Selina Tusitala Marsh

Selina Tusitala Marsh, the current New Zealand Poet Laureate, is of Samoan, Tuvaluan, Scottish and French descent. 

She was the first person of Pacific descent to graduate with a PhD in English from the University of Auckland, where she now lectures in both creative writing and Māori and Pacific literary studies.

Read more about Selina...


Photo by Emma Hughes

Festival sessions

Selina Tusitala Marsh and Glenn Colquhoun: A Common Love of Poetry

8-9pm, Saturday 7 July, Boathouse Theatre, $20 - Selina Tusitala Marsh

Two charismatic award-winning poets share the stage to discuss their shared love of poetry. Hear Selina Tusitala Marsh and Glenn Colquhoun read their own work and share some of the stories behind the stanzas.

This session originally featured Tusiata Avia, who has been unable to attend. We are grateful to Glenn for stepping in.


Tokotoko Tales 

2-3pm, Sunday 8 July, Cloudy Bay winery, Jacksons Road, $30 - Selina Tusitala Marsh in conversation with Jane Forrest Waghorn

Tusitala means storyteller. It was Selina's Tuvaluan grandfather's name, and the name Samoans bestowed on Robert Louis Stevenson. These men are among the inspirations respresented on Selina's Poet Laureate tokotoko (an ornamental walking stick). With the beautiful work of art at hand, Selina will tell us about the stories, people and experiences that have shaped her, and read her poetry.


A Matariki special - Tokotoko Tales 

7-8pm, Monday 9 July, Picton Library, $20 - Selina Tusitala Marsh 

The stars have aligned for the festival to hold an encore session with the Poet Laureate at the new Picton Library in association with Matariki Festival (Waitohi/Picton). Come and hear Selina talk about the people and events represented on her Poet Laureate's tokotoko and hear her read her work.