Nina Powles – the author of one my favourite 2017 poetry reads (Luminescent) – writes of her experience living in Shanghai and two New Zealand authors who preceded her: Agnes Moncrieff and Robin Hyde. I also recommend Nina’s little chapbook, Girls of the Drift, that invents a letter conversation between Jessie Mackay and Blanche Baughan.
See the Pantograph Punch feature here.
‘The way I write about home changes when I’m away. The sea gets bluer, the hills become sun-drenched. But our ideas of ‘home’ and ‘away from home’ are becoming increasingly less fixed; they are no longer polar opposites but different, parallel ways of feeling and being. I am one of a growing number of New Zealanders who feels at home in two different cultures and in multiple places in the world. Writing to and about home from somewhere else is more than just an act of maintaining connection or keeping a record. For those of us who identify as mixed race, we are trying to keep hold of something, to tether ourselves to somewhere familiar while we go off in search of other homes, both old and new. ‘