"HOME, AWAY, ELSEWHERE" by Vaughan Rapatahana

Proverse Prize Semi-Finalist 2009
Preface by James Norcliffe

ISBN 978-988-19932-2-9
Pbk. 208pp.
21cm by 14.5cm.
Published November 2011.
Purchase and details link: Home, Away, Elsewhere

VAUGHAN RAPATAHANA is a New Zealander who has lived for many years in a variety of countries and now lives and works in Hong Kong. He published two collections of poetry in the 1980s, Down among the Dead Men and Street Runes. After a lapse of two decades, in 2008 Vaughan returned to poetry and has recently been published throughout Aotearoa-New Zealand, Australia, France, Hong Kong, Malaysia, The Philippines, Thailand, the UK and the U.S.A. In 2009 he was long-listed for the inaugural Proverse Prize in Literature. He is Poetry Editor for MAI Review Journal, a leading online academic journal specializing in the work of indigenous writers and a member of the New Zealand Poetry Society. Vaughan has a PhD in Existential Literature and Philosophy from the University of Auckland. His ancestry is Maori and he is affiliated to the TeAtiawa iwi (tribe). His wife is from the Philippines and they are a multilingual household.

HOME, AWAY, ELSEWHERE is a poetry collection in three parts. Home is events, situations, descriptions, and attitudes about Hong Kong, which is now Vaughan's home. Away contains poems about events, situations, descriptions, and attitudes about Aotearoa (New Zealand), in particular from a Maori (marginalised) perspective and also about all the other places where Vaughan has lived – The Republic of Nauru, Brunei Darussalam, The People's Republic of China, Australia, The United Arab Emirates (UAE), The Philippines. Elsewhere is emotions (the entire gamut), relationships (marriages, family, friends), deaths (parents, children), reflections – some wry, etcetera – not specifically tied to physical locations. Vaughan does not write to any set forms/formats but attempts to utilise type-face/shape/what a poem looks like on a page to reflect what he attempts to say. He writes to stay sane. "These poems express what I am, and what I also think people I see are, within. They are not mere academic or literary exercises. They are lived experiences, I guess."

"Poems with attitude. … passionate, uncompromising and sardonic. …there is darkness here … also wit in abundance and a playfulness in language and thought … at times laugh-out-loud funny…. a compelling voice and Vaughan uses it skillfully to tell us his stories, make his often pungent points, and take us places few of us have seen." — James Norcliffe, Robert Burns Fellow (2000), Aotearoa-New Zealand.

"These poems are pieces of an intricately interlinked multi-cultural and multi-lingual world, in which the poet must learn to live. In fact the poet relishes this confusing richness. His verses celebrate the graphic possibility of words, their visual appearance and sounds. So one must come to them with big eyes, big ears and a limitless imagination." — Muhammad Haji Salleh, National Laureate, Malaysia.

"Vaughan Rapatahana's poems are the testament of a post-colonial wanderer. An exploration of identity politics, they move between the bicultural and bilingual context of Aotearoa New Zealand and the extraterritorial context of globalisation. They criss-cross intersections of commerce, history and culture …. poems freighted with combustible emotions…. Sometimes dreamlike or riddling, sometimes elegiac, sometimes deliberately linguistically unstable, Vaughan Rapataha's poems make significant patterns out of the randomness of life's events and give succinct and effective voice to the peculiarly modern condition of the global nomad at once home everywhere and home nowhere." — David Eggleton, Editor of Landfall, Aotearoa-New Zealand.


Purchase and details link: Home, Away, Elsewhere


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