IN EARLY 2013 Ghatane-Lulú was walking along Ela Beach at 6.30 a.m. when a young teenager, Katie (not her real name) called to him, “Fada, yu gat wan kina oh, mi no kaikai tudeis na mi laik dai ya”. [Father, do you have a kina; I haven’t eaten for two days and I feel like dying]
Well, he does meet plenty of the types, some genuine and some thugs, but has never been approached by a young lass like this. At first he ignored her, walked past but, after walking ten paces, turned around and walked back to her.
Some inner being told him to give her the ten kina he had with him to buy breakfast at the Ela Beach Service Station. Katie broke down and cried. This is her story.
I HAVE always unashamedly taken huge pride in my beautiful and unique country, Papua New Guinea – the world leader in languages and cultures. And with a long tradition of law.
PNG was not in a legal vacuum when Europeans colonised its tribes. It already had customary laws governing its affairs.
The colonisers ignored these laws and imposed their own. So today about 98% of the legal principles governing PNG have their origin in English common law, which could adequately address problems back in England but not necessarily in PNG.
Our problems can be unique, but a Melanesian jurisprudence can adequately deal with them.
Indeed, our forefathers saw the weakness of English common law and duly made provision in our Constitution for us to develop our own version of it which is referred to as ‘underlying law’ or indigenous jurisprudence.
JOHN Kali the head of PNG’s Department of Personnel Management has asked the PNG Post-Courier to retract what he terms “inaccurate and defamatory reporting” by an unnamed reporter.
Mr Kali said that two articles published in the newspaper concerned the appointment of an acting provincial administrator of Western Province.
The articles, on 18 and 20 January, were headlined ‘Corruption rates high in public offices’ and ‘Awaiting acting provincial administrator’.
THERE are some interesting books coming out in the USA about the tide which brought us the seismic shock of the American election which tomorrow delivers us President Donald Trump.
This tide is the same one that has given us Brexit and the rise of far right political parties in Western democracies.
It is possible, but highly unlikely, that the same tide will wash through Papua New Guinea in 2017.
The undertow that created this tide is a growing disenchantment with conventional politics and the growing inequalities between rich and poor.
In the wash of the tide are serious questions about the very nature of democracy.
My Walk to Equality, edited by Rashmii Amoah Bell, Pukpuk Publications, 278 pages. Paperback $US10.53 or Kindle $US1.00. ISBN-10: 1542429242. ISBN-13: 978-1542429245. Available here from Amazon
MY Walk to Equality is a remarkable achievement. Not only as Papua New Guinea’s first anthology of women writers but also for its inclusiveness, breadth of vision and balance.
The 45 writers of these 81 stories, essays and poems originate from many different parts of PNG and its islands.
Their day-jobs include aircraft mechanic, nurse, educator, lawyer, home producer, student and administrator.
They write as mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, friends and neighbours as well as professionals in their respective fields.
I HAVE never met Bronte Moules who is our (that is Australia’s) deputy high commissioner in Papua New Guinea – an important post in the PNG-Australia relationship.
But if I ever do meet her – and I hope to on a forthcoming visit to PNG – I think I’ll like her. I’ve found Bronte positive, helpful and a person who clearly has Papua New Guinean interests at heart.
Last October, Bronte was also expressing encouragement about what was the forthcoming publication of Rashmii Amoah Bell’s landmark collection of PNG women’s writing, My Walk to Equality, much mentioned in these columns of late.
“This sounds like a great initiative,” Bronte wrote to me in an email. “It’s something that we’d be interested, in principle, in supporting in some way.”
We, in this case, being the Australian High Commission.
WELL Rose and I watched two most magnificent Melanesian films last year and both brought us to tears, so I reckon it's time for a short review.
The first was Mr Pip (yes, it came out three years ago but better late than never) starring Hugh Laurie and Bougainville actors Eka Darville, Xzannjah Matsi and Healesville Joel.
It is based on the novel by New Zealand writer Lloyd Jones and is set in Bougainville during the civil war in the 1990s. The film is marvellously shot and acted and the music is by Tim Finn of the band Crowded House.
THIS week My Walk to Equality, the first ever collection of women’s writing by Papua New Guinean authors was made available to the public through Amazon Books prior to its dual launch in Port Moresby and Brisbane on International Women's Day in March. Leiao Gerega of the PNG Post-Courier newspaper spoke with the book’s editor, Rashmii Amoah Bell….
Leiao - As the woman behind this remarkable project, please can you tell us a little about yourself, your journey with writing, the challenges you face and your current profession.
Rashmii - My name is Rashmii Bell and I am from Sio in the Tewaii-Siassi local level government area in Morobe Province.
Reading has always been a part of my life so it feels like a natural progression to move into writing. I grew up surrounded by books in my family home and I have been able to access community libraries in Australia.
ON THE eve of the new year – which is 2017 not 1984 – Papua New Guinea’s cumbersomely named ‘National Information and Communications Technology Authority’, NICTA – continued its surreptitious assault on the nation’s freedom of speech.
According to its own propaganda, NICTA is “taking steps towards addressing the gross misuse and abuse of social media in Papua New Guinea”.
While there are undoubtedly reckless cowboys using PNG’s social media, one would have thought that the existing body of law related to defamation, privacy and related issues might be sufficient to deal with the slanderers, recalcitrants and other low life that unfortunately frequent every aspect of human existence – including the internet.
But no, the social media apparently require special oppression.
The Melancholy Chronicle of a Reluctant Librarian by ACT Marke, Frogmouth Press, 2016, ISBN: 978-0646958057, 375 pages, AU$30, including postage, from the author, firstname.lastname@example.org
TEMLETT Conibeer is a much misunderstood character.
And, I suspect, so too is his faithful chronicler, Andrew Marke.
Andrew likes to read 19th century Victorian novels. I think he might have read them all. And, as he has observed, people in those days knew how to write.
Essentially, what he has done in the five Temlett Conibeer novels is take a 19th century character, with all his repressed and conservative views and mannerisms, and dropped him into the 20th century - in particular the liberated 1960s and 70s.
Andrew Marke is author of the Temlett Conibeer series about the adventures of a colonial PNG malaria control officer. I’ll do a review of his latest book when I’ve finished reading it. I think a lot of people don’t understand his writing and don’t realise he is taking the micky. Marke is an avid fan of 19th century Victorian literature with all its terrible repression and conservatism and he plays on that in his main characters. He worked for the Papua New Guinean malaria eradication service for around 15 years until 1975 and was a friend of our late PNG Attitude colleague, David Wall - PF
YOU HAVE written your novel and now need to get it commercially published: Why? Because it is impossible for an individual to obtain other than limited local distribution.
It also means the publisher pays for editing, proof reading, typesetting, printing and advertising, all of which are expensive.
I have written five novels and only attempted to approach publishers for the first and last.
We offer a preview of Phil Fitzpatrick’s forthcoming Inspector Metau novel, ‘The Case of the Good Politician’, available soon as a free New Year’s present on PNG Attitude. “Hopefully it will be a reminder to people to consider their vote more carefully in 2017,” says Phil. Here's an extract from Chapter 8….
WHEN the Ex-Member had won his seat in the previous term of parliament he thought all his Christmases had come at once. He had mortgaged everything he owned on the outcome and had pulled in favours and clan obligations where he could and taken out a big loan from his new friend, Mr Han.
If he had lost he didn’t know what he would do. He would be penniless and the shame would be unbearable. But that was all behind him. He had paid out all of his accumulated dinau and come to an amicable agreement with Mr Han to repay him in unspecified kind rather than money.
The Legend of Timbaloo the Clever Cockatoo by Rebecca Duckworth, CreateSpace, 2016, ISBN: 978-1539774792, 30 pages, US$15.00 (AU$20.40/K47.60) plus postage. Available from Amazon here
THE largest template of the online self-publishing company CreateSpace is about A4 size and this is what Rebecca Duckworth has used for her new book about a sulphur-crested cockatoo called Timbaloo.
Rebecca has simply dropped her illustrations into each page with the words underneath. With a bit of effort the illustrations and text in such a format could be merged for a more interesting effect.
This is intended to be the first in a series of children’s books and I expect the design will be refined as Rebecca masters the CreateSpace medium.
An Uncertain Future by James Thomas, Pukpuk Publications, 2016, ISBN: 978-1541143739, 124 pages, available from Amazon Books US$6.03 plus postage.
A LONG time ago Sir Paulias Matane suggested that the best books for Papua New Guinea “should be small, simple and cheap”.
Sir Paulias stuck to that formula in the many books that he wrote after his first one, My Childhood in New Guinea, which had big type, simple language and was only 112 pages long.
I’m not sure whether Papua New Guineans would agree with that formula nowadays. Many read long and complex books and quite a few Papua New Guinean writers produce long and complex books.
Voice of Senemai: A Collection of Poems and Prose by Vagi Samuel Jnr, JDT Desktop Publishing, 2016, ISBN 978-1540761132, 146 pages, US$5.00 plus postage from Amazon
VAGI Samuel Jnr has been a regular contributor to PNG Attitude for a couple of years. Most of his contributions have been poetry but he has also published the occasional piece of prose.
In October this year, I was particularly taken by his short story, Kings of the Fish, Servants of the Sea - A Senemai Tradition, an entry in the Crocodile Prize.
Vagi has now published a book of his poetry and prose with the help of Jordan Dean, who has mastered the CreateSpace system and is rapidly catching up with Pukpuk Publications in output. Jordan will publish another new book by Julie Mota soon.
Elep Returns: The Story of a Tree and its Conversion into Paper by Arnold Mundua. Published (reprint) by Medtec, ISBN: 9789384007096, 160 pages. Available from the author here
AFTER reading my book, Elep Returns: The Story of a Tree and its Conversion into Paper, many people asked me if I been to Japan. I said no. They asked me about the Tatachi Paper Mill. I said no.
There have been many other questions and statements about the book.
Writers Phil Fitzpatrick and Iriani Wanma recently revealed that Elep Returns was the first book they had read where the main character was a tree. Several other readers have made the same comment.
So I felt it would be a good idea to give an overview of how I conceived and wrote Elep Returns and provide some insights about the book.
Elep Returns tells the story of how a tree – Elep - grew in Kandrian on the south coast of West New Britain and was cut down and exported to Japan as a round log.
Behind the Blockade by Veronica Hatutasi, Word Publishing Company, 2015. K66, 233 pages. ISBN-10: 998089024X. Available from Veronica at this email
VERONICA Hatutasi is a Bougainvillean, currently editor of Papua New Guinea’s only Tok Pisin newspaper, Wantok.
In 2004, Divine Word University recognised her with a journalism award for her work reporting the Bougainville crisis for over a decade.
In Behind the Blockade Veronica writes a personal account of the crisis in a journey takes her from the peaceful comfort of her happy family home in Toniva near Kieta to her home village of Monoitu in Siwai and then her final forced departure from Bougainville to Port Moresby.
FIFTY years ago, while Australian eyes were fixed on a contentious war in Vietnam, the army quietly began sending another taskforce overseas. This time it was to Papua New Guinea, and for a very different purpose.
Early in 1966, Denis O’Rourke should have been in his second year as a science teacher at Forbes High School in central western NSW.
Instead he found himself in the Australian Army, courtesy of prime minister Bob Menzies’ introduction of compulsory two-year “National Service” for a selection of 20-year-old males.
A Bride’s Price: A Novel by Arnold Mundua, 2nd edition, Medtec, New Delhi, 2014, ISBN: 978-9384007065, 274 pages, available from Abe Books, US$3.90 plus postage.
I GUESS many people have memories of lost love in their lives. The relationships that could have been but didn’t quite make it to the finish line for one reason or another, gradually becoming the stuff of random dreams and nostalgia.
This beguiling and bitter sweet novel is an account of one such lost love.
It is a familiar and perennial story in western literature and, indeed, in western media, especially television and film.
The infatuation with a goodtime girl who leads the gullible hero on a merry chase only to abandon him, the intervention of the kind-hearted homebody woman and then, inevitably, the destruction of the goodtime girl.
Attack on the Black Cat Track, Max Carmichael, Melbourne Books, November 2016, $29.95, ISBN: 9781925556018
ON 10 September 2013 seven Australians and one New Zealander set out on an epic adventure to trek Papua New Guinea’s remote Black Cat Track.
Situated to the north of the Kokoda Track, the Black Cat is said to be tougher than its more famous neighbour and the trekkers were keen to test themselves against the gruelling terrain.
Poetry is Therapy – Life beyond the Dark Clouds by Bruce Jacob Blada, CreateSpace, 2016, 86 pages, ISBN 978-1539597094, US$4.50 plus postage from Amazon Books
IT IS not possible to disagree with this title – poetry is indeed therapy. And that is the take-home message from this collection of poems from Bruce Jacob Blada.
There is a life beyond the dark clouds and Mr Blada has travelled there. These poems are a collection of his adventures and misadventures.
Bruce’s poetry is plain and easy to read. He does not hide his thoughts behind a thick veil or web of intrigues, or a ‘dark cloud’ of secrecy that requires the reader to wade through with caution.
Cultural Refugees – An Anthology of Poems, Julie Mota, CreateSpace, 2016, 56 pages, ISBN: 978-1539357619, US$8 plus postage from Amazon Books
THIS MAY well be the first book-length poetry collection by a Papua New Guinean woman produced in the last decade.
And just as women play an overlooked but vital and often timely role in our domestic lives, this contribution to PNG’s literary culture is just what we need to even the balance and add the right amount of spice to make a much more hearty home-made meal.
Julie Mota is no stranger to creative work, in fact, she has a degree in it. After graduating in fine arts at the University of Papua New Guinea she began working as an artist and writer, with her art exhibited and collected in major art galleries and museums in Europe and the United States.
I’M AN inveterate rummager among the narrow aisles of second hand and antiquarian bookshops.
I frequent the second hand bookshops in the hope of stumbling across some treasure that the bookseller hasn’t realised is valuable or which interests me but perhaps no one else.
These discoveries are few and far between because I must sort through mountains of dross. This is especially so if the bookshop is disorganised. Sometimes the disorganisation is so great, I don’t even bother.
Booksellers who sort their shelves by category and arrange the authors alphabetically are blessed.
The antiquarian booksellers are a different matter. Not only are they organised but they know the value of what they sell. But they are worth a look if you are a PNG-phobe.
Jorda n Dean has not only been quietly writing short stories and poems and publishing them using CreateSpace for a while now, he has also been helping other authors do the same thing. So far Jordan has published a collection of short stories and two collections of poetry. A fourth book is nearly complete. His independent approach is inspiring and we hope other Papua New Guinean writers will follow in his footsteps – PF
I’VE BEEN writing poetry and short stories for over a decade now. After completing my primary and secondary education in Alotau, Milne Bay Province, in 2003 I was selected to study Bachelor in Arts, majoring in literature at the University of Papua New Guinea.
My lecturers were the Papua New Guinean literary legends, Professor Steven Winduo, Russell Soaba and Dr Regis Stella.
That’s when I started writing about my experiences, reflections, perspectives, feelings, emotions, dreams, aspirations and everyday issues: issues capable of depriving us of our freedom.
As a student at that time, I saw writing in English as presenting the kind of empowered voice of resistance that literature had offered throughout the post-colonial world.
I THINK we’re all generally agreed that the future of creative writing in Papua New Guinea will have to rely on digital publishing using online services such as Amazon’s CreateSpace.
Without serious government support or input from private philanthropic sources prepared to provide ongoing funding, there appears to be no other option.
This is not as bad as it sounds because digital publishing offers many advantages over conventional publishing. So much so that established writers are beginning to use it.
It gives writers control over their work, including editorial and marketing options, and its print-on-demand capacity mitigates the need to carry large stocks of books that may or may not be sold.
SOME people know early on in life what they’re good at, while others discover what they’re good at later. I’m in this second group.
Arnold Mundua wrote recently that he didn’t think he could ever become an author. I never planned to be one either; I just knew I liked to write – a joy I discovered as a teenager through the simple act of composing letters to my family and friends.
It’s amazing how one thing leads to another. In 2014, my story Oa the grasshopper & Kaipa the caterpillar, won the Crocodile Prize for children’s writing.
At the time that award was sponsored by Buk bilong Pikinini and I can recall the moment of disbelief and then uncontrollable excitement when I read Keith’s email informing me I had won.
For me, having my entry included in the Crocodile Prize Anthology that year was an achievement in itself and I was absolutely delighted but to win first prize in the category was definitely the cherry on top.
AUTHOR and historian Eric Johns has a dilemma. He’s putting the finishing touches to a biographical piece on the late Sir Vincent Eri (pictured) and has been unable to determine the names of his father and mother.
“I know that his dad was on the Bulldog Track, carrying for the Australians during the war,” says Eric.
“He became ill, returned home to Moveave and died soon after.
“His mother had died before the war started.
“But I haven't been able to track down their names.
“Could you possibly help me with this?”
The White Mary by Kira Salak, Picador, New York, 2008, ISBN: 978-0-312-42904-1, 351 pages. Available from Amazon Books for $US14.86 plus postage
THIS IS one of those books that slips under the radar and which you only find by accident when you’re looking for something else.
I don’t know whether it was ever released in Australia and I doubt that it ever made it to Papua New Guinea.
It became another one of those things written about Papua New Guinea that Papua New Guineans never got to see.
I received my American copy second hand and it came with a Denver to Orlando United Airlines boarding pass as a bookmark.
ONE of the really satisfying things about PNG Attitude and the Crocodile Prize is that every so often a writer of impressive power comes along.
Sometimes they just jump out at you and at other times they creep up behind you and it takes a while to notice them.
Wardley D Barry-Igivisa is one of the former. Upon sighting his first poem, it was obvious that a major talent had emerged.
Like many Papua New Guinean writers, Ward has set out on a long and arduous road with many pitfalls and little reward.
He is now a traveller who needs help along the way if he is to reach the final destination of having his name scrawled up there on the rickety totem pole of Papua New Guinean literature.
An entry in the 2016 Crocodile Prize
PEOPLE who see the title of this article for the first time will wonder if there is any such word as Writeatoullie in any of the world’s languages.
Indeed the word is not to be found in any modern dictionary for it is a word I created after watching Brad Bird’s 2007 Academy Award winning animated film, Ratatoullie.
Ratatoullie is a French dish prepared by expert chefs and the movie tells the story of how a colony of rats in Paris could cook Ratatoullie too, proving restaurant critic Anton Ego wrong when he disagreed with the title of a cookbook, ‘Anyone Can Cook’.
The critic was adamant until, when he finally tasted what the rats cooked, he had to concede that anyone can cook.
DO YOU remember the anecdote, much quoted by United Nations personnel in days of yore, that you can give a man a fish and feed him for a day; but if you teach him how to fish you’ll feed the village for a lifetime?
Unlike many gratuitous adages, there’s a lot of wisdom in that one.
There was a hint of it in author Daniel Kumbon’s recent suggestion that Australia send English teachers to Papua New Guinea to promote literacy rather than giving the government aid funds to squander or boomerang back to Australia.
Reputation at Risk by Alex Harris, $30 incl postage (or $10 digital version emailed to you), 152 pp, paperback, ISBN 9780980620603. Available here from Alex Harris
SEVERAL years ago, occasional PNG Attitude commentator, Alex Harris, born in Papua New Guinea and supporter of all things Papua New Guinean, published a short book called Reputation at Risk.
In the book, Alex (pictured here with Martyn Namorong in Noosa recently) pointed out the value and necessity of corporations maintaining a good reputation.
In many respects what she said is equally applicable to government.
The Chalkies: Educating an Army for Independence by Darryl R Dymock, Australian Scholarly Publishing, $35.00, paperback, ISBN: 9781925333770. Available here from Avid Reader
THE shared history of our two nations – Papua New Guinea and Australia - is a wonderful thing, especially when it is positive and two cultures meet with satisfactory outcomes for both.
This wonderful event should be celebrated and embraced by everyone but unfortunately few people from either culture know the story and the benefits that were derived.
It came about during the Vietnam War period. A ballot was held on 10 March 1965 to select Australian 20 year old males as conscripts to boost Australian Forces at home and overseas.
IT’S been a while since PNG Attitude asked readers to kick in for a worthwhile cause, but Phil Fitzpatrick came up with a good idea and now Jo Holman, wife of the late Hal Holman, has come up with the means.
The idea, which Phil brought to life in a piece last week, is simple: funds are provided to buy books which are sent to their Papua New Guinean authors to sell, hopefully retaining the proceeds to buy more books.
More PNG authors are stepping up to the plate to publish books, thanks to the CreateSpace innovation which enable free publication.
UNLESS you are extremely lucky there is very little financial reward attached to being a writer.
In Australia the average annual income of a full-time writer is currently $12,900, well below the poverty line in our money driven society.
In Papua New Guinea, it’s fair to say writers’ incomes are not far above zero. That doesn’t help Papua New Guinean literature.
This is one of the hardest truths to convey to new writers when they approach Pukpuk Publications for help in getting their books to market.
Two Sides to Every Story: A short guide to cross cultural awareness in Papua New Guinea, Philip Fitzpatrick, Pukpuk Publications, 2016, ISBN: 978-1537118406, 114 pages, US$5.53 plus postage from Amazon Books
SEVERAL years ago I wrote a paper about cultural awareness. It was based on my experiences working in Papua New Guinea, with indigenous communities in Australia and in some South Pacific islands, including Vanuatu and the Cook Islands.
My target audience was resource and project developers in Papua New Guinea. With that in mind I consulted many sources including a number of Papua New Guineans working in the field - geologists, camp managers and anthropologists.
I was prompted to write the paper, which finds a new life in this book, after watching the unnecessary problems that development workers and project managers seem to experience in Papua New Guinea because of their lack of cultural awareness.
Land of the Unexpected: short stories, anecdotes and memoirs of Papua New Guinea, Peter Comerford, APM Publishing Services, 2016, ISBN: 978-0994447425, 360 pages, $25 plus postage from Peter. Email him here
WHEN Peter Comerford’s book arrived in the mail a few weeks ago I looked at the title and cover and thought, ‘Oh dear, not another one’, and put the book at the bottom of my stack of unread books.
When I eventually worked my way down to it I discovered a note inside from Peter that explained his own trepidation about the title,
“My original idea for a title was ‘Tingting Bek …’ but in the end I went with the highly ‘original’ title of ‘Land of the Unexpected’”.
I’ve never been very good with book titles and headlines either. That’s more in the line of an expert journalist like Keith Jackson and I can sympathise with Peter.
WHEN prime minister Peter O’Neill welcomed the passing of Papua New Guinea’s cybercrime legislation this week, he said the internet must be a place where "human rights are respected and cowards not misuse technology to hurt people and incite violence.”
Commentator Martyn Namorong’s immediate response was to say he was quitting his long-running and respected blog, The Namorong Report.
He said the new laws had elements that caused him concern, including a section with vague references to "defamation" and "undermining the state"which could potentially be used to quash criticism of the government.
ON THE eve of his visit to Australia to attend the Brisbane Writers Festival, award winning writer and political commentator Martyn Namorong has decided to shut down his blog to, as he put it, “avoid the risk of being charged under PNG's new cybercrime laws”.
Namorong announced to his readers yesterday that “in light of PNG's new draconian cybercrime legislation, I regret to inform you all that my blog is no longer available for public viewing.”
He says he is concerned that the new legislation, passed by parliament last week, could lead to a crackdown on freedom of expression in Papua New Guinea although officially the Cybercrime Bill seeks to control things like spam, hacking, forgery and computer fraud.
REGULAR readers of PNG Attitude may have noticed a new byline on a number of stories we’ve recently published on this blog, mostly focusing on current news events.
Peter Kinjap, 36, is the writer and he comes with an excellent pedigree in both academic achievement, heritage writing and journalism.
“I’m a freelance journalist not because I want extra bucks but because writing became my hobby at UPNG 14 years back,” Peter says.
Since that time he has written regularly for newspapers like the Post-Courier, The National Weekender The Independent and the Sunday Chronicle, where he’s a columnist, as well as New Age women’s magazine and his own content-rich blog, The Melanesian Way, which you can link to here.
PAPUA New Guinea’s Communication Minister, Jimmy Miringtoro, has said that legal action must be taken against online news sources that the government considers have published false and misleading information.
Miringtoro targeted online news sites Loop PNG, EMTV and the ABC for mention, and told PNG Today that this reporting “costs millions of kina in lost national investment, income and employment.”
He said recent reports by the news organisations "were completely inaccurate but went viral through global news sources and social media.
"As our country prepares to host the most significant trade and investment forum in our history, we have these online news reporters sending information around the world that is false," he said.
Tattooed Face: A Collection of Poems by Jordan Dean, JDT Desktop Publishing, 2016, 70 pages, ISBN: 978-1535348713, US$4.00 plus postage from Amazon Books
I’VE COMMENTED before on the link between Papua New Guinea’s traditional oral literature and the work of its modern writers, especially its poets.
In these observations I’ve expressed the view that there is a logical continuity from the old to the new that gives Papua New Guinean poetry a unique and distinct regional flavour.
As proof of this hypothesis is the popularity of poetry ‘slams’ in the country.
A ‘slam’ is poetry as performance rather than a reading experience. A ‘slam’ poem is a cross between folk song and formal poetry. Unlike the latter, it comes with a degree of theatre – poetry as showbiz.
THE attacks on and verbal abuse of media workers as they perform their public duties is an embarrassment to Papua New Guinea’s democracy, says opposition leader Don Polye.
Polye was commenting on journalists and a photographer who narrowly escaped harm while covering the imprisonment of a politician in Port Moresby last week.
“When we are in government, we will fund insurance cover for media personnel and pass laws to protect them from abuses and assaults from public,” he said.
Polye called on the people to understand the roles and responsibilities of the media.
SORRY to have to say this, but I have just seen the most egregious piece of pseudo-anthropological nonsense ever shown on Australian television.
It is entitled Cannibal Crusade and has just been screened on Channel 7; a sham perpetrated by Greg Grainger who should know better. Its very title says all that needs to be said.
The mockumentary purports to be an exciting trek into the untouched wilds of West Papua, in the Baliem Valley and amongst the Dani and Asmat peoples.
Grainger relentlessly portrays the timeworn western stereotypes about the Melanesian people.
ABCDreams by WD Barry-Igivisa, Pukpuk Publications, 2016, ISBN: 978-1535429733, 221 pages. Available from Amazon Books for US$10 plus postage
AS PAPUA New Guinean writers and poets GO from strength to strength, this book of poems is yet another example of a young poet taking his work into the public forum with confidence and passion.
Wardley D Barry-Igivisa represents a second wave of poets emerging through the Crocodile Prize, although he has been honing his skills elsewhere for some years now.
In this book, we find selected poems that provide a kaleidoscope of our young poet’s vision.
We can say with great pride that, since the rekindling of PNG’s literary flame in 2010, a small spark has grown into a steady blaze and its cinders, carried by the winds of change, now flutter and flicker into dark Melanesian skies.
SURPRISING that a conference involving some of the brightest minds in journalism education from around the world should be ignored by New Zealand’s local media.
Some 220 people from 43 countries were at the Fourth World Journalism Education Congress conference in Auckland.
The range of diversity alone at the Auckland University of Technology hosted event was appealing, but it was the heady mix of ideas and contributions that offered an inspiring backdrop.
Topics included strategies for teaching journalism for mobile platforms; 'dewesternising' journalism education; transmedia storytelling; digital media under the periscope; new views on distance learning, and ethical issues in journalism were just a representative sample of what was on offer.
Emotionally Famished by Marlene Dee Gray Potoura, Pukpuk Publications, 2016, 123 pages, ISBN: 978-1535268714, US$6.03 plus postage from Amazon Books.
My Brother Warrollu by Marlene Dee Gray Potoura, Pukpuk Publications, 2016, 134 pages, ISBN: 978-1535268738, US$6.33 plus postage from Amazon Books.
AMONG the final new Pukpuk Publications books for this year are two by one of my favourite Papua New Guinean writers, the prolific Marlene Dee Gray Potoura.
One is a second book of 21 short stories and the other is the first in a series of books for children, something we must pay more attention to in 2017.
Marlene’s stories have always landed on the short list for the Crocodile Prize but she has always been pipped at the post by something else that catches the judge’s eyes.
A PAPUA New Guinea media educator has called for an investigation into coverage of the two months of protest at the nation’s universities, including last month’s incident when police opened fire on peaceful students.
Emily Matasorosoro, leader of the journalism strand at the University of Papua New Guinea, was critical of students protesting against the media earlier in the period of unrest for burning the two national newspapers, PNG Post-Courier and The National, on campus.
But, she added, they did this to “show their frustrations” over how they viewed the media as taking sides in the dispute.
Can’t Sleep: Poems, First Impressions, Satire & Essays on Cultural Aspects of Enga Province, Papua New Guinea, Compiled by Daniel Kumbon, Enga Writer’s Association, ISBN: 978-1535133845, US$6.38 plus postage from Amazon Books
THE people of Papua New Guinea have a long traditional history of oral literature.
Like many societies that have always lived close to the earth, there are many natural story tellers and poets among them.
This is especially so in Enga Province in the central highlands where resides the largest cultural group in Papua New Guinea.