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

Terror in Canada: There were gunmen on roof says Kiwi

24 Oct 2014 News
Ottawa resident says shock turning to anger and hard questions being asked about how gunman got so far. A New Zealander in Ottawa was... more

NZ Government Urged to Do More to Fight Ebola

24 Oct 2014 News
New Zealand Government Save the Children Urges the NZ Government to Do More to Fight Ebola As Ebola continues to tear through West... more

Business

Sky TV to launch $20/month subscription ondemand service

24 Oct 2014 Business News
By Fiona Rotherham Oct. 24 (BusinessDesk) - Sky Network Television, the country's dominant pay-TV operator, will launch a new $20 a... more

Jade chases growth of 30-50% for Master Terminal

24 Oct 2014 Business News
By Paul McBeth Oct. 23 (BusinessDesk) - Jade Software, which took its intelligence software developer Wynyard Group public last... more

Living

My Kitchen Rules contestants: Hear us raw

24 Oct 2014 Food & Wine
Fresh from two consecutive MKR People's Choice Challenge wins, Neena and Belinda favour wholesome and earthy flavours and aim to... more

Kiwi comics destroy world record for chart-topping podcast

24 Oct 2014 Lifestyle
  New Zealand comedians Guy Montgomery (Billy T winner, 7 Days) and Tim Batt (Radio Hauraki, 7 Days) have broken the world record... more

Property

Double-digit rate increases loom

24 Oct 2014 Property
Aucklanders living in the ‘hottest suburbs’ could be the big losers, while businesses will come out winners Rate rises... more

Reform of RMA critical to reforming housing affordability

15 Oct 2014 Property
The Resource Management Act needs to explicitly recognise the importance of New Zealanders’ access to more affordable housing... more

Migration

New Zealand Named The Best Place For Raising Children

24 Oct 2014 Migration
New Zealand has been named the best place to raise a child in the Raising Children Abroad annual league table. According to the HSBC... more

Desperate employers keeping overstayers

24 Oct 2014 Migration
Desperate employers seeking to fill job shortages are keeping migrant workers who previously held a work visa in New Zealand... more

Travel

Air New Zealand's GENIUS Hobbit themed safety video

24 Oct 2014 Travel & Tourism
Giving flyers an Unexpected Journey! Elijah Wood and Sir Peter Jackson star in 'epic' Hobbit themed Air New Zealand safety video Air... more

Travel 'interns wanted' to tour 2000km of NZ

24 Oct 2014 Travel & Tourism
Forget a summer internship of fetching coffee and photocopying - a travel company is offering a $30,000, 10-day, 2000km tour of New... more

Sport

Black Sticks Women in position to win the series

25 Oct 2014 Sport
The Black Sticks Women have won 1-0 against the USA, setting up a series decider in the final test tomorrow at the Trust House... more

Kiwi to play against All Blacks in November Test Series

24 Oct 2014 Rugby
Scotland coach Vern Cotter clears out old guard and makes Grant Gilchrist captain for November Test series No place for Barclay,... more

Columns

At last! Hope for St James Theatre

24 Oct 2014 Opinion By Brian Rudman
After all the delays and stonewalling, the St James finally looks to have a future, even if it’s not clear what it will be Let's... more

Gordon Campbell: tokenism of NZ‘s role against Islamic State

23 Oct 2014 Opinion By Gordon Campbell
Gordon Campbell on the tokenism of New Zealand‘s role against Islamic State Was John Key born lucky or what? Political... more

Kiwi Success

Jim Hickey hangs up his umbrella

24 Oct 2014 People
Veteran weathercaster Jim Hickey has announced his retirement today, saying is was a tough decision. "I feel like I'm subbing off at... more

Corban honoured by Institute of Directors

17 Oct 2014 Appointments
Institute Of Directors Local businessman Brian Corban was made a Distinguished Fellow of the Institute of Directors yesterday, in a... more

Recruitment

UK ambulance service poaches Kiwi paramedics

24 Oct 2014 Recruitment
New Zealand paramedics are being poached by Britain's busiest ambulance service. Interviews were held in Auckland on Friday and... more

NZ job market expected to strengthen - survey

24 Oct 2014 Recruitment
The job market is expected to strengthen and potential employees are increasingly looking at staying in New Zealand for work instead... more