Poet and scholar Teresia Teaiwa was born in Honolulu, Hawai’i, to an I-Kiribati father and an African American mother, and was raised in Fiji. She was the author of the poetry collection, Searching for Nei Nim'anoa (1995) and coauthor of Last Virgin in Paradise: A One-Act Play (1993, with Vilsoni Hereniko). Her creative work was also published in Terenesia: Amplified Poetry and Songs by Teresia Teaiwa and Sia Figiel (2000).

Teaiwa earned a BA from Trinity College in Washington, DC, an MA in History from the University of Hawai’i, and a PhD in History of Consciousness from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She taught history and politics for five years at the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji, before moving to New Zealand to teach Pacific studies at Victoria University. She was later a senior lecturer and programme director at Victoria University. She was also coeditor of the International Feminist Journal of Politics.

In 2007, Teaiwa received a Marsden Fast Start research grant for her oral history and book project on Fijian women soldiers. She died in 2017.