Magnolia 木蘭

Author(s): Nina Mingya Powles

Poetry | 2021 Ockham NZ Book Awards long list | 2021 Ockham NZ Book Awards short lists

Shanghai, Aotearoa, Malaysia, London-all are places poet Nina 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 Powles explores her experience of being mixed-race and trying to find her way through multiple languages: English, Mandarin, Hakka, Maori.


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.

Shanghai, Aotearoa, Malaysia, London-all are places poet Nina 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 Powles explores her experience of being mixed-race and trying to find her way through multiple languages: English, Mandarin, Hakka, Maori. 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.


 


Contents: I. Girl warrior, or: watching Mulan (1998) in Chinese with English subtitles 11 Breakfast in Shanghai 14 Maps / 15 Letter from Shanghai, 1938 16 Miyazaki bloom 17 Love letter in lotus leaves 18 Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, 2016 19 The Great Wall (2016) 20 Night train to Anyang 22 Falling city 23 In the end we are humanlike: Blade Runner 2049 29 Colour fragments 32 Dark violets 34 Wolfgirl 35 Rain episodes 37 Maggie Cheung's blue cheongsam 39 Faraway Love 40 Last eclipse 41 II. Field notes on a downpour 43 III. Mother tongue / 55 Origin myths 56 Two portraits of home 58 Mixed girl's Hakka phrasebook 60 Spring onion pancakes 61 Some titles for my childhood memoir 62 Styrofoam love poem 63 City of forbidden shrines 64 Dialectal 65 What we talk about when we talk about home 66 Black vinegar blood 67 Happy Holiday 68 Last summer we were underwater 69 Conversational Chinese 70 Dreaming in a language I can't speak 72 April kowhai 73 Sonnet with particles of gold 74 Alternate words for mixed-race 75 The first wave 76 Magnolia, jade-orchid, she-wolf 77 Notes 81 Acknowledgements 82


 


Author Biography: Nina Mingya Powles is a poet, zinemaker and non-fiction writer of Malaysian-Chinese and Pakeha 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. Magnolia was shortlisted for the 2020 Forward Prize for Best First Collection. 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 , 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.

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Shortlisted for 2021 Ockham NZ Book Awards - Poetry

Nina Mingya Powles is a poet, zinemaker and non-fiction writer of Malaysian-Chinese and Pakeha 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. Magnolia was shortlisted for the 2020 Forward Prize for Best First Collection. 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 , 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.

General Fields

  • : 9780995108257
  • : Seraph Press
  • : Seraph Press
  • : November 2020
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Nina Mingya Powles