Selina Tusitala Marsh

Dr Selina Tusitala Marsh is an Auckland-based Pasifika poet of Samoan, Tuvaluan, English, Scottish and French descent.

She was the first Pacific Islander to graduate with a PhD in English from the University of Auckland where she is now an associate 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, as well as print and online literary journals.

As Commonwealth Poet (2016), she composed and performed for the Queen at Westminster Abbey. She was New Zealand’s Poet Laureate from 2017–2019. In 2019 she was awarded a Humanities Aronui Medal and was elected a Ngā Ahurei a Te Apārangi Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand. She won the Margaret Mahy Book of the Year at the 2020 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults for her first children’s book, Mophead: How Your Difference Makes a Difference.

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