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Polynation Launching Saturday 25 May

Published: Fri 24 May 2024 11:24 AM
Friday 24 May 2024 – Manu Scripts Publishing is very pleased to announce the upcoming release of its first publication, Polynation by Fa‘afetai Ta‘asē. The book of poetry will be celebrated at a launch at Pātaka Art + Museum in Porirua, Fa‘afetai’s hometown, on Saturday 25 May from 1pm. The launch is open to the public.
Polynation is an exquisite book of poetry. The collection was written and bound by Fa'afetai Ta'asē and discovered after his passing by his sister Rev. Alofa Ta'asē Lale, QSM. Fa'afetai's poems stretch the mind and the heart, with political crispness, gentle romantic musings, and, above all, deep connection to his family and his home.
Alofa says “When I found Tai’s bound copy of his early poems, I knew there was a reason why I found them. Tai had left them there to be found. I knew at that moment that I had to publish them. It became my mission and my passion to publish his poems for everyone to share, as a way to celebrate Tai’s life and especially his poetic prowess.”
In publishing this collection, we honour a poet, a storyteller and a true son of Porirua.
Illustrator Sam Sakaria drew inspiration from Tai’s poems to create the imagery in the book. As well as through his artwork, Sam is woven into this book as one of Alofa’s former students and a member of their family’s church.
Manu Scripts Editor Mary McLaughlin says, “We feel very honoured to be able to produce this collection as the first publication from Manu Scripts. Working with Alofa and getting to know Fa‘afetai and his work through the process has been an absolute delight, and we can’t wait to share these poems with a wider audience.”
Polynation will be available for sale from Saturday 25 May at the launch and through the Manu Scripts website at manuscripts.nz.About the poet:
Fa‘afetai Ta‘asē was born on 8 July 1965, the son of Vaotupu and Levine Ta‘asē. Tai’s siblings are Alofa, the late Lepou Kennedy and Philip Ta’ase. The family lived in Cannons Creek and is well known in Porirua, contributing to the community as teachers, church leaders and artists.
Fa‘afetai had cerebral palsy and spent his early years in and out of hospital. Porirua was his home, and he was educated there and in Wellington. Fa‘afetai started out as a performance poet in the 1980s. His work explores themes of identity, family, love, faith and politics with a New Zealand-born Pacific lens. He writes with a sharp eye and a warm heart.
Fa‘afetai died unexpectedly in October 2022. He was laid to rest with his parents at Whenua Tapu Cemetery just outside Porirua.About Manu Scripts:
Manu Scripts is a publishing social enterprise working across Aotearoa and Te Moananui a Kiwa. We specialise in projects by women, Māori and Pasifika peoples that tell stories of whānau, activism and hauora, with a rich vein of poetry, history and music. We walk alongside people, working with them to find the right way to publish their stories and achieve their objectives for the work.
We interpret ‘publishing’ very broadly - it encompasses books, music, digital space and any other mechanism by which a creator wants to share their story with their audience.
Manu Scripts is a project of the Māori & Pasifika Education Trust.

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