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Thursday, 21 February 2019 01:43 pm

Fellowship poet’s creative koha to world

THREE weeks of peace and creative freedom await Mariana Isara, after accepting her place on the Lavinia Winter Fellowship at New Pacific Studio in the Wairarapa.

Self portrait fo the multi-talented  Mariana

SELF PORTRAIT: Artist Mariana Isara as she sees herself.

The fellowship – created by Wairarapa writer and historian Gareth Winter to commemorate the memory of his daughter Lavinia who died four years ago – gives young writers a chance to take time out from the usual domestic duties and to think about their writing.

Mariana, 29, from Christchurch, has been writing since childhood.
The first poem she remembers writing was about her scraggly black and white cat Whiskers Fluffykins.

“It was handwritten inside a black cat silhouette and won a special prize in a children’s writing competition and was displayed for a fortnight in Linwood City Mall,” she says.

This first foray into poetry moved to “lyrical hormonal poetry during my teens (written) in small blue lined notebooks with celestial covers”.

At 16, she decided to be a poet and do The Bill Manhire course at Victoria University’s Institute of Modern Letters.

She completed her masters in 2007, and found out about the fellowship through the institute’s newsletter.

The life of a poet was not always her plan. She had been obsessed with dinosaurs and big words and had considered palaeontology, opera singing and becoming an artist were other ideas.

fellowship2

LAVINIA WINTER

“For her application to the residency, she submitted a haiku inspired by sighting a winter garden in a nunnery”

“Other poems she submitted include a piece that draws on research about a traditional erotic Samoan dance, a poem partially inspired by being spoken to in Te Reo in a dream, and an anaphoric (a poem in which lines begin with the same phrase) piece she reworked in the after-shock of the tsunami in Samoa.”

“I see writing poetry as the work of my lifetime,” she says.

“Because poetry has little market value, I like to think of it as a creative koha to the world, which I hope to contribute to. In more pragmatic terms, I hope to some day publish my own collection of poems.”

During the residency she plans to draw inspiration from the Wairarapa landscape, history and mythology.

Mariana will be leaving her Christchurch studio apartment – which is “too small to contain my collection of books, let alone make art in” – to the country lifestyle at New Pacific Studio at Mt Bruce in January.

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is a Whitireia Journalism student. He started his life in the Wairarapa, moving to Wellington in 2009 to do his journalism training after many years of freelance writing.
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  1. i have lots of thing to say about your beautiful but can u plz write a poem about samoan dancing by kajol

    plz can u get it done i need advise

    kajol and i will alway be a big fan

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