November 30, 2023

Tutor Spotlight – Daniel Larsen-Barr

News & Blog

Daniel Larsen Barr
Daniel Larsen-Barr – Poetry Writing and Performance Tutor
Daniel is our Poetry Writing and Performance tutor. He has been with Toi Ora for around a decade. He is of Ngāti Apakura descent. Although he describes himself as a fairly reclusive person, Daniel says Toi Ora provides him with face-to-face contact with a wide variety of different people. “In my role, I get to hear the perspectives of many community members, and I can share my skills with them.”
His strength is in listening and providing constructive feedback which empowers writers at Toi Ora. “He carefully listens to the wording, rhythm, sounds, and meaning. With his acute listening skills, he gives back rapid analysis from each person who deliver their performances in a variety of expressions. This is a valuable skill set to have. … I appreciate the feedback he gives not just to me but to everyone in the class, because we can all learn from each other.”  (Anonymous attendee of Daniel’s class for the past three years.)
Daniel was born in Tāmaki Makaurau and has lived here his whole life. Born to parents who are both teachers of English, he says of his upbringing: “I have been writing for as long as I can remember. Partly due to the influence of my parents and their library, but also because I have always found it useful for expressing myself and for the creation of imaginary worlds.”
Daniel has a background in performance poetry and an undergraduate degree in literature. He was also a member of the Literatti and featured in poetry stage shows at many of New Zealand’s leading venues. He has an interest in programming languages. “I like the overlap between writing poetry and writing code.” Image: Haiku by Daniel accompanied with AI-generated image.
Daniel is also inspired by artificial intelligence and the surrounding debate. “Machine-learning models are creeping into many other forms of art and technology, and I like to read about and discuss the ways we can make use of them. I’m also inspired by history and trying to learn from the lessons of the past.”
Daniel’s other creative outlets include participating in various online gaming communities and tending to small trees, bonsai and topiary. His expert tip to share with beginners is: “Publishing poetry is not just about writing. Much of the process is also editing and refining. Never be afraid to rewrite a draft many times until you’re happy with it.” Image below: “from Triptych for Thanatos” by Daniel. AI-generated image.
You can attend in-person workshops with Daniel on a Monday or Friday morning. In addition, if you would like to come along to Daniel’s Monday Evening Virtual Poetry Workshop, it is from 7-8pm. Delivered in an online-only format, the discussion centres around writing and composition, editing, and refining of texts, and then publication and performance. Click here to register.

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