Selina Tusitala Marsh
Dr Selina Tusitala Marsh is of Samoan, Tuvaluan, English and French descent. She was the first Pacific Islander to graduate with a PhD in English from The University of Auckland and is now a professor in the English Department, specialising in Pasifika literature. Her first collection, the bestselling Fast Talking PI, won the NZSA Jessie Mackay Award for Best First Book of Poetry in 2010. Marsh represented Tuvalu at the London Olympics Poetry Parnassus event in 2012; her work has been translated into Ukrainian and Spanish and has appeared in numerous forms live in schools, museums, parks, billboards, print and online literary journals. As Commonwealth Poet (2016), she composed and performed for the Queen at Westminster Abbey. She became New Zealand's Poet Laureate in 2017. Her debut children's book and memoir, Mophead: How Your Difference Makes a Difference, was awarded the Margaret Mahy Book of the Year - 2020 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults and was followed by Mophead Tu: The Queen's Poem.