Voice Carried My Family

Robert Sullivan

‘To read Robert Sullivan is to get drunk on language . . . . this is rewarding and intelligent work. The reader is constantly dazzled not just by the word-music, but by the breathtaking eclecticism of Sullivan’s cultural and literary allusions.’ – Hugh Roberts, NZ Listener


Voice Carried My Family is a stunning collection by Robert Sullivan. It contains 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 Sullivan sees himself continuing in his poetry a long line of storytellers, wits, singers.

Deeply moved by his ancestors Sullivan 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 Ngā Puhi and Irish descent, is the author of a number of books of poetry, a graphic novel, and a prize-winning book of Māori legends for children. He currently teaches at Manukau Institute of Technology.


June 2005, 225 x 160 mm, 64 pages
paperback, ISBN 9781869403379, $24.99