Philip Kai Morre - committed to his God, his church and his people
NOOSA – Philip Kai Morre – a regular contributor to our Comments section from Kundiawa in Papua New Guinea - graduated from St Fidelis College in Alexishafen in 1980.
He then completed a preparatory spiritual year in the Catholic Church at Erave in 1981 before progressing to the Holy Spirit Seminary in Bomana near Port Moresby.
Continue reading "The continuing mission of a man of peace" »
Latasha Akane - "Never stop doing what you’re passionate about. Use your gift to inspire others"
LATASHA LALAAH AKANE
| Ples Singsing
PORT MORESBY - Writing is a hobby of mine and I am passionate about it, although people who know me realise how I can never keep anything short.
But they also know that I willingly compile group assignments, edit people’s work and proofread because I find pleasure in writing.
Continue reading "This is how to wrap an essay competition" »
TUMBY BAY - Writing the first book is hard but believe me it’s the second one that is really challenging, especially if the first has been a success.
In that second book you have to live up to the expectations you created with the first one.
You can’t write the same book again but there have to be faint echoes of the first one to please your readers.
Continue reading "Second book blues, but after that it’s easy" »
NOOSA – Last night I received a contribution for publication from a person I respect who is a prodigiously talented Papua New Guinean writer.
The opening paragraph of the piece offered an ostensible quote which provided a foundation for the ensuing polemic.
Continue reading "A note on the integrity of what we write" »
Literary benefactors Daniel Kumbon and Paul Kurai in their beloved mountains of Enga
| Ples Singsing
PORT MORESBY - With only two weeks to go before the awards ceremony for the first Tingting Bilong Mi essay competition, we received a pleasant surprise.
It came by way of a comment on the PNG Attitude story by Pat Levo and Keith Jackson, ‘Women Triumph in First Essay Contest’.
Continue reading "Ples Singsing gets a valuable helping hand" »
Derived from the short story, ‘The Old Man, His Wife and the Young Girl’, adapted from Daniel Kumbon’s book, ‘Survivor: Alive in Mum’s Loving Arms’ available here from Amazon
FICTION - Rosemary and the Old Man had come across the girl a couple of years before when she sent a random text message to his mobile phone pleading for financial assistance.
The girl claimed to be thirteen and wanting to complete her primary education.
Continue reading "Love, grief & the Old Man’s dilemma" »
TUMBY BAY - Many writers, especially creative writers, use fiction and poetry as a kind of therapy.
For these people, and I’m one of them, writing about matters of concern or anxiety - be they personal, political or otherwise - can be as effective as visiting a psychiatrist or some similar therapist.
Continue reading "Now here's something: Writing as therapy" »
| Ples Singsing
LAE - I had been following Caroline Evari’s poems on PNG Attitude for some time and was very glad to see her publish ‘Nanu Sina: My Words’ in 2019.
The book is presented in four sections: Conflicts, Relationships, Hope, and Family.
Continue reading "The observations of Caroline Evari" »
Michael Dom - "People think English is the only language ‘good enough’ to demonstrate their capacity to write creatively. This is a silly notion that needs to change in order for PNG to really have a thriving creative writing culture"
NOOSA – Michael Dom, an established and most readable poet, has in recent years occasionally delved into the intricacies of translating his poetry between English, Tok Pisin and Hiri Motu.
Translation of this kind is a high art because it goes beyond the literal into often complex metaphors that do not translate readily from one language to another.
Continue reading "Tok Pisin’s emergence as a literary language" »
NOOSA – The inaugural Tingting Bilong Mi [My Opinion] essay contest for Papua New Guinean writers under the age of 35 resulted in some great writing.
The contest was the brainchild of Dr Michael Dom and the ‘Mastermind’ team and the topic asked the young writers to expound on the subject of whether the PNG government should set its mind to encouraging and supporting home-grown literature.
Continue reading "Essay contest delivered some useful lessons" »
PATRICK LEVO & KEITH JACKSON
PORT MORESBY – On behalf of the Ples Singsing Blog, and having cast our tired but sparkling eyes over the organisation of the Tingting Bilong Mi essay contest, we are ready to announce the winners of this inaugural competition.
And they are all women.
Continue reading "Women triumph in first essay contest" »
ILLEANA MALDOA DOM
Winning entry in Ples Singsing Blog Essay Contest edited for publication by Keith Jackson
The last time I entered my now former school library was in November last year during one of the last Language and Literature classes of my high school career.
Continue reading "Local authors need recognition & support" »
Writers Baka Bina, Daniel Kumbon and Jimmy Drekore, Gembogl, Simbu Province, 2016
WABAG - I have published many books based on facts and actual events, but I haven’t yet attempted a novel.
I guess one road to writing a novel is to first publish short stories.
I attempted a short story just once. It’s included in one of my books, ‘Survivor: Alive in Mum’s Loving Arms’. The title of the fictional tale is the title of this piece.
Continue reading "The old man, his wife & the young girl" »
TUMBY BAY - If you write books, people will seek you out.
They will write letters to you, send you emails and come knocking at your door.
Even my abject and humble efforts have had that effect.
When I lived in Hervey Bay, Queensland, it was a regular occurrence.
I’m not talking about a deluge, but every few months I’d be sought out.
I thought our move to the relatively remote west coast of South Australia would put an end to that. But it hasn’t been the case.
Continue reading "The secret public life of an author" »
Phil Fitzpatrick - "It’s not axiomatic or necessary to seek validation for anything you’ve written through publication"
TUMBY BAY - People are motivated to write for all sorts of reasons. At the crudest, to make money.
Some write in the hope of influencing readers to adopt or consider their ideas and opinions. Others because they see a need to record important events.
Of the many reasons, a favourite author of mine, Barbara Kingsolver, summed it up when she said: “Writers will go to stupefying lengths to get the infernal roar of words out of their skulls and onto paper”.
Continue reading "Writing just for the sake of writing" »
Teachers and pupils at a PNG rural school (globalgiving.org)
PORT MORESBY – I’ve been investigating the operation of the Tuition Fee Free (TFF) process in Papua New Guinea and whether it is doing the best it can for schools.
And also whether it might be better structured to do more to support education and, in doing that, to support the development of literature and literacy in PNG.
Continue reading "Cleaning up school funding could boost literature " »
The writers of PNG don't know the word 'quit'. Operating with little money they're now running a youth writing contest, Tingting Bilong Mi
PORT MORESBY – The other day Papua New Guinea prime minister James Marape offered the children – and adults – of our country some true words of wisdom.
They were true for the time when he was growing up. They were true for the time when his parents were poor but proud.
What the prime minister extolled in his message, however, is followed today by very few parents and their children.
Continue reading "PM offers wise words. What's next?" »
Extract from the cover of the 2015 Crocodile Prize Anthology
NOOSA – PNG Attitude reader Susan Conroy has asked where in Australia may be found books by Papua New Guinean authors.
Unfortunately I, and others, had to inform Susan that no books by contemporary PNG authors are likely to be seen in Australia’s bookshops, and for that matter very few by some of the earlier celebrated authors.
Continue reading "When I counted the authors, I gasped" »
Edited by Keith Jackson
“To all my children across our beautiful and blessed country, have hope and faith that you too can make it in life and make use of your time and talents by working hard wherever God has placed you in our diverse and blessed land of PNG” – James Marape, ‘Advice for young people: You’re here for a purpose’
DANIEL KUMBON – THE HEARTBEAT OF PNG
WABAG - You know prime minister, your words are gold for children of this country. Your direct message can impact their lives at an early age.
Your words can get them off Facebook and get them into a library full of books.
Continue reading "Mr Marape & the tenacity of PNG writers" »
John Gordon-Kirkby was a kiap in Enga when he encountered Daniel Kumbon as a boy. After connecting on the internet in recent years, they have formed a great friendship
PORT MORESBY - Early this morning, I received a ‘thank you’ note from one of the kiaps (patrol officers) John Gordon-Kirkby, now aged 84, who had served in Enga Province up to the time of Papua New Guinea’s independence in 1975.
A few days ago, John asked me to send him a dedication note with my signature on it so he could stick it somewhere in my new book, ‘Victory Song of Pingeta’s Daughter’, which he had just ordered.
Continue reading "‘Victory Song’ dedicated to a kiap wantok" »
Poet and President
TUMBY BAY - Like a lot of people I was mesmerised watching the young poet, Amanda Gorman, reading her poem, ‘The Hill We Climb’, at the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States of America.
What surprised me was to read that Amanda has an aspiration to herself become president of the USA.
Continue reading "President or poet, what’s best?" »
Amanda Gorman - "I want my words to be a point of unity...."
NOOSA – Papua New Guinea is not only a nation of mountains and minerals, it's a place of music and poetry.
Those of PNG’s many poets, young and old, who got to see young American poet Amanda Gorman, 22, perform yesterday would have been astonished.
Continue reading "Young poet astounds at US inauguration" »
| The National Weekender | Edited
PORT MORESBY - Engan author Daniel Kumbon launched Victory Song of Pingeta’s Daughter, a 400-page book which attempts to trace the history of the Wabag district and Enga, without fanfare.
It is a culturally valuable and epic work and it is unlikely the author will ever make a toea from it. But that’s normal in Papua New Guinea.
Continue reading "Essay competition: 10 days to go" »
| Full references at end of essay
LAE - If Tok Pisin is the language expression of our lifestyle and our intermingled cultures” (1) then what does this language say about us as a people?
As first-language English-speaking Papua Niuginians, my siblings and I were introduced to Tok Pisin during our late primary and secondary school years.
Continue reading "Tok Pisin, Tok Motu na Tok Ples" »
Words of Paradise: Poetry of PNG (Jacket2 Anthony Madrid)
TUMBY BAY - I read quite a bit of modern Australian poetry, as it turns up in the newspapers and journals that I read, but quite frankly most of it doesn't do much for me.
On the other hand, Papua New Guinean poetry and prose continues to be a joy and fascination.
Even some of Australia's much lauded poets, like Les Murray or Clive James, both of whom died in 2019, don't appeal to me.
Continue reading "The special place of poetry in PNG" »
George Orwell broadcasting from the BBC
TUMBY BAY - Long holiday breaks like those we have been experiencing over Christmas and New Year bring a kind of stasis to most media and it is necessary to seek intellectual stimulation elsewhere.
To that end I’ve been re-reading some of George Orwell’s essays, particularly those written during World War II.
Continue reading "Poetry and the masses" »
The Essayist (acrylic by Ida Lawrence, 2018)
TUMBY BAY - Who can remember the dreaded Monday afternoon announcement by your lecturer, “I want a 500 word essay on what we’ve been discussing on my desk by Friday morning, no excuses!”
Essays are the bane of every student’s life but what exactly is an essay?
Continue reading "Essays are a beauty not a beast" »
| Sipikriva Girl Blog | Photographs by Dominica Are
'Prized Possessions: A Collection of Poetry’by Dominica Are, paperback, 132 pages. Independently published, March 2020. ISBN-13 979-8622956454. Available here from Amazon for $US8.73
BRAUN - Poetry makes for beautiful literature.
Sipikriva Girl, despite not entirely embracing poetry, had the opportunity to speak to 34-year old writer, poet and accountant, Dominica Are, who recently published her first collection of poetry, Prized Possessions.
Hailing from the highlands of Papua New Guinea, Dominica works full time as an accountant with PNG Coffee Exports Ltd in Goroka.
Continue reading "Dominica Are & her Prized Possessions" »
Tales from Faif by Baka Barakove Bina with contributions from Emily Sakepe Bina, Amazon KDP Edition, December 2020, $5.00, link here to purchase
PORT MORESBY - Such is life for me that I have published my last three books (Antics of Alonaa, Volume One, Musings from Sogopex and Operesin Kisim Bek Lombo) just before the end of a year.
The result is that during the festive season announcements about them usually get pushed to the side and there are no fanfare.
Continue reading "Covid, a Facebook dare & then - a new book " »
Ples Singsing Masterminds
LAE - On Monday 7 December Engan author Daniel Kumbon launched Victory Song of Pingeta’s Daughter, a 400-page book which based on the colonial and post-colonial history of the Wabag district and Enga Province, of which it is a part.
Keith Jackson on PNG Attitude commented that, “PNG history has most often been told by the colonisers but now home-grown authors are offering another view. Prolific author Daniel Kumbon’s latest work, Victory Song, tells the true story of a highlands family from first Western contact to today”.
Continue reading "Ples Singsing i tok: PNG authors for PNG readers" »
TUMBY BAY – Early in the year, as the coronavirus was beginning to spread, I thought it might be interesting to make a collection of poetry published on PNG Attitude over the ensuing months.
My expectation was that the virus would have a large impact on Papua New Guinea and that would be reflected in the poetry.
As it turned out the impact of the virus has apparently and thankfully not been as bad as many people expected.
Continue reading "Covid days: the poetry of the pandemic" »
Evah and Sarah
Hi olgeta, this is an excerpt from my unpublished book. I am seeking sponsors to help me publish the book and spread the message about children with special needs. If you or know anyone who can assist me, please let me know - EK
I’m trying to find Evah’s email. If you can help, let me know in the Comment section - KJ
MADANG - When everything is going well and then suddenly life decides to take its toll on you, you lose your footing, your mind and all hell breaks loose.
The worst is the pain a mother feels seeing her own child succumb to illness and suffer.
Continue reading "Viewing life with love, courage & hope" »
| Ples Singsing
“Literature provides growth and strengthens people’s minds giving them the ability to think outside the box” - Daniel Kumbon
LAE - At times when I need to think deeply about something that is important to me, it is with profound gratitude that I find the wisdom I need from others.
From those who are with me or who have gone before me and left their mark in the world through their writing.
Continue reading "‘Tingting Bilong Mi’ 2020 essay contest" »
A new book arrives. Man Bilong Buk unravelled the life and work of author Francis Nii (Michael Dom)
TUMBY BAY - The Man Booker Prize is the leading literary award in the English speaking world and is conferred annually to the best novel of the year written in English and published in the United Kingdom or Ireland.
Speaking at the 2020 Man Booker Prize ceremony in England, former USA president Barack Obama related how he had “always turned to writing to try and make sense of our world, both as a young man trying to navigate the different parts of my life, and as an elected official trying to bridge our divides and find a way for all of us to move forward.”
Continue reading "The power of writing" »
Shipments of many books to PNG, including some of great importance, are being delayed because of thefts from the postal service
TUMBY BAY - Amazon in Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom and Amazon’s other international outlets say they won't ship to Papua New Guinea because too many orders go missing.
PNG is among a number of countries that Amazon won't ship to because of this problem.
Publicly Amazon says this is related to Covid-19, but when you question the company about individual shipments it admits the real problem is the loss or theft of shipments.
Continue reading "Amazon’s PNG book ban – too many ‘go missing’" »
| Ples Singsing Masterminds
“The Ples Singsing blog is created to encourage and facilitate this process to “re-thing and reclaim” our own stories, poetry and drama. Here we may interact with each other through our writing, in literature which expresses what it means to us to be Papua Niuginian” – Michael Dom in 'Re-thing and reclaim our own approaches to express our story'
LAE - As part of our aim for Ples Singsing to be a place for Papua Niuginian creativity we want to welcome all writers to participate in presenting their thoughts and opinions about aspects of our society, economy, politics and culture.
We encourage open expression provided that this is done in a constructive spirit and displays respect and due consideration.
Continue reading "Ples Singsing welcomes PNG writers & poets" »
Author Daniel Kumbon and Enga bigman Paul Kurai Kiap atop their highlands province
Victory Song of Pingeta’s Daughter by Daniel Kumbon, Independently Published, 2020, 406 pages, colour illustrations, ISBN: 9798562831323. Available from Amazon Australia, AU$74.65 plus AU$3.90 postage (in Australia)
TUMBY BAY - In 1934, at a place called Tole in what is now Enga Province, a man named Pingeta took up his spear and charged down a hill towards the camp of explorer and prospector Michael Leahy and his brother Daniel.
What prompted Pingeta’s action remains unclear. Some people believe that he wanted to launch an attack on the prospectors’ camp to pillage it while other people believe Pingeta was enraged by the apparent invasion of his lands by white men.
Continue reading "Epic story of Enga’s clash of civilisations" »
| The Conversation | Edited extracts
SYDNEY - Literary culture carries profound social value. It is essential to employment, cultural literacy and understanding of community as well as to Australia’s post-pandemic recovery and growth.
It is also radically underfunded and in urgent need of new support.
Continue reading "How Australian literature could flourish" »
“If you don’t start writing, you will continue thinking forever and die with your thoughts” – Francis Nii
‘Prized Possessions: A Collection of Poetry’ by Dominica Are, paperback, 132 pages. Independently published, March 2020. ISBN-13 979-8622956454. Available here from Amazon for $9.24
GOROKA - Writing about your own personal experiences and life in your own carefully carved words whilst feeling joy, pain and every emotion along the way can be quite soothing.
It is not easy at first. There are demons that you have to fight off to make peace with your past: your failures, losses and everything you have endured to put your story out there.
Continue reading "My poems are my story" »
ADELAIDE - It is pleasing to see that a new book by Daniel Kumbon, Victory Song of Pingeta’s Daughter, will soon be available.
It will join recent works by Sil Bolkin, Mathias Kin and the late Francis Nii as another step in preserving the history of Papua New Guinea, in this case of the Enga people in particular.
Continue reading "Beyond first contact & gun-bearing Baptists" »
Evelyn Ellerman - "I remember the very day in 1963 I was able to walk into a bookstore and actually buy something written by a Canadian author"
| Ples Singsing
ALBERTA, CANADA - It’s a funny thing about national literatures. It seems as though they find their own time to blossom.
Like Papua Niuguineans, I live in a former colony, Canada. Different circumstances, but many of the same challenges.
Continue reading "Literatures find a time to blossom" »
| Ples Singsing Blog
LAE – In her review of my poem collection 26 Sonnets (available here for free on PNG Attitude), Professor Konai Helu Thaman of the University of Hawaii provided a task to Papua Niuginian writers which I believe is central to our current dual objectives.
These are to make our own contributions to national literature and establish and maintain a national literary society in some manner.
Continue reading "Re-thing & reclaim Niugini’s own story" »
Papua New Guinean author Baka Bina and publisher Jordan Dean
PORT MORESBY - I have written to the Commonwealth Foundation about its writing contest, which closes on Sunday 1 November (see details at the end of this article).
My letter was asking whether, in the interests of fairness, Pacific island competitors could be separated from Australia and New Zealand competitors in the contest.
The letter said:
Continue reading "Is the Commonwealth Writers contest fair?" »
NOOSA – As I’ve written before, ‘Man Bilong Buk’ (‘The Bookman’) edited by Phil Fitzpatrick and me is unfortunately not available in Papua New Guinea – which Amazon seems to have now taken off its distribution list.
With Amazon the printer and sole supplier, I’ve been working to establish an alternative distribution network for this wonderful 320 page illustrated book about the life and writing of the late Papua New Guinean author, Francis Nii.
Continue reading "Where we’re up to with the Francis Nii book" »
NOOSA - The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is awarded each year for the best piece of unpublished short fiction of 2,000–5,000 words.
The closing date is Sunday 1 November (see below for more information and entry form).
So it’s time to take one of your unpublished short stories out of the file or get the keyboard smoking with your entry in the prize.
Continue reading "Hariap! Short story prize closes in 3 weeks" »
NOOSA – The production of ‘Man Bilong Buk’ – the tribute volume to the life and achievements of the late Francis Nii – was completed within two months of his death on 2 August and is already available as a downloadable book here.
As usual with PNG Attitude projects, the production of this 320-page book has been a team effort involving Francis’s family and friends, fellow writers, who offer their assessments of Francis’s impact on Papua New Guinea literature, and many of our readers who donated funds to enable the books to be distributed free of cost to PNG.
Continue reading "The progress of ‘Man Bilong Buk’" »
PORT MORESBY - Notice I didn’t write “How to find good books” but “How to find the best books” because no one has all the time required to read both the good and the best.
To me, I like to read only the best books that are most enriching for me.
Continue reading "How to find the best books" »
Phil Fitzpatrick - "This is not a book about a disabled writer. It is a book about a towering figure in the history of Simbu and Papua New Guinea itself"
NOOSA – After a remarkably short production time, the Francis Nii collection, ‘Man Bilong Buk’, has been readied for printing and we’re pleased to make an e-book available for free download immediately.
The link to the e-book can be found above this page’s masthead by clicking through the headline ‘The Francis Nii Collection’.
Continue reading "Francis Nii e-book free on PNG Attitude" »
An early meeting of the Simbu Writers Association. Francis Nii seated left and Arnold Mundua standing above his left shoulder
KUNDIAWA - The 2014 Crocodile Prize awards were held at the Australian High Commission in Port Moresby in September, as they had been for the previous three years.
President of the Simbu Writers Association, Jimmy Drekore, was there, and so was Francis Nii, who had won the award for essays the year before, Roslyn Tony, Mathias Kin, Jimmy Awagl and me.
It was quite a representation from SWA, in Simbu colours too.
Continue reading "How Francis Nii became an editor & publisher" »
KUNDIAWA – Sometimes great people’s legacy – their influence on and contributions to society - only becomes fully recognised after their passing.
The late author Francis Nii was such a person. His passing on Sunday 2 August at the Sir Joseph Nombri Memorial Hospital in Kundiawa left a huge vacuum in the lives of the many people who knew him personally.
Continue reading "The birth of the Simbu Writers Association" »