The New Zealand Book Council Lecture has become a prominent part of the literary landscape in Aotearoa New Zealand. It provides an opportunity for one of our country’s leading writers to discuss an aspect of literature close to their heart.
The Lecture seeks to enlighten – and also provoke. As James K. Baxter said: “It is reasonable and necessary that… every poet should be a prophet.”
Our 2016 prophet is Pasifika poet and scholar, Selina Tusitala Marsh. Not only is she an accomplished writer and teacher on the national and international stage, Selina is a feisty, restless, generous, collegial and unique contributor to Aotearoa New Zealand’s sense of itself – as a culture and as a country.
This is the third recent Book Council lecture. Eleanor Catton gave the 2014 Lecture, and in 2015 Witi Ihimaera confronted us with the question: What new New Zealand will our writers write into existence? Selina, in her 2016 Lecture, gives us the beginning of an insightful and original answer.
Tala Tusi: The Teller is the Tale
Selina Tusitala Marsh
The Sāmoan word tusitala means storyteller – but what about its inverse, tala tusi, where the teller is the tale?
Poet and academic Selina Tusitala Marsh powerfully explores the relationship between our stories, ourselves, and the fate of our literature if we ignore the wisdom offered by ‘tala tusi’ in her remarkable 2016 New Zealand Book Council Lecture.
Delivered at the National Library of New Zealand, Wellington.
Where is New Zealand Literature Heading?
What is New Zealand writing and what does its future look like? Witi Ihimaera explores some of the essential questions of our literary culture. His thoughtful and often humours lecture inspires us to ask ourselves: where is New Zealand literature heading?
Delivered at the 2015 Dunedin Writers & Readers Festival.