“Va is the space between… not empty space, not space that separates but space that relates, that holds separate entities and things together in the Unity-that-is-All, the space that is context, giving meaning to things. [In Samoan] manava = mana/va = stomach (mana = power, va = space) and manava = breathe." - Albert Wendt
In Mana/va, Nafanua Kersel will be in talanoa (conversation/discussion) with eminent poets Tusiata Avia and Dr Karlo Mila. With a focus on the impetuses and voices that inform and arise from their processes and remarkable new poetry; the poets will hold and tend to a va through which they may explore, share, and most probably laugh.
Among their many accolades, Avia and Mila are both previous recipients of Fullbright residencies and members of the NZ Order of Merit. Tusiata Avia’s collection The Savage Coloniser Book recently made her the first Pasifika woman to win the Mary and Peter Biggs Award for Poetry at this year’s Ockham NZ Book Awards. Dr Karlo Mila’s long-anticipated collection, Goddess Muscle, was long-listed for the same award.