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

Gareth Morgan: Election Day is Time to Refocus on Policies

19 Sep 2014 Opinion
Gareth Morgan: Election Day is Time to Refocus on Policies Over the course of this election campaign there has been a lot of focus... more

Daily Election Update #12: NZ First to hold balance of power

19 Sep 2014 News
iPredict IPREDICT LTD 2014 NEW ZEALAND ELECTION DAILY UPDATE #12 www.ipredict.co.nz more

Business

NZ consumer confidence edges up in September from 10-month low

19 Sep 2014 Business News By Suze Metherell
Sept. 19 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand consumer confidence rose in September from a 10-month low, as households adjust to a more... more

Goodman to spend $33.4M on developments, sells Carter Holt Harvey plant in Christchurch

19 Sep 2014 Business News By Suze Metherell
Sept. 19 (BusinessDesk) - Goodman Property Trust, which is selling assets to fund development, will spend $33.4 million on four ... more

Living

Pop superstar Lady Gaga using Shuttlerock's kiwi software

15 Sep 2014 Environment By Fiona Rotherham
Sept. 15 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand visual marketing software company Shuttlerock has added Lady Gaga to its client list. While... more

German, Kiwi films big winners at Uni Shorts 2014

15 Sep 2014 Entertainment
AUCKLAND: German filmmakers dominated the awards at the third annual Uni Shorts International Student Film Festival held over the... more

Property

Auckland house sales drop in August as winter, election weigh

3 Sep 2014 Property By Paul McBeth
Sept. 3 (BusinessDesk) - Auckland house sales fell for a third month in August and the number of listings remained muted in the... more

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

Migration

NZ net migration at annual record in August on big inflow

19 Sep 2014 Migration By Suze Metherell
  NZ net migration at annual record in August on big inflow, fewer departures Sept. 19 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand’s... more

Reserve Bank says migration impact on housing 'muted' so far

11 Sep 2014 Migration By Suze Metherell
Sept. 11 (BusinessDesk) - The Reserve Bank is keenly watching the impact New Zealand's decade-high net migration inflow is having on... more

Travel

Longer Wellington runway worth 2-5 flights daily by 2060

11 Sep 2014 Travel & Tourism By Pattrick Smellie
Sept. 11 (BusinessDesk) - Plans for a $350 million runway extension for Wellington International Airport would provide the capital... more

NZ guest nights rise in July

10 Sep 2014 Travel & Tourism By Suze Metherell
NZ guest nights rise in July on school holidays, record short term visitors   Sept. 10 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand guest... more

Sport

Prince Harry to be Honorary President of England Rugby 2015

19 Sep 2014 Rugby
Prince Harry Announced as Honorary President of England Rugby 2015 on One Year to Go to Rugby World Cup 2015 With One Year to Go to... more

Silver Ferns Squad & Constellation Cup Team Announced

19 Sep 2014 Netball
Netball New Zealand National Selectors have chosen 19 players in the Silver Ferns Squad for the 2014/2015 international Netball... more

Columns

Gordon Campbell on a campaign that is ending as it began

19 Sep 2014 Opinion
Column - Gordon Campbell   Gordon Campbell on a campaign that is ending as it began This election campaign is getting no less... more

Martin Doyle Cartoon: Election on a fork 'n' knife-edge

19 Sep 2014 Opinion
Opinion - Martin Doyle   Martin Doyle Cartoon: Election on a fork 'n' knife-edge   more

Kiwi Success

Prestigious Awards in Psychology

10 Sep 2014 People
The New Zealand Psychological Society (NZPsS) -the largest membership association for psychologists in New Zealand, offers awards... more

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

Recruitment

Paramedics in NZ jump at opportunity of London career

11 Sep 2014 Recruitment
Paramedics in New Zealand jump at opportunity of a clinical career in London Paramedics hoping for a chance to work for the... more

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