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 Battalion’s legacy to be preserved

2 Sep 2014 News
New Zealand Government Hekia Parata 2 SEPTEMBER, 2014 Maori Battalion’s legacy to be preserved The history of the legendary... more

Funding for Northland, Auckland, Waikato freshwater project

2 Sep 2014 News
New Zealand Government Amy Adams 2 SEPTEMBER, 2014 Govt funding for Northland, Auckland, Waikato freshwater project Environment ... more

Business

SFO charges MightyRiverPower engineer with $2 mln fraud

2 Sep 2014 Business News
Article - BusinessDesk   SFO charges MightyRiverPower engineer with $2 mln fraud By Paul McBeth Sept. 2 (BusinessDesk) - The ... more

NZ terms of trade sets new 40-year high in 2nd quarter

1 Sep 2014 Business News By Suze Metherell
Article - BusinessDesk   NZ terms of trade sets new 40-year high as cheaper imports offset falling exports Sept. 1... more

Living

Crowdfunding sought for Lee Tamahori to make second NZ film

2 Sep 2014 Lifestyle
The Patriarch PRESS RELEASE: Crowdfunding sought for Lee Tamahori to return home and make second New Zealand film 2 SEPTEMBER... more

‘Best trumpet player in the galaxy’ returns

1 Sep 2014 Lifestyle
NZ Symphony Orchestra 1 September 2014 - NZSO Media Release for immediate release The ‘best trumpet player in the ... 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

Jetstar loses ground in NZ as Qantas plunges to A$2.84B loss

28 Aug 2014 Travel & Tourism By Paul McBeth
Aug. 28 (BusinessDesk) - Jetstar, the discount unit of Australian airline Qantas Airways, lost ground in New Zealand, while claiming... more

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

Sport

Vaulting and Showjumping take Centre Stage at WEG

2 Sep 2014 Sport
Equestrian Sports New Zealand Vaulting and Showjumping take Centre Stage at WEG New Zealand representatives in vaulting and... more

Haier Pulse to Begin 2015 With Toughest Trip of All

2 Sep 2014 Netball
The Haier Pulse will once again face the reigning champions in the first round of the ANZ Championship, with a trip to Melbourne to... more

Columns

Martin Doyle cartoon: Wrong arm of the law

2 Sep 2014 Opinion
Opinion - Martin Doyle   Martin Doyle cartoon: Wrong arm of the law   more

Gordon Campbell on John Key’s ‘blame it on Judith’ strategy

1 Sep 2014 Opinion By Gordon Campbell
  Gordon Campbell on John Key’s ‘blame it on Judith’ strategy Right now, Prime Minister John Key seems intent... 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

High dollar, hands-off Govt sends workers to dole queue

22 Aug 2014 Recruitment
The loss of up to 100 jobs at Croxley stationery in Auckland is devastating news for their families and the local Avondale... more

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