Poetry Shelf noticeboard: Nina Mingya Powles launches Magnolia at Food Court Books

Seraph Press and Food Court Books invite you to come and celebrate the launch of Magnolia 木蘭 by Nina Mingya Powles.

When: Saturday 13 March, 3 pm
Where: Food Court Books, 84 Constable Street, Newtown, Wellington

Nina will read from Magnolia 木蘭 and copies will be for sale.

For every copy of Magnolia 木蘭 you buy at the launch you’ll also receive an extra special gift (while stock lasts): a gorgeous risograph print of ‘Last eclipse’, one of the poems in the collection, which Nina has printed herself.

About the book:


Shanghai, Aotearoa, Malaysia, London—all are places poet Nina Mingya Powles calls home and not-home; from each she can be homesick for another. A gorgeous bittersweet longing and hunger runs through the poems in this new collection from one of our most exciting poetic voices.

In Magnolia 木蘭 Powles explores her experience of being mixed-race and trying to find her way through multiple languages: English, Mandarin, Hakka, Māori. Powles uses every sense to take us on a journey through cities, food and even time, weaving her story with the stories of women from history, myth and film.

The gorgeous cover features an artwork by Kerry Ann Lee.

Magnolia 木蘭 is longlisted for the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards for the Mary and Peter Biggs Award for Poetry, and the UK edition was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for best first collection.


About the author:


Nina Mingya Powles is a poet, zinemaker and non-fiction writer of Malaysian-Chinese and Pākehā heritage, currently living in London. She is the author of a food memoir, Tiny Moons: A Year of Eating in Shanghai (The Emma Press, 2020), poetry box-set Luminescent (Seraph Press, 2017), and several poetry chapbooks and zines, including Girls of the Drift (Seraph Press, 2014). In 2018 she was one of three winners of the inaugural Women Poets’ Prize, and in 2019 won the Nan Shepherd Prize for Nature Writing. Nina has an MA in creative writing from Victoria University of Wellington and won the 2015 Biggs Family Prize for Poetry. She is the founding editor of Bitter Melon 苦瓜, a risograph press that publishes limited-edition poetry pamphlets by Asian writers. Her collection of essays, Small Bodies of Water, is forthcoming from Canongate Books in 2021.

For more information

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