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

Maori King's son back before court

20 Aug 2014 News
The son of the Maori King will be back before the court next week. Last month, Korotangi Paki, 19, was let off charges of burglary,... more

Shark finning to be banned from 1 October

20 Aug 2014 News
A ban on the finning of all shark species within New Zealand waters will take effect from 1 October this year, Conservation ... more

Business

Airways sees 27% gain in 2015 profit, misses 2014 target

20 Aug 2014 Business News
By Tina Morrison Aug. 20 (BusinessDesk) - Airways Corp. of New Zealand expects to boost profit 27 percent this year, after missing... more

Landcorp cuts FY15 earnings guidance on lower dairy payout

20 Aug 2014 Business News
By Paul McBeth Aug. 20 (BusinessDesk) - Landcorp Farming, the state-owned commercial farmer, slashed guidance for 2015 earnings... more

Living

Adventurer wins prestigious University of Waikato award

20 Aug 2014 Entertainment
Adventurer, management consultant and motivational speaker Jamie Fitzgerald will receive a Distinguished Alumni Award from the... more

Weta Workshop & Roxy Cinema Exclusive WOAP Event

20 Aug 2014 Entertainment
CoCo at The Roxy unwraps the art of food in film Wellington’s iconic The Roxy Cinema is turning into a movie set next week as... more

Property

House sales down as winter cools market - REINZ

14 Aug 2014 Property
New Zealand house sales fell in July as winter cooled the appetite of house hunters while a drop in properties selling for $400,000... more

NZ property values rise at slowest annual pace in 13 months

7 Aug 2014 Property By Paul McBeth
Aug. 7 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand property values rose at the slowest annual pace in 13 months in July as rising interest rates,... more

Migration

Who's living next door to you?

20 Aug 2014 Migration
Statistics NZ puts out detailed data on different ethnic groups, down to the 108 people from the Isle of Man. Did you know there are... more

NZ population growth speeds up

14 Aug 2014 Migration
New Zealand's climb to 4.5 million people has been faster in the past year than it has in any other year in the past decade,... more

Travel

Auckland 10th most liveable city - again

19 Aug 2014 Travel & Tourism
Auckland has again been ranked the tenth most liveable city in the world. The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has released its... more

Air NZ Dreamliner to be put on show

15 Aug 2014 Travel & Tourism
An Air New Zealand Dreamliner is to be put on show at a famous air show next week. The Boeing 787-9 aircraft will be exhibited to... more

Sport

Four Nations set stage for NZ teams

20 Aug 2014 Rugby League
This year's Rugby League Four Nations will provide the catalyst for five New Zealand representative sides - not just the NZ Kiwis -... more

Commonwealth Games Head of Sport joins World Masters Games

20 Aug 2014 Sport
  From Glasgow to Auckland is the well-travelled route taken by Australian Greg Warnecke, announced today as the General... more

Columns

Martin Doyle Cartoon: Doing Justice to the Election

19 Aug 2014 Opinion
Opinion - Martin Doyle   Martin Doyle Cartoon: Doing Justice to the Election Given the dirty politics that have been exposed in... more

Gordon Campbell on no more Mr Nice Guy

19 Aug 2014 Column
Column - Gordon Campbell   Gordon Campbell on no more Mr Nice Guy by Gordon Campbell When future historians seek to identify... more

Kiwi Success

The duo behind NZ's hottest new label

20 Aug 2014 People
We're expecting big things from Harman Grubisa, the new label from Auckland-based friends Madeleine Harman (right) and Jessica... more

Victoria announces new strategic appointments

11 Aug 2014 Appointments
Victoria University of Wellington has announced the appointment of New Zealand’s first Provost, Professor Neil... more

Recruitment

On track to surplus, more jobs, higher incomes

19 Aug 2014 Recruitment
New Zealand is on track to Budget surplus this year, backed by good growth, more jobs and higher incomes under the ... more

The Right To Work: Young New Zealanders

18 Aug 2014 Recruitment
Getting young people into work is about preparing them for work and ensuring they have ongoing support: sustainable youth employment... more