Whetu Moana: Contemporary Polynesian Poems in English
Albert Wendt, Reina Whaitiri and Robert Sullivan
Whetu Moana is the first anthology of contemporary Polynesian poetry in English edited by Polynesians. It collects poems written over the last twenty years from more than 60 poets in Aotearoa, Hawaii, Tonga, Samoa, the Cook Islands, Niue and Rotuma. Well-known poets like Hone Tuwhare, Alistair Campbell and Haunani-Kay Trask are joined by talented young voices, the poets appearing in alphabetical order in a way that presents both an overall Polynesian identity and a focus on individual style. Traditional laments mix with street-smart rap rhythms; images of seascapes and landscapes mingle with shots of urban slums. Political anger is a powerful force in these poems but many are personal and particular. Whetu Moana reveals an active, changing, varied, creative scene, which confronts both a complex colonial past and a fast-moving global present with energy, courage and vitality.
Awards and Nominations
Winner – 2004 Montana New Zealand Book Award for Reference and Anthology – Whetu Moana: Contemporary Polynesian Poetry in English, edited by Albert Wendt, Reina Whaitiri and Robert Sullivan
. . . it can be confidently stated that this collection constitutes a milestone in the emergence of a Polynesian canon. – Terry Locke, English In Aotearoa