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Poetry and Pacific studies: notes from the field

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Abstract:

After many years at the University of the South Pacific (where this paper was written), William Clarke is currently a Visiting Fellow in Resource Management in the Asia-Pacific Project at the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University, Canberra.

Following a brief review of the place of oral poetry and song in Pacific Island societies, aspects of contemporary life are examined through the words of present-day Pacific poets. Topics examined include tourism, land issues, cultural identity and authenticity, the place of women in Pacific societies, corruption, environmental issues, population growth and urbanisation. A central theme of the discussion is that the poetic voice can heighten our attention towards and understandings of people’s lives and feelings.

Keywords: corruption; development; land ownership; poetry; population issues; sustainability; tourism

Document Type: Original Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-8373.00091

Affiliations: Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University, GPO Box 1497, Canberra, ACT, Australia 2601

Publication date: August 1, 1999

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