This long-awaited poetry collection from award-winning Pasifika poet Karlo Mila spans work written over a decade. The poems are both personal and political. They trace the effect of defining issues such as racism, poverty, violence, climate change and power on Pasifika peoples, Aotearoa and beyond.
They also focus on the internal and micro issues – the ending of a marriage, the hope of new relationships, and the daily politics of being a partner, woman and mother. The collection meditates on love and relationships and explores identity, culture, community and belonging with a voice that does not shy away from the difficult.
Dr Karlo Mila is a New Zealand-born poet of Tongan and Pākehā descent with ancestral connections to Samoa. She is currently Programme Director of Mana Moana, Leadership New Zealand. This leadership programme is based on her postdoctoral research on harnessing indigenous language and ancestral knowledge from the Pacific to use in contemporary leadership contexts. Karlo received an MNZM in 2019 for services to the Pacific community and as a poet, received a Creative New Zealand Contemporary Pacific Artist Award in 2016, and was selected for a Creative New Zealand Fulbright Pacific Writer’s Residency in Hawaii in 2015.
Goddess Muscle is Karlo's third book of poetry. Her first, Dream Fish Floating, won NZSA Jessie Mackay Best First Book of Poetry Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2006. In 2008, Karlo collaborated with German-born artist Delicia Sampero to produce A Well Written Body. Karlo's poetry has been published in in many anthologies, in a variety of journals and online.
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