Poetry in Multicultural Oceania - Book 3 Cover

Poetry in Multicultural Oceania - Book 3

Using diverse perspectives to build students' understanding of poetry and multiculturalism

Following on from the highly popular Books 1 and 2 in this series, Poetry in Multicultural Oceania – Book 3 is a teaching resource that augments students' understanding and appreciation of poetry, as well as providing opportunities for the creative writing of poetry.

Although this series is designed primarily for Years 6–9, it is of value far beyond – including for learners with a first language other than English, and adults who want to develop their own appreciation of poetry. Because this resource is designed to make poetry accessible for everyone, regardless of their ability, it assumes users have little prior knowledge of poetry.

However, some prior teaching of certain poetic terms and techniques, introduced gradually through this book, would be an advantage. Helpful hints are also sprinkled liberally throughout the resource. Given its overlying theme of multiculturalism, this book is also valuable as a social studies teaching resource. Its activities are based on poems by leading Australian and New Zealand poets, primarily from minority ethnic groups, who reflect the increasingly diverse nature of the societies of Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.

As students develop their understanding and appreciation of the poems, they will also have ample opportunities to discuss and consider multicultural voices in their own communities. It is also important to note that modern poetry is not restricted by traditional styling and set formats. For example, it need not have rhyme, regular rhythm and line lengths, verses, a certain overall number of lines, punctuation and so on. Indeed, modern poetry is open to an almost unbounded array of styling, word and language use, experimentation and content – although, of course, traditional verse forms can still be used, if a poet chooses to. Moreover, a modern multicultural poem does not necessarily have to be written entirely in any one language. So what does characterise a modern poem? Definitely it will contain some sort of rhythm and some obvious line breaks. Generally it will have some repetition of sounds, if not of words and phrases. And it will contain imagery, of course.

Ages: 12-14 | Pages: 84 | Code: 51102 | ISBN: 9781776556014

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Picture of Vaughan Rapatahana

Vaughan Rapatahana

Vaughan Rapatahana (Te Ätiawa) commutes between homes in Hong Kong, Philippines, and Aotearoa New Zealand. He is widely published across several genre in both his main languages, te reo Mäori and English and his work has been translated into Bahasa Malaysia, Italian, French, Mandarin, Romanian, Spanish.

He earned a Ph. D from the University of Auckland with a thesis about Colin Wilson and writes extensively about Wilson. Rapatahana is a critic of the agencies of English language proliferation and the consequent decimation of indigenous tongues, inaugurating and co-editing English language as Hydra and Why English? Confronting the Hydra (Multilingual Matters, Bristol, UK, 2012 and 2016).

He is also a poet, with eight collections published in Hong Kong SAR; Macau; Philippines; USA; England; France, India, and Aotearoa New Zealand. Atonement (UST Press, Manila) was nominated for a National Book Award in Philippines (2016); he won the inaugural Proverse Poetry Prize the same year; and was included in Best New Zealand Poems (2017).

In July 2018, he participated in the Hauterives Literary Festival in France. In September 2019, he participated in the World Poetry Recital Night, in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia. In October 2019, he participated in the Poetry International Festival at The Southbank Centre, London. He also appeared at the Medellin Poetry Festival in Colombia during August 2021,

Rapatahana is one of the few World authors who consistently writes in and is published in te reo Mäori (the Mäori language). It is his mission to continue to do so and to push for a far wider recognition of the need to write and to be published in this tongue.

New Zealand Book Council Writers File is https://www.bookcouncil.org.nz/writer/rapatahana-vaugh


1. Mother Earth – Nola Gregory6
2. old poet – Brian Potiki9
3. From a Bridge – Bob Orr11
4. Tai – Briar Wood14
5. The Last Apology – Ellen Van Neerven18
6. Watch How the Chinese walk – Stephen Chan21
7. Love is a resurrection – Courtney Sina Meredith24
8. Cousins – Tayi Tibble .27
9. Mäori Lesson Number One – Madeleine Slavick31
10. Mother Tongue – Nina Mingya Powles34
11. A Love Letter to My Mother: A Work in Progress – Wen-Juenn Lee38
12. what comes after – Emma Shi42
13. Ho Ho Heil – Les Wicks45
14. Peanuts Pickled in Aged Vinegar – Vanessa Crofskey48
15. A Thai-Chinese Stay at Home Mother Gets Political – Aiwa Pooamorn52
16. Entreaty – Anahera Gildea58
17. Conversation with a mannequin from the Marquesas – Karlo Mila63
About the poets68
Suggested answers70