announces our inaugural offering
Works from Writers and Artists who attended the 10th Festival of Pacific Arts in American Samoa
edited by Dan Taulapapa McMullin
The Festival of Pacific Arts takes place once every four years in the Pacific. The quadrennial festival is hosted by a different island nation every year; in 2008, American Samoa hosted the 10th festival. There were participants from 27 island nations from Hawai’i to Australia, in all fields including literature, oratory, storytelling, chanting, fashion, dance, film, video, sculpture, painting, and more.
This anthology features poetry, short story, and plays by a selection of Pacific writers and artists who attended the festival, including Sia Figiel, Larry Thomas, Cresantia Frances Koya, Dan Taulapapa McMullin, Victor Rodger, Teweiariki Teaero, and Dianna Fuemana.
$12. 67 pgs. Available on Amazon here.
Ala Press, founded by Brandy Nalani McDougall and Craig Santos Perez, aims to publish a diverse range of styles in poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, and drama by writers who trace their genealogies to the native peoples of “Polynesia,” “Micronesia,” and “Melanesia.” The word, ala, means basket and nest in the Chamorro language and path, fragrance, and to rise up in the Hawaiian language. As such, we chose to honor our press with the name Ala because of our belief that literature has the power to carry, nurture, guide, beautify, and awaken.
If you are interested in joining our mailing list, submitting a manuscript, or ordering for your classes, please contact us at pacificliterature at gmail dot com.
CONTRIBUTOR BIOS FOR NAFANUA:
Sia Figiel is a contemporary Samoan novelist, poet, and painter. Born in Matautu Tai, Samoa, Sia Figiel grew up amidst the traditional Samoan singing and poetry which heavily influenced her writing. Her formal schooling was conducted in Samoa and New Zealand where she also began a BA which was completed at Whitworth College (United States). She has traveled in Europe and completed writers’ residencies at the University of the South Pacific, Suva, University of Technology, Sydney, University of Hawaii at Hilo and at Manoa, Logoipulotu College, Safotulafai Savaii and the Catalan Ministry of Arts and Culture, Barcelona. She has also appeared at the Shakespeare Globe Theatre, London. Sia Figiel’s poetry has won the Polynesian Literary Competition in 1994 and Where We Once Belonged was awarded the 1997 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for fiction, South East Asia/South Pacific region. Her work has been translated into French, German, Catalan, Danish, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish and Portuguese.
Cresantia Frances Koya
Cresantia F. Koya (Fiji) is the product of multiple diasporic journeys. Of Arab, Indian, Samoan, Irish and Solomon descent, she teaches courses in Curriculum, Educational Theory and Pacific Studies at the University of the South Pacific. An artist and poet, she is actively involved in the development of the arts in Fiji. Her research interests include Education for Social Change and Justice, Pacific Studies and the Arts, Teacher Education for the future and Education for Sustainable Development. She is currently the Acting-Director of the Oceania Centre for Arts, Culture and Pacific Studies at the University. She is also a member of the core-group tasked with developing the Regional Cultural Strategy for the Pacific and the Culture and Education Strategy. Combining her work in curriculum development and the arts, she is keen to see indigenous knowledge, culture and the arts provided a platform in mainstream and non-formal education.
Dan Taulapapa McMullin
Dan Taulapapa McMullin is a painter, sculptor, media artist, and writer. His work has exhibited at the Bishop Museum in Honolulu, the United Nations in New York, and at galleries in Auckland, Aotearoa-New Zealand. He won a Poets&Writers Award from The Writers Loft, and a Best Short Film Award from Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival. He art work can be seen at http://www.taulapapa.com.
Victor Rodger is a journalist, actor and award winning playwright in Aotearoa-New Zealand whose theatre work deals with race, racism and identity. Of Samoan and Pakeha heritage, Rodger’s play Sons won acclaim at the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards (1998) and received Best New Writer and Most Outstanding New New Zealand Play awards. In 2001, he won the Sunday Star-Times Bruce Mason Playwriting Award. Other plays include Ranterstantrum (2002) and My Name is Gary Cooper (2007), produced and staged by Auckland Theatre Company and starred a Samoan cast including Robbie Magasiva. Rodger was born in Christchurch, graduating from Toi Whakaari New Zealand Drama School in Wellington. He gained the Fulbright-Creative New Zealand Pacific Writers’ Residency (2006) based at the University of Hawaii. His play Ranterstantrum (2002) was commissioned for the biennial New Zealand International Festival of the Arts. He is also a writer and a storyliner for TV soap Shortland Street.
Teweiariki is a Senior Lecturer in Education at USP specializing in Educational Leadership and Pacific arts and culture. He is originally from Kiribati. There are two anthologies of poems to his credit. Many of his art work and poems have appeared in several journals, monographs and websites.
Dianna Fuemana emerged on the New Zealand theatre scene in 1999 with her one woman show Mapaki. She is credited with being the first New Zealand Pacific playwright to merge the Niue and New Zealand born way of life through professional theatre. In the same year, she was nominated at the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards for Outstanding New Writer and best up coming actress of the Year. Fuemana completed a Master of Creative and Performing Arts with honours in 2005 at the University of Auckland, writing her third play The Packer during her study. Born in 1973, Dianna is the youngest and only New Zealand born child from a family of eight. Her plays Mapaki, The Packer and Falemalama have been published. She won the Pacific Innovation and Excellence Award at the 2008 Creative New Zealands, Pasifika Arts Award.
Larry Thomas currently works as the Coordinator of the Regional Media Centre with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) based in Suva, Fiji. This is the job that pays the bills and allows him to indulge in his other interests. He is a playwright, director and filmmaker. His plays have been performed in Fiji and abroad and include, Just Another Day, Outcasts and The Anniversary Present. His most recent play The Visitors received its world premiere at the 10th Festival of Pacific Arts in Pago Pago, American Samoa in 2008. His documentaries include Compassionate Exile, A Race for Rights, and Bittersweet Hope. He has just completed writing and directing a short feature film on racism in Fiji.