Tales, Poems and Songs from the Underwater World by Daren Kamali

Daren Kamali, a Performance Poet, Musician and Writer of Fijian, Wallis and Futuna descent, is the author of: “Tales, Poems and Songs from the Underwater World”.  This 96 page, bilingual (Fijian and English) book also comes with a CD which includes 10 of his captivating bilingual (Fijian and English) spoken word performances and songs.  Both the book and CD were published and produced in 2011 with the assistance of Creative New Zealand:  Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa and with the support from Manukau Institute of Technology and it was edited by Robert Sullivan.  Artwork created by Leahna Gill is also included in the book.

The underwater world in relation to my life fuses sea creatures, myths and themes from around the Pacific; combining the three main elements of; written word, visual (paintings and illustrations) and audio (spoken word/songs), using innovative ideas to communicate creative writing.” – Daren Kamali

Daren Kamali migrated to New Zealand from Fiji in 1992.  For over 10 years, Daren has been a freelance Creative Youth Facilitator, mentor in Poetry and Music in New Zeland, Fiji and internationally.  He is the former member of “POLYNATION” Poety Collective (QPF 2008), he is also one of the co-founders of the South Auckland Poets Collective (and a good friend of mine).

In my view, the Tales, Poems and Songs included in Daren’s book and CD are moving as it carries memories reminiscent of his ancestry. In his book, each page reveals a significant part of his life in which he describes beautifully in both the English language and the Fijian language. Some of the poems that he has published in his book have been voiced soulfully and captured on his CD which demonstrates his intrinsic ability as a skilled story teller thus echoing the oral traditions of his ancestors.  I love it!

The three statements below describe the unique tales, poetry and songs produced by Daren in his book and CD:

 “This is poetry much bigger than words on pages:  Daren Kamali fuses centuries old Pacific traditions of oral poetry and music with contemporary slam and rap.” – Tusiata Avia

“Daren Kamali interweaves pacific pride with the past, present & future; inspiring our Rangatahi to stand strong, belong.” – Doug Poole

“Whether spoken or sung, Kamali’s voice flies like a frigate bird over warm Pacific seas – exploring his people’s psyche and leading them onwards.” – Dr Selina Marsh

I love this excerpt from Daren Kamali’s “Immigrants Story” (p80-81 and Track #6):

“…So much sacrificed

So far have you come

Four generations gone

Still the sea breeze tell tales of your undying love

For your people

Your culture

For each other

My Great Grandmother

My Great Grandfather

Your stories must be told

All in the name of love…”

I have thorougly enjoyed reading and listening to Daren’s book and CD. Also, I have my very own signed copy.  🙂

For a unique and heart-warming take in poetry, I highly recommend that you get yourself your own copy of Daren Kamali’s book & CD “Tales, Poems and Songs from the Underwater World”.

You can find more details about purchasing Daren Kamali’s book and CD on his website:  www.darenkamali.com

Enjoy this spoken word poetry piece by Daren Kamali entitled: Journey


  1. I’ve been wanting to write a book for the longest time, with my quotes and stories. This blog gives me so much inspiration to do it, thank you for sharing and following my blog! 🙂

    1. Hi Andy, that’s exciting indeed! If you have it in your heart to do so then I encourage you to pursue the necessary steps to publish. It will be great! Thanks for visiting my blog. Have a fantastic new week! 🙂

  2. vinaka vaka levu sis for your spirit n great support..really and truly appreciate your sincere lolomas and support..all the best n blessings to you and famz always..dk

    1. You’re most welcome bro! Continue to inspire us with your stories, poems and songs. You breathe life into the words of our Pasifika ancestors which is beautiful! Thank you for your encouragement and great example. Much love and God bless xox

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