Serie (Cherie) Barford was born in West Auckland, Aotearoa/New Zealand on the Te Atatu Peninsula. She earned a BA and a Diploma in Teaching from Auckland University. Barford’s collections of poetry include Plea to the Spanish Lady (1985), Glass Canisters (1989), Tapa Talk (2007), and the poetry and prose collection Entangled Islands (2015). She is of Samoan and European descent, and her work explores hybrid identities, seeking meaning in “the space between,” as she has described it: “the betweenness, not empty space, not space that separates but space that relates, that holds separate entities and things together in the Unity-that-is-All, the space that is context, giving meaning to things.”
A noted performer, Barford has performed her work with the group Polynation and at events such as the Brisbane Poetry Festival and the Snowden Worldwide Readings. Her poetry performances have also been featured on radio and television, and she received the 2011 Seresin Landfall Residency.
A former secondary school teacher, Barford has led numerous community writing workshops and worked in community education projects. She currently is a literacy teacher at Avondale College.