Poet, writer, and musician Daren Kamali was born in Fiji and moved to New Zealand as a child. He is the author of the trilogy of poetry books celebrating the Polynesian, Indonesian, and Melanesian world: Tales, Poems and Songs from the Underwater World (2011), Squid Out of Water: The Evolution (2014), and What Becomes of the Flying Squid? (2016). He has also released two albums, Story (2000) and Keep it Real (2005).
Before earning a BA at Manukau Institute of Technology, Kamali worked in youth arts programming as a mentor. In 2008, with Grace Taylor and Ramon Narayan, he founded the South Auckland Poets Collective, a youth program dedicated to poetry as an agent of social change. In 2013, Kamali and Taylor founded Niu Navigations, an organization aimed at encouraging Pan-Pacific writers to tell their stories. He is a former Fulbright-Creative New Zealand Pacific Writer at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and has held residencies at the University of Iowa as part of its International Writing Program.