Author(s): Albert Wendt
This new collection by Albert Wendt moves from the warm valley winds of Hawai'i to the seasons of a garden in Auckland. From Manoa to a Ponsonby Garden is a collection of poignant, extraordinary poems - alert and self-confident, challenging of literary conventions, rough-hewn yet imbued with compelling vitalism - by one of our most celebrated writers. Writing, family and the passing of time are constant preoccupations. Opening in Hawai'i, Wendt watches the changing shadows of the mountains from his verandah; considers the nature of mauli, the seat of life; walks protected in his wife's perfumed slipstream to work; and writes to Hone Tuwhare. In the second half, his Ponsonby garden provides the setting and vivid detail for 38 'garden' poems, interspersed with inky, drawn works. If hips need replacing, poets grow older, tsunami destroy and friends slip away, still a spirit of renewal pervades this collection.
Maualaivao Albert Wendt CNZM is of the āiga Sa-Maualaivao of Malie, āiga Sa-Su‘a of Lefaga, āiga Sa-Patu of Vaiala and āiga Sa-Asi of Moata‘a, Sāmoa. An esteemed poet, novelist, short-story writer, playwright and painter, Wendt has been an influential figure in New Zealand and Pacific literature since the 1970s and was made CNZM in 2001 for services to literature.