Next week Saturday, I’m looking forward to our final book launch of the year that features our third collection of the Mana Mangere writers collectives. The titles of our collections so far are:

  1. Mana Mangere Voices (2017)
  2. Sense of Belonging (2018)
  3. Navigating Journeys (2019)

This year, I decided to invite some more youth writers to join us in contributing to the theme ‘Navigating Journeys’ and we were able to work with 13 student writers aged from 5 – 18 years old. This was alongside 7 adult writers from the group who contributed their poetry and/or stories.

What was really neat was to read the different perspectives of each writer navigating a journey and I hope that readers will also share in the celebrations on Saturday as we will be having it at our local library with families and friends invited to the event.

This year, I decided that the front cover would need to reflect the idea of going on a journey and I used my ‘malu patterns’ (traditional Samoan women’s’ tattoo) painting i.e. acrylics on canvas to portray that idea as discussed in earlier blogs.

For the blue background, I wanted to highlight the idea of navigating the deep blue moana or ocean as my past ancestors from many, many moons ago would have done. I then saw some artwork that our middle child was drawing and asked if it would be okay to use it for the back cover (commissioned of course).

As an artist, I always want each book to look unique and for each book’s front and back cover to feature as an original art piece that captures the eye with symbolic meanings that correspond with the theme. To also showcase the artistic talent of artists around me is very important in sharing their gifts.

I hope that readers will enjoy our latest collection of prose and poetry with an eclectic mix of perspectives and thoughts on the topic. So if you’re free, why not join us next week Saturday with some poetry and prose reading at Mangere Town centre library 1.30 – 2.30pm with light refreshments…