29 Mar 2015

Tusiata Avia - Samoan Palagi Poet

From Te Ahi Kaa, 6:08 pm on 29 March 2015

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From Australia's ABC Radio National programme Earshot, Tusiata Avia provides a narrative about her poetry from two of her poetry collection books, Wild Dogs Under My Skirt and Bloodclot.

Tusiata grew up in Christchurch and visited Samoa when she was fourteen years old. In her early twenties she left Christchurch and spent a year or so there teaching. Her experiences in Samoa and her dual heritage as Samoan Palagi would form part of the inspiration of her poetry, which is described as raw and lyrical.

Avia spent over a decade travelling overseas teaching, and seriously took to writing in 2001, a year later she completed the MA Creative Writing Programme at the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University, Wellington. In 2002, the children's books, Mele and the Fofo and The Song were published.

Her work was adapted for broadcast on Radio New Zealand, and her first collection of poetry Wild Dogs Under My Skirt was published in 2004. In 2009 the book Bloodclot was published, in 2013 she was a recipient of the Janet Frame Literary Trust Awards.


Music featured this week: 'So Amazing' performed by Whenua Patuwai and Ria Hall from the album The Soul Sessions (2014) and 'Moe Mai Ra' performed by ACushla Dee o Carroll from the album He Kohikohinga Waiata Māori (2011).