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Pacific poet Avia to reveal new works at Vitu – Pacific Arts Fest

22 January 2007

Dynamic poet and performer Tusiata Avia is to reveal new works at a public reading for The Vitu – Pacific Arts Festival later this month.

The Christchurch-born writer’s performance at the Dux de Lux lounge on Wednesday, January 31, is also part of the University of Canterbury’s Macmillan Brown/Creative NZ 10th Anniversary celebrations.

Short listed for the 2006 Prize in Modern Letters, Avia was also awarded the 2005 Fulbright-Creative New Zealand Pacific Writers’ Residency at the University of Hawai’i. Of Samoan descent, Tusiata’s name means both painter and artist.

In 2004, Avia performed poems from her book Wild Dogs Under My Skirt at the Ono – Pacific Arts to an enthralled Christchurch audience. Her poetry has appeared in various literary journals including Turbine, Sport, and Takahe. Her radio drama “You Say Hawaii” was broadcast in 2002. She also works as a performance poet.

Avia is currently publishing a series of books for children. The first two, Mele and the Fofo (2002) and The Song (2002), have been published in Samoan, Tongan, Cook Islands Maori, Niuean and Tokelauan and English.

Vitu - Pacific Arts is the only festival in the South Island that gives Christchurch citizens and visitors a taste of the Pacific through traditional and contemporary art forms. It has a commitment to fostering local artistic talent by supporting established and emerging artists and performers.

The festival reflects the pride, commitment, and energy of the Pacific community and contributes to building a sense of place. 

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