ON THE EVE of the launch of his third book, Unfolding Petals: Readings in Modern PNG Literature, senior lecturer in Literature and English at the University of Papua New Guinea, Dr Regis Stella, died on Wednesday.
Dr Stella, born in Bougainville, held a PhD from the University of New South Wales and had been teaching at UPNG since 1988. His thesis on PNG literature was later published as a book that is now a recommended text in universities.
Dr Stella had been a deputy dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and was formerly the director of the Melanesian Institute of Arts and Communications.
Colleague and fellow writer Dr Steven Winduo described him as a reserved, intelligent and hard working man.
PNG Attitude contributor Peter Kranz said Dr Stella was “a private and talented man and a great writer”.
Dr Stella’s first novel in 1999 Gutsini Posa (‘rough seas’ in the Banoni language) was centred around the Bougainville crisis and experiences of that conflict.
Steven Winduo later wrote: “Far from its existential value, Gutsini Posa is a novel that [was] an important literary representation of the struggle of the Bougainville people to come to terms with the crisis that had completely devastated their moral and physical strength.
“Regis Stella’s place in the literary culture of PNG is secure.”
Thanks to Kairu Laho, UPNG Public Relations