drawn on to create a background tapestry for her third book of the trilogy, The Adventures of Josephine Mary Cresswell which is set in the Coromandel Peninsula in the 1950’s. Titles include Danger at Devil’s Cove, The Mystery of the Missing Artefact and In Seach of the Tarasque. Copies are available on loan from the Pakuranga Community Library.

Natasha Bidesi

Natasha Bidesi is a young writer, media fanatic and proud woman of colour. As someone who channels strong visuals and emotive reactions, she finds her inspiration in the smallest waves of life. Her work encourages connection to mind, body, soul and Earth. Natasha’s work acts as a catalyst in the realisation that our similarities wondrously outweigh our differences. By day, Natasha works in communications and branding and is an avid (though unprofessional) wine connoisseur by night.

Please note this recording includes strong language. Discretion is advised.

Ruth Hammond

Ruth Hammond is a local creative, with expertise in both writing and craft. Ruth’s personal experience with spirituality has informed an intuitive style of Christian writing. Her books Soft whispers… small shouts…. deep waters and Being with God encourage readers to explore their own spiritual journey. These books were accepted as donations to New Zealand prisons, with over 4000 copies being gifted to prisoners. Ruth has been involved in prison chaplaincy, which she says has been “an unexpected but most fulfilling experience”.

In 2010, Ruth created the initiative Classy Crafts, a craft-based market that many locals have come to know and love. Classy Crafts gave local makers an opportunity to sell their creations including crochet, knitting, woodwork, metalwork, jewellery and other forms of craft.