Fale Aitu / Spirit House

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Tusiata Avia is an essential voice in New Zealand and Pasifika literature. In her fearless new collection, she weaves together the voices of the living and dead, the past and the present in poems that are confessional and confrontational, gentle and funny. Speaking from Samoa, Christchurch, Gaza and New York, she combines stories from myth and the everyday, never shying away from pain or wonder.


Tusiata Avia was born in Christchurch in 1966, of Samoan descent. She is an acclaimed poet, performer and children’s book writer. Her previous poetry collections are Wild Dogs Under My Skirt (VUP, 2004; also staged as a one-woman theatre show around the world from 2002–2008) and Bloodclot (VUP, 2009). Tusiata has held the Fulbright Pacific Writer’s Fellowship at the University of Hawai’i in 2005 and the Ursula Bethell Writer in Residence at University of Canterbury in 2010. She was also the 2013 recipient of the Janet Frame Literary Trust Award. She teaches creative writing and performing arts at Manukau Institute of Technology.