Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

A-wake-(e)nd: the latest poetry collection by Cook Island Poet

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air
Audrey Brown-Pereira released her latest poetry collection, A-wake-(e)nd. Photo: Jordan Kwan
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Kendall Vano | Reporter

Audrey Brown-Pereira, a celebrated poet from the Cook Islands, unveils her latest poetry collection titled “A-wake-(e)nd.”

The book of poems explores the dynamic Pacific region amidst its ever-changing landscape, reminding us of the importance of creating art even in tumultuous times.

Audrey takes readers on a personal journey through her own life, transforming a mid-life crisis into an opportunity for self-discovery.

“I’ll be reaching middle-age this year, there are going to be many women like myself, married with children and we put everyone first before ourselves do a-wake-(e)nd is really about putting energy into creative work, which requires putting yourself first.”

“Which is kind of a contradiction to being a “Pacific island woman”, a good wife, a good mum but there is an importance to that, we need to reclaim the things that belong to ourselves and what a-wake-(e)nd is about,” Audrey says.

Audrey Brown-Pereira is based in Samoa. Photo: Jordan Kwan

The Cook Island poet is based in Samoa and found inspiration for this collection during the pandemic, a time when travel restrictions kept her grounded and allowed her to observe and reflect on the impact of globalisation.

“In Samoa, when the borders did open, there was that anxiety as well in terms of what is COVID -⁠19. Will we be able to handle it? Especially the vulnerability of our own community in terms of health access. So there was a bit of paranoia in terms of ensuring that we protected someone.”

Audrey Brown-Pereira. Photo: LinkedIn

In her verses, Audrey intertwines themes of a deteriorating environment, the blending of truth and lies, and a celebration of life’s energy that defies conventional boundaries.

“Observing the interaction between truths and lies is fascinating. In my book, I explore this dynamic within the poems of Awakened. As a poet and writer, it’s important to incorporate elements of excitement, intrigue, interest, and mystery. This involves drawing from various sources, including personal experiences and observations of others”,

When questioned about the interplay between truth and lies in her poems, Audrey Brown-Pereira emphasises the importance of infusing excitement, intrigue, and mystery into her art.

“For creative individuals, the coexistence of truths and lies is essential as they draw inspiration from a myriad of sources, including personal experiences and those of others.” she says.

“Being a storyteller, you’re a collector of many things that you create. That’s what I talk about, truth and lies because that’s what we do as creatives. We find truth in different ways and even through our lives we can create truth, whatever that may be,”



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