The inspiration for Kahini came in 2014, through a series of conversations between writers who met through the Conversations Across Borders Project and who wanted to offer ongoing writing retreats to write together in-person.
Inspired by writer Sayantani Dasgupta is the name ‘Kahini': a Bengali word meaning ‘story,’ or ‘tale’–but not an ordinary story: an extraordinary one. Similarly, at Kahini, we work to create extraordinary creative-writing experiences in beautiful, inspirational locations.
Reading, writing, and conversation build connection and empathy, providing a deeper quality of life.
Our vision is a world of increased connection and empathy.
Kahini connects writers together across borders of all kinds; hosts full-immersion gatherings, both at inspirational locations and online; and presents literary work in public fora.
Kahini presents the Kāpiti Writers’ Retreat and other gatherings in Aotearoa; the Kampala Writers’ Conference and other gatherings in east Africa; the Kaua’i Writers’ Retreat, the Jamaica Writers’ Retreat, the Maui Writers’ Retreat, the Desert Writers’ Retreat, and the Hawai’i Writers’ Retreat in the Americas; and the Kahini Café, an online literary workshop group.
Africa director Ssekandi Ssegujja Ronald is the director of Writing Our World, a Ugandan NGO that uses writing, debating, and spoken-word to empower young East Africans. His short story “Walls and Borders” won the 2014 Writivism Short-Story Prize for Eastern Africa. He also recites poetry and has performed spoken-word in Kampala, Kigali, and Hamburg. Contact: [email protected] or [email protected]
Oceania director Kirsten Le Harivel is a writer, poet, and organiser. Her work has appeared in various New Zealand and international literary journals. She completed an MA at the International Institute of Modern Letters in 2013 and is currently shaping her manuscript into a poetry collection. Contact: [email protected] or [email protected]
Americas director Jordan Hartt is a reader, writer, writing teacher, and community & events organizer. He directly facilitates eleven annual writing retreats, serving around three thousand writers per year. Creative work has appeared in many literary magazines and journals; his collection of poems, “Leap,” appeared in 2015. Contact: [email protected] or [email protected]