Tusiata Avia was born in Christchurch in 1966, of Samoan descent. She is an acclaimed poet, performer and children’s book writer. Her poetry collections are Wild Dogs Under My Skirt (2004; also staged as a one-woman theatre show around the world from 2002–2008), Bloodclot (2009) and Fale Aitu/Spirit House (2016). Tusiata has held the Fulbright Pacific Writer’s Fellowship at the University of Hawai’i in 2005 and the Ursula Bethell Writer in Residence at University of Canterbury in 2010. She was also the 2013 recipient of the Janet Frame Literary Trust Award. She teaches creative writing and performing arts at Manukau Institute of Technology.
‘I think Tusiata Avia is one of the most exciting new writers to have come along in recent years. Her work does what the work of major writers is supposed to do: it enlarges the way you see the world.’ —Bill Manhire
‘I would personally bet that this is a voice, and an artist, which we are all likely to hear a lot more from in the future.’ —Kate Camp