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UPU: A Celebration of Trailblazing Moana Writers

UPU: A Celebration of Trailblazing Moana Writers

Jarod Rawiri & Shadon Meredith rehearse with director Fasitua Amosa
Nathaniel Lees & Shadon Meredith smile in the rehearsal studio, preparing for UPU.
The UPU ensemble laughing in the rehearsal studio

Sāmoan/Pākehā writer and Pantograph Punch Editor Faith Wilson reflects on the words and the histories behind UPU, a new Silo show bringing some of Oceania’s most electrifying poetry to the stage.

The feet of the fat brown woman / Are grounded nicely to the bellies of / Her mamas / The fat blue Pacific / The fat brown Earth / Thank you very much

—Sia Figiel, Songs of the fat brown woman

I have a strong visceral reaction when I read or hear poetry by my fellow writers of the Moana. I legit get chills up my spine. My hairs stand on end. I get butterflies in my stomach. My eyes well up and I cry. Even when the poem is meant to be funny. One of the reasons for this, I think, is that I feel a surge of excitement, butterflies, chills, which is followed by a feeling of guilt, more butterflies, crying. Excitement because the poetry is that hot, and guilt because of all the different authors I encounter, I have actually only properly read from like, five of them. As someone who kinda prides themself on being well read, why haven’t I read more poetry from my Moana bros and sisters?...

→ To continue reading this essay at The Pantograph Punch, click here

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