Join us to explore some recent poems by trans and indigenous writers who identify with or respond to the mermaid as a figure who slips between categories. Te Whanganui-a-Tara poet, Jay Niewland and Ōtepoti artist and poet, Jessica Hinerangi Thompson-Carr aka the Māori Mermaid, discuss their individual resonance with mermaid symbology. They will read their own work and talk about the work of others from poetry to popular culture, shining light on the imaginative potential of the mermaid and its relevance to contemporary Aotearoa. 

Jay Nieuwland is a trans poet. Her book I am a human being (Compound Press 2020), won the Jessie McKay Prize for best first book of poems. She is currently a PhD student, studying Trans Poetics in Aotearoa New Zealand.  

Jessica Hinerangi Thompson-Carr is Ngāruahine, Ngāti Ruanui, Ngāpuhi, and Pākehā. She is 26 years old and currently works as an artist, poet, and writer, often under the name Māori Mermaid (@maori_mermaid on instagram). Her inspiration comes from her whakapapa and she is constantly seeking more information about herself and her future through her poetry and art. 


  • Free


  • Thu 08 Dec


  • 12:00 pm — 1:00 pm


  • Victoria University of Wellington
  • Gate 3, Kelburn Parade
  • Wellington 6012