23 Jun 2011

First international Pacific literature conference gets underway in NZ

8:54 am on 23 June 2011

A three day conference - Reading and Writing in the Pacific - the first international Pacific literature conference to ever be held in New Zealand, starts in Wellington today.

The organiser, Victoria University's Dr Alice Te Punga Somerville, says it'll bring together established and emerging writers and scholars from the Pacific and beyond.

These include Albert Wendt, Patricia Grace, Kalo Mila and the Reverend Mua Strickson-Pua.

Dr Te Punga Somerville says the public's invited to performances tonight at Te Papa, New Zealand's national museum, in Wellington.

"At 6.30 Daren Kamali, who's from the South Auckland poets collective is launching a book and then at 7 o'clock we have got a huge range of Pacific writers, from the very senior - Albert Wendt and Anna Whaitiri are kind of our feature senior writers, all the way through to grass roots people, some of who are presenting for the first time in New Zealand."

Dr Te Punga Somerville of Victoria University.