Tusiata Avia


TUSIATA AVIA was born in Christchurch in 1966 and is of Samoan descent. An acclaimed performance poet, her work has also been published in various literary journals, including Turbine, Sport and Takahe. She has written and performed in radio dramas for Radio New Zealand and has published two children’s books, The Song and Mele and the Fofo.

She completed an MA in Creative Writing at Victoria University in 2002, the same year that she premiered her solo stage show, titled “Wild Dogs Under My Skirt”. Her first collection of poetry, also titled Wild Dogs Under My Skirt, was published by Victoria University Press in 2004.

Avia comments: ‘I’ve got to admit, I blanched just a little when I first learned that “Shower” was to appear in this anthology. The subject matter speaks for itself. Putting a poem like this out into the public space (particularly as the only poem representing one’s work) is a little challenging. In 2002 I was reading Sharon Olds – I love the way she writes about the deeply intimate. I find when I really connect with a poet’s work it often gives me access to a “place” I haven’t been to before.’


Poem: Shower



New Zealand Book Council writer file

Victoria University Press

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