Book Review Part 2 by Rashmii Amoa Bel

Nanu Sina: My Words

I had the good fortune to mentor Papua New Guinean writer Caroline Evari who has just published a new collection of poetry, ‘Nanu Sina: My Words’.

It is an exciting time as Caroline celebrates this success, and in the interview with Betty Wakia that follows, she reflects on how she maximised the sparse moments between the manic juggling of career, life demands and motherhood.

In these moments, Caroline created, drafted redrafted and refined her manuscript before submitting it to Port Moresby-based publisher, JDT Publications, run by Jordan Dean.

It is also a joyous time as family, friends, colleagues and fellow writers have been forthcoming in praising and admiring the book’s publication.

Amongst all this, Caroline continues to diligently attend to the significant task required of published authors – promoting and marketing her work to engage with a wide audience and, of course, sell books.

Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are accessible, low-cost and wide-reaching social-media platforms available for effective online marketing. And PNG Attitude was quick off the mark with a first review of the book which Keith Jackson described as “a collection of sublime Melanesian verse from a poet of perception.”

And, at Caroline’s invitation, I offer a few comments about ‘Nanu Sina’, focusing my thoughts on her poetry contained within section III of the collection and themed ‘Hope’.

Perhaps reflective of my own motivation for advocacy writing, I was interested to learn how Caroline would define ‘hope’ and how she would visualise it within herself, in front of and around her, and how she would convey this through poetic prose.

The section begins with a clarion call for ‘Success’; believing in oneself, taking ownership and leaving nothing to chance. Such are the daily motivations one might need.

But it is Caroline’s insistence that there are “so many dreams waiting to be realised” in which hope is crystallised as the universal notion it ought to be.

Hope is something for everyone, to be envisioned at any time and in any place. It is especially significant for the Papua New Guinean reader.

The gift of parenthood and its blessings are narrated through ‘Words of Life’, which offers an insight to Caroline’s experience as a mother-of-two. I feel only appreciation and admiration for her willingness to share her personal life-changing moments that succeeded in renewing what had been a fast-fading hope.

‘Acceptance’ is Caroline’s prescription for active gratitude, an assertion of resoluteness and determination, a marching onwards as the crux of a positive outlook in life. Whilst ‘A Man’s Struggle for Survival’ is every writers anthem (if not hourly mantra) for doing what they do and to keep returning to do it the day after, and all the next days beyond –

“I write on full speed
I write with great heed
My work is a need
To bring good deed.”

It is the words of ‘Act’ in which Caroline provokes the reader to contemplate the potential of both cultivating, but enacting hope.

“The earth will not rotate unless you speak / The rain will not fall unless you fight,” she insists.

These words seem indicative of Caroline’s definition of how we need to take a stand against those who would rob us of feeling of hope, the type of people I distance myself from, in a life driven and navigated through by hope.

They are words through which Caroline inspires hope within me.

In support of this wonderful book, I invited fellow Papua New Guinean writer and staunch women’s rights advocate, Betty Wakia, to interview Caroline. The interview follows below.

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