Mauri Ola: Contemporary Polynesian Poems in English

Here’s one of the anthologies of poetry that I had purchased last year.  🙂

Mauri Ola: Contemporary Polynesian Poems in English, edited by Albert Wendt, Reina Whaitiri, and Robert Sullivan. First published by The Auckland University Press, 2010.  This anthology is a follow-up volume to the award winning, Whetu Moana, the first anthropology of Polynesian poems in English edited by Polynesians.

With 281 pages, this book includes poems from more than eighty writers from Aotearoa (New Zealand), Hawai‘i, Tonga, Samoa, the Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau, Tahiti and Rotuma.  This anthology presents an eclectic selection of poems from Poets such as:  Hone Tuwhare, Albert Wendt, Konai Helu Thaman, Haunani-Kay Trask, Robert Sullivan, Wayne Kaumualii Westlake, Tusiata Avia, Karlo Mila, Apirana Taylor, Serie Barford, David Eggleton, Selina Tusitala Marsh, Hinemoana Baker, Tracey Tawhiao, Doug Poole, Courtney Sina Meredith and many more.

The aim of the editors for Mauri Ola: Contemporary Polynesian Poems in English was to select poems that reflect linguistic truth. Indeed, I believe that the poems in this anthology echo the voices of the Maori and Polynesian ancestoral past and it sheds light on the post-colonial realities in which we (Maori and Polynesians) live in today.  Some poems have aspects of cultural identity and political stances woven into their tapestry of words.  Other poems vividly paint images of love, lament, joy and elements of unsympathetic truths.  In general, these poems are carefully crafted, interspearsed with modest Maori and Polynesian vernacular cadences which undoubtedly honours each poetry piece as unique in all its’ rawness and beauty.

As a Polynesian, more specifically a Tongan, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this anthology as it expresses our Maori and Polynesian voices in such a way that we can celebrate unity and diversity.  I love it and I highly recommend it!  I’m glad I’ve got my own copy YAY!  🙂


    1. Wow, a second nomination for the Versatile Blogger Award! THANK YOU SO MUCH! I’m truly humbled. I will proceed to accept it and yes I will feature it on the side bar hehe! Enjoy your day. 🙂

  1. Sounds great! I’d like to get my hands on that book too! 😉 Hope I can find it next week when I am out and about! I’d like to get to know the other’s work as I only know Albert Wendt and Hone Tuwhare’s works.

    1. You will love it Sis! It’s quite the treasure to have an anthology with such amazing Maori and Pasifika poets, pioneers and leaders within the literary field and beyond. 🙂

  2. What an interesting synchronicity…I was just reading up on Polynesian and (more specifically) Tongan culture/spirituality. I’ll try looking out for a copy of this…thanks for the recommendation 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s