Author(s): Selina Tusitala Marsh
Where Selina Marsh’s first collection, Fast Talking PI, boldly, insightfully, and lyrically wrestled with the realities of being an individual of Pacific descent in a primarily European world, her latest offering fiercely combats the loss of a loved one with all of the techniques of poetry and the Thai kickboxing she practices at her disposal. The compendium brims with a fluid, humming list of poems, literary shout outs, and personal elegies, as Marsh takes readers through her mother’s cancer diagnosis and the long journey as her illness played itself out. Along the way, the poet offers glimpses of other parts of her world as well: scenes from Matiatia to Orapiu to Apia; classroom politics; the importance of leadership; and the reasons she feels New Zealand is a “lucky” country. The affecting, rhythmic verses in the book are given a literal, and appealing, voice in the accompanying audio CD, on which Marsh reads aloud a selection of the poems.
Selina Tusitala Marsh is of Samoan, Tuvaluan, English, and French descent. She was the first Pacific Islander to graduate with a PhD in English from the University of Auckland and is now a lecturer in the English Department, specialising in Pasifika literature. Her first collection, the bestselling Fast Talking PI, won the NZSA Jessie Mackay Award for Best First Book of Poetry. She represented Tuvalu at the 2012 London Olympics Poetry Parnassus, her work has been translated into Ukrainian and Spanish and has appeared in numerous forms in schools, museums, parks, billboards, print and online literary journals.