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Prominent Australian Aboriginal poet to visit NZ


Prominent Australian Aboriginal poet to visit New Zealand

14 March 2003 -- A prominent Murri poet, Samuel Wagan Watson, will visit New Zealand from 18-25 March to celebrate the release of his second collection of poetry, Itinerant Blues. His visit is being organised by the New Zealand Poetry Society and principally funded by the Australian High Commission.

The NZPS has arranged Sam’s readings throughout Wellington and Auckland. Margaret Vos, president of the NZPS, says “Sam’s visit is a wonderful opportunity for us to hear a distinctive voice from Australia’s poetic community. We are grateful to the Australian High Commission for supporting Sam’s visit and enabling us to have this trans-Tasman poetic exchange. Too often this type of exchange takes place only in cyberspace or in print, so we are fortunate to have Sam read in person in New Zealand.”

Sam hails from Brisbane and is a descendent of the Mununjali and the Birri Gubba. His first collection of poetry, of muse, meandering and midnight, won the 1999 David Unaipon Award for emerging indigenous writers. It was Highly Commended in both the Anne Elder Award and the 2000 Award for Outstanding Contributions to Australian Culture. He is also co-author of the award-winning website blackfellas, whitefellas, wetlands, and author of a chapbook, hotel bone.

For three decades the NZPS has supported New Zealand poets and poetry in its many forms. It serves its membership with a monthly newsletter detailing meetings and poetry events around the country, holds a monthly meeting open to all members, runs an International Poetry Competition and publishes an anthology of entries from the contest. With the support of Creative New Zealand it also organises poet tours.

A detailed schedule of Sam’s readings is attached. For further information contact:

Margaret Vos
President, New Zealand Poetry Society
04 478 5662 (h)
025 388 928 (cell) (email)

New Zealand Poetry Society
PO Box 5283
Lambton Quay
New Zealand

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