I met Ruby Solly at last years Regional Maori Writers Hui at Hongoeka Marae. We were instant friends bonding over poetry, our masters degrees and using writing in order to navigate our identities as Māori .
Ruby is an incredible poet. Her poetry is utterly deft and agile. Warm and heartbreaking. We caught up to discuss Ruby's journey with both her writing and her identity; how both inform each other, how both are inseparable.
"I’ve had an interesting relationship with writing over the past few years as in this time I’ve been completing a masters in music therapy, and as a therapist 90% of my day to day life has become confidential," Ruby says. "Initially I felt stunted by this, but then I realised that I just needed to write from what I had internally, rather than externally. As I looked back through the writing I had been doing through the last seven years or so, I noticed themes of whakapapa, family, and identity popping up again and again; with this kind of dark thread weaving through it all. It kind of felt like the writing had been figuring me out, rather than the other way around."