Vaughan Rapatahana (new)

Feasting in the Skinny Country: Aotearoa New Zealand Poetry

David Eggleton

Aotearoa New Zealand's Poet Laureate

David Eggleton Poet Laureate
David Eggleton, Poet Laureate. Photo courtesy of Caroline Davies.

David Eggleton is the current Poet Laureate of Aotearoa New Zealand. He was appointed in 2019, and his tenure has been extended until 2022 because COVID has thwarted several of his live appearances.  

David Eggleton is of Caucasian and Rotuman Fijian/Tongan heritage. Accordingly, he is a Pasifika poet.

'Wild Honey, Reading New Zealand Woman's Poetry' — Paula Green

Vital publication about New Zealand women poets

New Zealand women's poetry
'Wild Honey, Reading New Zealand Woman's Poetry' — Paula Green

Wild Honey: Reading New Zealand Womens Poetry (Massey University Press, 2019), by Paula Green, is an important book.

'Poems from the Edge of Extinction'

Focusing on endangered languages via the power of poetry

Poems from the Edge of Extinction
Poems from the Edge of Extinction

The anthology Poems from the Edge of Extinction (Chambers, UK, 2019) edited by well-known English poet, Chris McCabe, was launched at Poetry International, The Southbank Centre, London  in mid-October, 2019. He was the MC on this occasion, as well as for several other events during the festival. It is an important collection of poetry written in indigenous languages — including my own, te reo Māori — which are being threatened by dominant Hydra-like languages — like English and to a lesser extent others, such as Mandarin.

Kia ora.

These ladies are not afraid to rage against the machines: part two

Kiwi Asian women poets have strong opinions. [Part two]

Kiwi Asian Woman by Pauline Canlas Wu.

Kia ora ano.

In part two of this commentary post, I will include several poems by the poets featured in part one, furher emphasizing their frankness and willingness to speak their minds about cultural connections and disconnections as Kiwi Asian poets, as well as about how they see Aotearoa New Zealand per se.

I will also feature Shasha Ali and her own comments with regard to the questions I asked other poets, in part one.

These ladies are not afraid to rage against the machines

Kiwi Asian women poets have strong opinions. [Part one]

Malaysia at dusk.
Malaysia at dusk.

I was completing a chapter in the forthcoming 2019 book, English in the South, edited by Kyria Finardi and published by Eduel, Brazil, when I thought that I really must write a commentary regarding the influx of young Asian poets, who were born in Aotearoa New Zealand, or have arrived to live here for long periods. Why? Because my chapter is entitled Confronting the English language Hydra in Aotearoa New Zealand and bemoans the lack of recognition given to Asian languages in the country because of the domination of English language exponents and their monolingual expectations, and the concomitant definite lack of deference to Asian peoples per se  despite the fact they will be the second largest cultural demographic here by 2026.