Auckland Poet Bound For London’s Poetry Olympics   2 May 2012

The University of Auckland’s Dr Selina Tusitala Marsh is taking part in the largest gathering of the world’s poets in history.

Poets, rappers, spoken word artists, singers and storytellers are gathering for the Poetry Parnassus festival in London from 26 June to 1 July.

It will feature poetry from each of the 204 nations competing in the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Dr Marsh will represent the country of her maternal grandfather’s birth, Tuvalu. She was selected from 6,000 public nominations made for the event.

“Vaelei Tusitala is my grandfather’s name. He was born in Tuvalu and moved to Samoa to study at Malua Theological College. Tusitala means teller of tales. It’s a legacy handed down to me from my grandfather,” Dr Marsh says.

The Poetry Parnassus is an opportunity for Dr Marsh to tell tales about Tuvalu on a global stage. She will perform a sequence about the impact of global warming on one of the world’s lowest lying nations.

“I hope to bring awareness and understanding to a beautiful island nation, its peoples and its ways. I will also perform poems based on diasporic perspectives on the faatele, a customary Tuvalu dance. It’s a privilege to represent my grandfather’s island and I hope my voice honours Tuvaluans everywhere.”

Dr Marsh, from the Department of English, is a celebrated Pacific poet. Her first collection of poems, the award-winning Fast Talking PI, appeared in the New Zealand Bestseller List in 2009 and won the New Zealand Post Jessie McKay Best First Book Award in 2010.

Her research at the University concerns pioneering Pacific women writers, who she says were influential in giving a voice to Pacific women and children as a means of empowerment in a largely male-dominated post-colonial era.

She was the University’s first Pacific Islander to graduate with a PhD in English, where she now currently teaches papers on New Zealand and Pacific Literature, and Creative Writing.

Dr Marsh established and coordinates Pasifika Poetry, an online hub celebrating the poetry of tagata o te moana nui, the peoples of the Pacific. Visit www.nzepc.auckland.ac.nz.

As part of the festival poets will perform at free events, and will contribute a poem to a landmark anthology to be published celebrating the gathering.

Poetry Parnassus is part of the London 2012 Festival, a 12-week celebration running from 21 June until 9 September 2012 bringing together leading artists from across the world to the UK.

(University of Auckland)

Add a comment

Bookmark and Share

News

Royal succession laws come into force

26 Mar 2015 News
Legislation modernising rules applying to Royal succession to the throne came into force today in New Zealand and in the 16 Realms... more

McCully visits Iraq ahead of NZ deployment

24 Mar 2015 News
  Foreign Minister Murray McCully travelled to Baghdad yesterday for talks with Iraq’s Prime Minister Mr Haider al-Abadi... more

Business

NZ milk powder futures drop as Fonterra lifts GDT volumes

27 Mar 2015 Business News
Article - BusinessDesk   NZ milk powder futures drop as Fonterra lifts GDT volumes, signalling prices will fall By Tina ... more

NZ commercial property lending less risky now: RBNZ

26 Mar 2015 Business News By Fiona Rotherham
  NZ commercial property lending less risky now due to lower debt funding March 26 (BusinessDesk) - The Reserve Bank said New... more

Living

2degrees lights up Auckland Harbour Bridge in World First

13 Mar 2015 Lifestyle
Fusing light, music, mobile and one of Auckland’s most recognisable landmarks together – 2degrees launched another Kiwi... more

Third Thursday Set to Groove

9 Mar 2015 Lifestyle
The sounds of legendary jazz musician Charles Mingus is set to raise the beat of Wellington’s waterfront on 19 March, when the... more

Property

NZ house prices rise 3.6% in February

12 Mar 2015 Property By Tina Morrison
  NZ house prices rise 3.6% in February, led by a 14% jump in Auckland prices March 12 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand residential... more

Revealed: Auckland's cheapest suburbs

9 Mar 2015 Property
Many home buyers face long commute to Auckland jobs as they move to Wellsford, Pokeno and Hamilton. Only six areas of Auckland still... more

Migration

PM plays down claim war criminals are living in NZ

2 Mar 2015 Migration
Prime Minister John Key says he is not aware of any suspected war criminals from the former Yugoslavia in New Zealand. The claim that... more

NZ migration rose to record in 2014

30 Jan 2015 Migration By Tina Morrison
  NZ migration surged to record in 2014, helped by robust economy Jan. 30 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand migration surged to a... more

Travel

Foss welcomes agreement for rental vehicle code

17 Mar 2015 Travel & Tourism
Associate Transport Minister Craig Foss is welcoming a move by the rental vehicle industry to establish a Code of Best Practice to... more

Productive discussions on Queenstown’s tourism workforce

6 Mar 2015 Travel & Tourism
Sustainable workforce solutions were at the centre of discussions between Government Ministers and tourism industry representatives... more

Sport

ICC World Cup 2015: Sunday doesn’t guarantee success but it gives the greatest chance, says McCullum

28 Mar 2015 Cricket
Q. Who won the real battle of big brother against little brother?BRENDON McCULLUM: I think he won, but I definitely had some mad... more

ICC World Cup 2015 Match official appointments for final announced

28 Mar 2015 Cricket
The International Cricket Council today announced the match official appointments for the final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015,... more

Columns

ICC World Cup 2015: STEPHEN FLEMING: YES, NEW ZEALAND CAN!

28 Mar 2015 Opinion
Former New Zealand captain says the team will be focusing on enjoying themselves, knowing they are part of something that will be the... more

Gordon Campbell on a funeral in Asia and Northland

27 Mar 2015 Opinion By Gordon Campbell
  Gordon Campbell on a funeral in Asia, the Northland by-election, and news priorities Supposedly, New Zealand’s destiny... more

Kiwi Success

Tower names Seniors Money's Brett Wilson as CFO

18 Mar 2015 Appointments
  Tower names Seniors Money's Brett Wilson as CFO, replacing Boggs March 18 (BusinessDesk) - Tower, the listed general insurer,... more

Kiwi start-up Glassjar launches payments app in the US

6 Mar 2015 People
Glassjar, the kiwi software start-up whose app provides people an easy way of sharing bills, has launched in the United States. The... more

Recruitment

NZ Government moves to strengthen employment standards

26 Mar 2015 Recruitment
Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse today announced a package of measures to strengthen enforcement of minimum... more

RESEND: 63% of Warehouse permanent staff now on career wage

20 Mar 2015 Recruitment By Fiona Rotherham
  RESEND: Warehouse says 63% of permanent staff now on 'career retailer wage' (Fixes fourth paragraph to show Warehouse is... more