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281 Karangahape Rd Auckland

Selina Tusitala Marsh

Dark Sparring


In Dark Sparring, Selina Tusitala Marsh combats family loss with all the techniques of poetry, ritual and Thai kickboxing at her disposal. The book brims with fluid, humming list poems, literary shoutouts and personal elegies, as Marsh takes us through her mother’s diagnosis with cancer and the long journey out the other side of her illness. Along the way, she shows us other parts of her world: scenes from Matiatia to Ōrapiu to Apia; classroom politics; the importance of leadership; and the reasons New Zealand is a ‘lucky’ country. Dark Sparring has an appealing voice, a strong right hook and an affecting, rhythmic heart.