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Former USP academic releases "I can See Fiji"

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Hinemoana Baker, Teresia Teaiwa and Ms Claire Slater at the Launch of the CD.

One of the first CD of poems in Fiji was launched at USP this week and according to Fiji’s famous playwright Larry Thomas it was not very common.

The launch was done in style where the poet performed live for the audience and the guests.

The CD of poems named “I Can See`Fiji” was by Ms Teresia Teaiwa, a former USP academic.

Mr Thomas said she was the founding member of the Niu Waves Writers Collective.

According to Mr Thomas it was a very special launch.

“Special in many respects, one being that launching a CD of poetry is not very common and if I can recall this is the first launch of this nature here,” he said.

“It is also special in that the two people associated with the launch have come all the way from New Zealand for this,” he added.

The CD was launched by Ms Claire Slater, one of the very first group of feminists in Fiji.

Ms Slater also taught for many years at the Histroy/Politics department at USP.

In her address Ms Slater said she was an avid reader of Teresia’s written work and a longstanding admirer of her many talents and intellectual artistic achievements.

“From her sharp and incisive analyses of serious subjects ranging from the political to culture and sport, her inspiring approach to teaching Pacific Island Studies and her linguistic and dance accomplishments to the ease with which she bears her heart and soul in her poetry,” she said.

“I love how Tere projects the Pacific in her scholarly and creative work, with the eternal pride and joy of an islander but without any romanticism because she knows its darkest truths,” she added.

She said her critical voice is both strong and direct and at the same time soft and forgiving.

“Some of the poems that feature in full or have been mined for excerpts in the CD are wonderfully fresh social commentary on both Pakeha New Zealand and longer resident Pacific Islanders by a more recent Pacific Island migration,” she said.

She said others evoke Tere’s lived experiences in Fiji.

The poetry has been given sound design by New Zealand poet, Hinemoana Baker.

Ms Baker is a poet, writer, producer and musician.

She has worked as a Maori language educator, a sales rep, a radio journalist and producer apart from touring New Zealand and as a musician and performer.

She has a Masters degree in Creative Writing from Victoria University.

She currently teaches the poetry segment of a creative writing course at Whitirea Polytechnic in Wellington.

Mr Thomas said the CD was Ms Teaiwa’s third CD of poetry and the first solo album.

Her other two album was with Sia Fiegel.

She was the founding member of the Niu Waves Writers Collective.

The Cd’s are available at the book center for twenty dollars.

This news item was published on 23 Sep 2008 09:36:27 am. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email

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