The New Zealand Book Council Te Kaunihera Pukapuka o Aotearoa offers heartfelt congratulations to our board member Dr Selina Tusitala Marsh on her appointment as New Zealand Poet Laureate.
“Selina will be an outstanding New Zealand Poet Laureate and raise the national consciousness to the importance of loving books and reading”, said Book Council Chair Peter Biggs, CNZM.
An accomplished writer, teacher and scholar on the national and international stage, Selina Tusitala Marsh is also a passionate and energetic reading advocate and ambassador. She inspires a love of reading and writing in our nation’s young people, and works closely on the Book Council’s annual Writers in Communities project in South Auckland low decile schools.
“Getting reading on the national agenda is a crucial step in breaking the poverty cycle in New Zealand. OECD research shows that reading for pleasure is the single most important indicator of a child’s future success. It’s even a more powerful factor in life achievement than socio-economic background”, Peter Biggs said.
Selina’s latest poetry collection Tightrope launches today on National Poetry Day. Built around the abyss, the tightrope, and the trick that we all have to perform to walk across it, she brings to life her ongoing dialogue with memory, life and death to find out whether ‘stories’ really can ‘cure the incurable’.
“It starts with the story,” said Peter Biggs. “Reading has the power to change lives and transform communities. We’re on a mission to grow a nation of readers. This will lead to a better country – socially, culturally and economically – and Selina’s new position of New Zealand Poet Laureate will be instrumental in this mission”, he said.