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Poetry 2

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Poetry 2

Occasional: 50 Poems by Owen Marshall. ISBN 187727089X. Published by Hazard Press. Recommended retail price $17.95.

The many lovers of Owen Marshall’s fiction will not be surprised to find, in his first collection of poems, the same sureness of touch, the familiar wry wit and compassion, the oblique and often startling perspectives on the apparently ordinary. The fifty poems that make up Occasional mark a wide range of events, some small (though never trivial), some larger. There are many delights, from the moving poems in honor of Bill Sewell and Janet Frame, to pieces that draw their strength and inspiration from family , to celebrations and evocations of well-loved landscape, all explored with distinctive clarity of thought and phrase. Occasional is a natural companion to Marshall’s short stories and novels, providing further evidence of his superb writing skills and versitility.

Owen Marshall, ONZM, has long been regarded as one of New Zealand’s foremost fiction writers. His first collection of short stories was published in 1979 and has been followed by nine more short story collections, two novels, educational texts, edited anthologies and scripts. He holds an MA (Hons) and an honorary doctorate of letters from the University of Canterbury, and has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Deutz Medal for Fiction in the 2000 Montana New Zealand Book Awards and the inaugural Creative New Zealand Writers’ Fellowship in 2003. After teaching at high schools for many years, he ran a fiction writing course at Aoraki Polytechnic from 1992 to 2002 and is currently teaching creative sriting at stage three level for the University of Canterbury. A lover of the outdoors with a special affinity with rural and provincial New Zealand, Owen Marshall lives in Timaru. Soft cover, 64 pages. Published in 2004.


Olive Tree, The: Collected Poems by Mark O'Connor. Published by Hale and Iremonger. ISBN 0868066974. Recommended retail price $25.

Mark O'Connor is one of Australia's best-known and most widely read poets, with twelve books published. He has been awarded a Fellowship by the Australia Council to write poetry covering the 2000 Olympic Games and to coincide with this, Dr. John Leonard, editor of several major collections of contemporary Australian poetry, has expertly collected the best of O'Connor's work over three decades.

These poems range widely over time and place, but the heart of the collection is the celebration of the uniqueness and diversity of Australia's environment, from desert to rainforest, mountains to coral reefs. With passion, humor and dedication to his craft, O'Connor has created a rich legacy of fine poetry. Soft cover, 272 pages. Published in 2000.


Pinnacles by Makerita Va'ai. Published by the Institute of Pacific Studies. ISBN 9820200865. Recommended retail price $9.

This collection of poems by Makerita Va'ai brings together a variety of subject matter from the Pacific region. The poems draw on many aspects of Pacific Culture. Makerita Va'ai is Samoan. She was educated at Samoa College, Western Samoa, and New Plymouth Girls' High School, New Zealand. She trained at Ardmore Teachers' College and taught in New Zealand for a year before returning to Western Samoa to teach at Leifiifi Intermediate School. She won a government award to study for the Certificate in Teaching English as Second Language in Australia, then to the University of the South Pacific to study for the degree of Bachelor of Education. She was a founding staff member of the Western Samoa Secondary Teachers' College, from where she was recruited to work at the newly established USP Centre in Western Samoa as a Tutorial Assistant. She has served as Director of the USP Centre in Western Samoa and in Nauru. Soft cover, 58 pages. Published in 1993.


Playing God by Glenn Colquhoun. ISBN 1877228753. Published by Steele Roberts. Recommended retail price $14.95.

Glenn Colquhoun is a doctor born in South Auckland, New Zealand. He is now working in Te Tai Tokerau, Northland. His book The Art of Walking Upright won the 2000 Montana NZ best first book award for poetry. He has also published a children’s book, and An Explanation of Poetry to my Father.

This new collection of poems is based on Glenn’s experiences in medicine, where doctors are often described as – or accused of – ‘playing God.’

If you play God, play God at tennis.
A strict code of conduct is expected.
Clear lines must be drawn in the sand.
The ball will be either in or out.
At times there is talk of love…

Often funny, sometimes serious, always compassionate, the poems explore a range of medical experiences as diverse and dramatic as life itself.

These poems may be sad, but they are also immensely clever, funny, kind and life-affirming. Their warm humanity and compassion counterpoint the always tough business of medical diagnosis.” – New Zealand Herald

Even if poetry isn’t usually your thing, give Playing God a go. You’ll be pleasantly surprised. It’s a terrific book…” – Sunday Star Times

Soft cover, 94 pages. Published in 2002.


Poemes du Pacifique au Feminin by Afu Billy & 15 others. Recommended retail price $6.

Poetry written in French.

Le Pacifique s’affirme sur tous les horizons. La litterature y joue son role; la poesie, plus particulierement, possede un dynamisme qui merite qu’on s’y atarde. Le fait que nombre d’auteurs s’expriment en anglais en a limite la diffusion. Aussi, un groupe de travail compose de plusieurs femmes benevoles, s’est-il forme au Centre de l”universite du Pacificue Sud a Port-Vila en vue d’un travail de selection, et de traduction don’t ce recueil est le fruit. Soft cover, 50 pages.


Poetes du Pacifique en Colere by Konai Helu Thaman & 26 others. Recommended retail price $7.

Poetry written in French. Un travail de creation litteraire se mene depuis quelques annees dans certins pays anglophones et les differentes publications de textes poetiques issues de l’UPS ont toutes connu un certain succes de diffusion

Mais les publications d’origine francophone sont tres rares. Ce’est pourquoi un groupe de traducteurs benevoles s’est forme au Centre de l’Universite du Pacifique Sud a Port-Vila pour traduire un certain nombre de poemes tires des publications Mana de la Societe des Arts Creatifs du Pacifique Sud. Ce recueil s’adresse donc aux insulaires francophones du Pacifique, qu’ils soient Ni-Vanuatu, Caledoniens, Tahitiens ou de Wallis et Futuna. Il s’agit egalement d’inciter ces francophones a s’exprimer a leur tour grace a l’ecriture en les confrontant a des textes ecrits par leurs voisins. Ceci ne peut que rentre plus evidente encore la notion de voisins. Ceci ne peut que rendre plus evidente encore la notion de regionalisme qui apparait depuis quelque temps dans le Pacifique. Soft cover, 60 pages.

( 71k)

Praying Parents by Jully Sipolo. Published by the Institute of Pacific Studies. IPS120. Recommended retail price $6.

Jully Sipolo was born at Gizo in the Western Province of the Solomon Islands in 1953. She is a graduate of the University of the South Pacific, is married, and began writing seriously in 1980 after attending the first Solomon Islands Women Writers' workshop in July of that year. She worked for a time with USP Solomon Islands Centre as an editor, working on production of the first collection of Solomon Islands women's' writing. This second collection of poems by Jully Sipolo, if anything, is more incisive than her first book Civilized Girl, but with the same directness and clear-sightedness. Soft cover, 34 pages. Published in 1986.


Raindrops poems by Celo Kulaghoe. Illustrations by Frederick Butafa. Recommended retail price $15.

Celo Kulaghoe (also Celestine Kulagoe) is from Solomon Islands. His poetry has been published in such periodicals as the USP students’ UNISPAC, the Mana section of Pacific Islands Monthly, Kakamora Reporter, News Drum, Solomon Star, Solomon Toktok and Youth Today, and in such books as Lali, Possibilities, Some Modern Poetry from Solomon Islands and Twenty Four Poems of the Solomons. After teaching at Catholic Secondary School, Honiara, 1975-1975, he returned to the USP to study for the degree of Bachelor of Education in 1977, graduating in 1981. His collection of poetry, Where Leaves Had Fallen, was published in 1980 and republished with a teachers’ guide in 1991. From 1981-1990 he worked for the Solomon Islands public service as an administrator. He is the author of Uvipira (Roots in a Season): Three Stories and he contributed poems to Raetemaot: Creative Writing from Solomon Islands. Failing eyesight compelled him to retire in 1990.

Frederick Butafa is from Malaita, Solomon Islands, although he was born in Honiara. He attended King George VI School before doing his first year of law at the University of the South Pacific’s Laucala Campus in Fiji. He was attached to the Oceanic Centre for Arts and Culture, and studied with Niuean writer and artist John Pule. Frederick will continue his degree work in law at USP’s Emalus Campus in Vanuatu. Soft cover, 68 pages.


Return To Havaiki by Kauraka Kauraka. Published by the Institute of Pacific Studies. IPS117. Recommended retail price $6.

In this collection a talented young Polynesian poet expresses the concerns of peoples of the Pacific today: identity, the place of their own and other cultures, integrity, love, family and concern for the natural environment. Soft cover, 72 pages. Published in 1985, reprinted 1991.


Searching for Nei Nim'anoa by Teresia Kieuea Teaiwa. Published by The Institute of Pacific Studies. ISBN 9820201136. Recommended retail price $15.

Teresia Kieuea Teaiwa is a daughter of John Tabakitoa and Joan Martin Teaiwa. She is also the mother of John Tenamo Manoa Teaiwa. Born in Honolulu, Hawai'i, Teresia was raised in Fiji, attending primary schools in Savusavu, Levuka and Lautoka. She first began creative writing as a secondary school student in Suva and has continued to explore this form of expression while studying overseas. Teresia has completed a PhD in History of Consciousness through the University of California, Santa Cruz. This collection of writing chronicles Teresia's search for emotional and intellectual roots. But given the mixed nature of her identity, it has been a project marked by frequent displacements and replacements, detours and retours. The convergence of her father's Banaban and Gilbertese history and her mother's African American heritage has produced a peculiar cultural, linguistic, and symbolic map for her. She struggled with the forces that would suspend her in an Anglophone, middle-class, and half-caste Pacific limbo. Borrowing a notion from Black British scholar Paul Bilroy, she has come to understand, then, that to search for roots is to discover routes. Soft cover, 82 pages. Published in 1995.


Shaking the Tree by Roma Potiki. ISBN 0958371253. Published by Steele Roberts. Recommended retail price $X.

Roma Potiki (Te Rarawa, Te Aupouri, Ngati Rangitihi) is an exciting talent as a writer, visual artist, and in theater. Her poetry appears in many anthologies, and on Wellington's 'Poets on the Buses' scheme. This is her second book.

Roma's writing is feisty, raw, wry, lusty, amusing, biting, lyrical, challenging. Her poems pack meaning and surprise into elegant space, capturing much of what it is to be a Maori woman today.

Soft cover, 78 pages.  Published in 1998.

Shebang: collected poems 1980-2000 by David Howard, images by Jason Greig. ISBN 1877228591. Published by Steele Roberts. Recommended retail price $18.95.

David Howard has published sparingly since he won the New Zealand Poetry Society International Award in 1987. His poems have appeared in New Zealand's premier journals and he has produced two well-regarded books: In the First Place (Hazard Press, 1991) and Holding Company (Nag's Head Press, 1995). David works outside the literary arena as Tour Supervisor (SFX) for international performers such as Metallica and Janet Jackson.

Shebang presents a body of work which has impressed leading critics:

"David Howard's poems ... demonstrate an admirable economy of means. The poems are built up precisely, each word is given due weight and heft... Poetry itself is treated as a form of prayer, both sacred and profane, but rife with little idiosyncrasies, sudden switches of pace, tone and meaning so as to create an ambiguous haze, almost at times an erotic reverie ... This is a writer who works with parody and pastiche too ... His words are soft, smudged, usually more urban pastel (with trick perspectives) than pastoral musings about the Muse; and they are written in lines limpid as the Avon River that runs through his home town of Christchurch..." -- David Eggleton, Landfall

"What brings David Howard's poems together is a finely textured sensibility ... his voice is his own and unmistakable, and his love poems with their often surrealistic edge have a quality rare in New Zealand poetry." -- James Norcliffe, Star Weekender

Jason Greig was born in Timaru in 1963. He graduated from the University of Canterbury in 1985 with a Diploma in Fine Arts with Honors in Engraving. Currently he teaches art at Aoraki Polytechnic. His work is represented in the collections of the National Art Gallery, the Hocken Library, the Robert McDougall Gallery and the Aigantighe Art Gallery, and included in Contemporary New Zealand Prints (1989) by Jill McIntosh. Soft cover, 167 pages. Published in 2000.


Snapshots on the Journey: through death & remembrance poems selected by Rod MacLeod. ISBN 1877228672. Published by Steele Roberts. Recommended retail price $22.95

Death has become one of the great conundrums of our times. Sometimes we want to know all about it; other times we want nothing to do with it. For many people the idea that death has anything to do with living is just too strange. Like a camera, this book provides snapshots on the journey through death and remembrance. It is a chance to explore what it might be like to approach death, and its poems will be a focus for those on the journey with someone they love.

Poems can comfort, enlighten, challenge, or inspire; they can articulate feelings that are otherwise hard to express. They can ease the sense of loneliness that many people experience through death and bereavement, by giving insights from those who have traveled such journeys before. Hard cover, 123 pages. Published in 2002.


Some Modern Poetry From Fiji edited by Albert Wendt. Published by the Institute of Pacific Studies. ISBN 982020254X. Recommended retail price $3.

This book is the first in a series in an attempt to bring to readers the new and dynamic literature now being written about the Pacific by Pacific Islands writers.

This book contains the work of some of the young poets of Fiji. Many of the poems were first published in MANA Magazine, the literary magazine of the Society. Soft cover, 21 pages. Published in 1984.


Songs of Love by Konai Helu Thaman and illustrated by Teweiariki Teaero. Recommended retail price $15.

 Konai is a product of two cultures; Tonga and the rest of the Pacific. She's married to one of my best friends and is a friend in her own right so it is hard to be dispassionate about her poetry. I don't think she'd want me to be anyway. Konai writes in an incredibly expressive but economical style. Her poetry often moves me to tears and evokes emotions and sensations of times past and times to come. Konai has a style all of her own but it is distinctly Pacific in all that she writes about. Sample the poem below for a gentle introduction to her style. Songs of love is a collection of new and selected poems from 1974-1999. Soft cover, 137 pp.

Click here for illustration from Songs of love. (33.58K)

Click here for a poem from Songs of love by Konai Helu Thaman.

Click here for reviews of Songs of love.


Strands by Keri Hulme. Recommended retail price $13.

Keri Hulme writes: "Describe Strands? O, fishing and death. Angry women/angry earth chants, and funny inserts/insights/snippets/snappings. Winesongs of fifteen years’ maturation. Plait together land and air and sea: interweave the eye and the word and the ear. Show people that I take life seriously, but not so seriously as to ruin my chance of getting out of it alive. Let it be seen that I hang onto life by my Kaitahutaka, buoyed up by a raft of family and friends, while listening very carefully for homing surf. I am a strand-dweller in reality, a strand-loper of sorts – nau mai! Come share a land, a lagoon, a mind, a glass…"

Keri Hulme is the author of the bone people, which won the Booker Prize in 1985, and of The Silences Between (Moeraki Conversations) (1982), Lost Possessions (1985), Te Kaihau/The Windeater (1986), Homeplaces (with Robin Morrison, 1989). This is her second book of poems.

Paddy has had the pleasure of meeting Keri and was totally awed by the experience. This woman knows life, she is a window to the universe. Soft cover, 65 pages.


Taku Akatauira/ My Dawning Star by Kauraka Kauraka. Recommended retail price $12.

These poems from the Cook Islands and in Maori and in English, are based on tateni, that is, verses of praise. Weaving the natural environment with the spiritual, and from all over the Pacific, Kauraka has nurtured joy in each verse. Illustrated by Cook Islander Uaongo Williams.

Many of these poems seem inspired by tradition but sometimes play a direct role in Cook Islands society. The poem ‘Taku Akatauira’ for instance, was based on the poet’s genealogical link to the Akatauira tribe of Mangaia. The planet Venus, or Akatauira in Maori, was a navigational star in ancient times. Perhaps the original people of Mangaia came in their canoes by this star. This dawning star, or evening star, seems a fitting image for this collection, perhaps to lead us to new and exciting planes in the mysterious land beyond.

Kauraka is probably the most prolific poet in the Cook Islands, certainly the most published, and he assisted other people to publish. This is his third book of poetry. He had a style all of his own. In this collection, Kauraka dedicated most of the poems to certain individuals to praise them for particular qualities. Soft cover, 70 pages.


Talent For Flight, A by Glenda Fawkes. ISBN 0958371296. Published by Steele Roberts. Recommended retail price $14.95.

Glenda Fawkes writes about living and loving in a world where nothing is quite as it appears -- and about the small bright talismans we use to keep the door to chaos closed.

Glenda's poems have been published widely and she has won awards in national and international competitions. She lives at Otaki Beach, New Zealand where she collects driftwood, whitebait and sunsets.

A Significant talent -- Lauris Edmond

Poetry with buoyancy and subtle music capturing the flavor and texture of our world -- Greg O'Brien

Step closer my love.
Let me cut the shadows
that lie between us into
silhouettes. When the sea
raises its head just
a little, we will set them
free, fluttering dark as
blackbirds over the water.

Soft cover, 64 pages. Published in 1999.

Teeth by Frank Pervan. ISBN 0473058405. Published by Horizon Press. Recommended retail price $14.95.

Frank Pervan was born in Croatia and educated in Croatia and New Zealand. he writes both in English and Croatian.Frank has been writing poetry for many years, someof which have been translated into the Croatian language. He has received international recognition and awards including the Strand Literary Edition - Third Prize in London. Some of his poems have been published in International Antholgies in Britain. This is Frank's fourth book of poetry. He lives in Auckland, New Zealand. Poetry. Soft cover,60 pages. Published in 1999.


Walking Into The Millennium by Denys Trussell. Published by Addenda Books. ISBN 0908595719. Recommended retail price $9.98

Of mind in landscape and landscape in mind, of mind in nature and nature as mind:
“somewhere between
the invisible shapes of thought

and Rangitoto, its molecular
weave of lava and plants,

the mind’s sea moves in genesis
making islands of the actual

shores for the beaching
of dreams that are
born in the body.”

This is the ground of Denys Trussell’s fifth book of poems.

E.H. McCormick, New Zealand’s foremost literary historian, has written of an earlier work by this poet, the long poem, Archipelago (1991), that is was “a most important work, embodying wide scholarship and deep thought” bearing the “clear imprint of a dedicated writer and master craftsman.”

Walking into the Millennium continues to explore the zone mapped out by Archipelago, a zone of interaction between history, ecology and human identity.

Denys Trussell was born in Christchurch, New Zealand in 1946. He trained as a classical pianist with his father, William Trussell, and has given recitals throughout New Zealand. At university he studied literature and history, graduating with a master’s degree in 1971. His first published poems appeared in 1972. Since then he has been writing poetry, essays and criticism which have been published in New Zealand, Britain, France, Australian and the U.S.A.

Two of his long poems have been choreographed and set to music; Dance of the Origin, performed in 1980, was choreographed by Alison East of Origins Dance Theatre, with music composed by Ivan Zagni. Archipelago, performed in 1997, was choreographed by Catherine Chappell and Alison East, with a soundscape by the percussionist Paul Hewitt.

Trussell is the author of two biographies; Fairburn (1984), which won the PEN Best First Book Award in 1985, and Alan Pearson, His Life and Art, published in 1991. He is based in Auckland where his time is divided between working as a musician and as a writer concerned with the arts and ecology. Soft cover, 104 pages. Published in 1998.


Wao Nui a Tane, Te by Hirini Melbourne. Published by Huia Publishers. ISBN 0908975996. Recommended retail price $29.95.

Welcome to Te Wao Nui A Tane, selected waiata by acclaimed story and song writer, Hirini Melbourne. This unique collection of Maori poetry and verse, illustrated beautifully by Te Maari Gardiner, celebrated the living world of New Zealand’s native forest, from the dawn of a new day to nightfall. Share the world of Tane with your children and family. The CD includes all 28 poems set to music. A CD and book for every day, and a treasure for the years to come.

Hardcover books, 72 pages + CD-ROM. Published in 2000.


You the Choice Of My Parents by Konai Helu Thaman. Recommended retail price $5.

This collection of poems were written by a Konai Helu Thaman who was born in Nuku’alofa, Tonga. She attended the Wesleyan Primary School and later Tonga High School, before leaving for Auckland, NZ to study under a Tongan Government Scholarship in 1963. After two years at Epsom Girls’ Grammar School, she attended Auckland University (1965-67) where she graduated with a B.A. degree in Geography. She spent a year at the Auckland Secondary Teachers’ College before returning to Tonga where she taught for three years at Tonga High School. At the beginning of 1972, she left with her husband for the United States. She worked and studied at the University of California at Santa Barbara, where she obtained a Masters degree in Education. She joined the staff of the University of the South Pacific at the beginning of 1974. Many of these poems have appeared before in MANA Magazine. Originally printed in 1974, this is the 4
th printing. Soft cover, 17 pages.

Click below for related books

Haviliviliaga Manatu (Reflections) by Tohitohi Nukutuluea - the Niue Writers Group

Musings on Niue edited by Larry Thomas

Opening Doors by Evelyn Patuawa-Nathan

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