A young poet from India entered our Mini-poetry 2022 Competition

Krishti Khandelwai, is an award winning 13 year old poet

Image from Indus Scrolls

“I am Krishti Khandelwal a 13 years old girl from new Delhi, India. I love to pen down my thoughts into words.

Writing has always fascinated me as it was something I always wanted to do, this season (Lockdown) I had created and shared my writing with some of the prominent publishing houses, with the grace of the God my writing got appreciated and encouraged. I was honoured by getting my work published by multiple publishers.”

Shri venkateshwar International School

Hear more about Khristi at the Panorama International Literature Festival 2022.

Image from India Times: Our Earth Pulses Every 26 Seconds, And No One Exactly Knows Why
Krishti Khandelwals poem

Earth

A home for the first ever beings,
To successfully survive.
For those who know nothing,
But wanted to thrive and be alive.

They live in a world so holy,
So precious, and filled with glory.
As the sunshine hits the tall oak trees,
And you realise the worth of your being,

Impossible creatures emerging from soil.
A mother with love that grew us wild,
A mother who raised her kids in unity,
To survive together,
To survive for eternity.

A lovely paradise of godly dust,
As the conscious dust clumps wonder in unity.
We are holy beings meant to be protected,
In our homes of beauty and purity.

We live in a perfect home,
A world we need to protect,
For we yet are not civilised enough,
To go find another world to resurrect.

We still need time to thrive,
And learn more,
And open our eyes,
For we are still young children,
And we still must survive.

A new poem for the 2022 election period

Yumi save laikim suga

Michael Dom | Ples Singsing Writers & Associates

Image from The Commonwealth website: Former president of Nauru, H.E. Baron Waqa, will lead the Commonwealth Observer Group to Papua New Guinea’s national election. Polling will take place between 2 and 22 July.
Yumi Papua Niugini man-meri
Yumi save laikim suga
Laikim suga wantaim ti
Laikim suga wantaim kopi
Laikim suga long kaikai
Laikim suga blong loli
Laikim kola na pepsi
Laikim swit moa Rum n’ Berry
Laikim Kopiko na laikim Lipo
Em igo stret wantaim stim, o?

Bai yumi tokim Memba
Taim eleksen kam klostu
Baim suga na stokim stap
Baim wantaim lip ti
Baim wantaim kopi
Baim kainkain kaikai igat swit
Baim planti kola na pepsi tu
Baim planti moa Rum n’ Berry
Baim Lipo na Kopiko tu
Baim blong spak na blong kirap 

Em nau bai yumi hamamas
Eleksen taim blong pilai kas
Taim blong lusim gaden sipet
Taim blong relax na dring suga
Taim blong pulap long haus karai 
Taim blong tri, fo kopi, na ti
Taim blong dring kola na pepsi 
Taim blong bia ron olsem wara
Taim i swit moa olsem suga
Em laikim blong Papua Niugini 

Kindly Kindle became a greedy book monster

In Amazon’s early days there was a hint of a benevolent and philanthropic spirit in its business model, but the ogre of profit at all costs has overtaken all other considerations

PHILIP FITZPATRICK – posted on PNG Attitude Blog

TUMBY BAY – Michael Dom and I have just endured an incredibly dispiriting battle with Amazon Kindle over an extremely trivial matter of copyright involving the Ples Singsing anthology of student essays from the 2020 competition.

This issue has thankfully now been resolved and the anthology is available on Amazon as both an eBook and a paperback.

But the matter drew my attention once more to the times when there was a kinder Kindle.

Amazon served us well in the days of the Crocodile Prize but the company has evolved into a gargantuan monster which gobbles up and spits out organisations like Ples Singsing for breakfast.

For some time now it has refused to ship books to ‘shithole’ countries [thank you Donald Trump] like Papua New Guinea, necessitating double handling and double costs as the books must come through Australia to get them to PNG.

In Amazon’s early days there was a hint of a benevolent and philanthropic spirit in its business model but the ogre of profit at all costs has overtaken all other considerations.

While Amazon is still a viable option for writers in Australia and other ‘non-shithole’ countries, it is no longer a practical option for PNG writers.

So I totally agree with Michael that it’s time for PNG to set up its own small print-on-demand industry to supply the local market.

I’d go so far as to suggest that, once such businesses were operating, editing, proofreading and publication processes would follow in their wake.

Many years ago, the University of PNG Bookshop was looking at setting up its own print-on-demand service in association with the University of Melbourne, but nothing came of it.

Now is definitely the right time for reconsidering that idea.

Rait ples, rait papagraun, rait pipol’ is a delightful slogan that such an industry could adopt.

Posted by: Michael Dom | Ples Singsing 25 June 2022 at 09:44 PM

Maybe an existing printer would see a business opportunity here.

I’ve lost track of the number of new books published in the last year alone. Over ten that I may have come across, but I’m not as active on the social media, so maybe my colleagues could add to that count.

Ples Singsing has five books on standby and we’ve got a small budget for only 50 copies of each for at least three books.

That number is based on mailed books from Australia, so it’s a reduced figure because of freight costs.

We may look at providing some numbers for an estimate of the demand.

There’s at least 100 titles from the Crocodile Prize era, most of them listed on Baka Bina’s Booklist and a few more noted elsewhere.

Nenge Books has probably another 30 or 40 titles, and the same from late Sir Paulias Matane Foundation.

Not to forget books already in print for which readers may want copies, although that’s probably more complicated for books published and printed under previous copyright ownership, so maybe an Amazon deal could be worked out. Em bai mi nogat save.

Tasol, since most authors would want to order copies of their own books, anywhere between twenty and a hundred (at least that’s what I’ve seen and done by CreateSpace and Kindle orders), a starting figure could be somewhere in the vicinity of, say 200 titles for 4,000 to 20,000 copies.

At about K50 a book, say, that makes a rough total value of 1,000,000 kina, if all 200 titles were ordered at 100 prints.

Not bad koble.

But my business ideas have always been too simple.

Posted by: Philip Fitzpatrick 25 June 2022 at 01:10 PM

It would be a really hard sell Chips.

Purchase of a printer would be the easy part.

Then comes training to operate and maintain it. Plenty of able computer geeks in PNG but not a good record on maintenance.

Then the biggy – it would never pay for itself and would need continuing financial support.

These days governments expect public services of this nature to make a profit or at least pay for themselves. It’s an unfortunate by product of neo-liberalism.

Dr John Evans was the manager of the UPNG bookshop who originally championed the idea. I don’t know whether he is still there. Gregory Bablis works there and may have a view.

It’s something worth following up, as you suggest.

Posted by: Chips Mackellar24 June 2022 at 04:18 PM

Good idea, Phil, for a print-on-demand service for PNG writers. Maybe an approach to Jason Clare, the new Federal Education Minister might help. It would be a good opportunity for our new government to display its new Pacific bonding policy.

In the great scheme of things it would not cost the federal government much, and the service it would provide would help with the interpersonal relationships which our government is aiming to establish with our Pacific neighbours.

Environment and its Wealth

Grade 12 Guba Crossan of Kila Kila Secondary School reading a poem he wrote to celebrate World Environment Day 2022 at the APEC haus

By Guba Crossan

Environment, More than Trees and Animals

If the Environments are the things that surround us, then why harm it?

Why cut the trees, when all they do is provide you shade?

Why pollute the sky, when all it does display God’s work of art?

Why complain about hot, when the sun does is shine on you during the day?

Why curse the moon, when all it does is give light at night?

The Environment is so much more than trees and animals.

You search for beauty in people and things,

without knowing beauty is all around.

You say, ‘I love adventures’

Yet you hurt nature.

You say, ‘Lions and Tigers are beasts’

But you are the one disturbing their peace.

You say, ‘the city looks so beautiful’

But beautification is the natural world without pollution.

You say, ‘sharks are monsters’

But you are the one invading their home.

The Environment is so much more than trees and animals.

You’d rather sleep under electric lights than to sleep under the moonlight.

You’d rather use fans and air conditioners than to feel the cool breeze that blows all day long.

Everyday, the birds sing hymns

But you choose to listen to the noises made by humans.

You wait patiently for the flowers to bloom

But you ignore their cry when they need water.

The Environment is so much more than trees and animals.

You appreciate the meat but not the animal

You appreciate the wool but not the sheep

You appreciate the glass but not the sand

You appreciate the house but not the trees

You appreciate the wall but not the rocks

Everything, you have is made from the environment.

Yet you appreciate the thing and not the thing it’s made of

You appreciate the sun when it helps the trees.

But curse it when it gets too hot.

When the clouds are bright and happy,

You complain when they cry,

You don’t appreciate the rain.

The Environment is so much more than trees and animals.

The environment is like a sunset on a cloudy day, breath taking when you pay attention

And just like a rose, through it is covered with thorns the beauty still stands.

They say, ‘you don’t know what you have until it’s gone’

One day, you will miss the environment.

Reuse what you use to appreciate the environment when it’s used.

Reduce the harming of the Environment and you will see the use of the environment.

Recycle what you have to appreciate the cycle of what it has.

Oro to this Place of War and Peace

I wrote this poem sitting in my house in the middle of Gorari Village thinking about this beautiful land that is steeped in the history of the Second World War in the Pacific as well as its own traditional histories. The title of the poem is ‘Oro to this Place of War and Peace’. This is a place that knew war and continues to know it through its materiality and lingering effects even during this time of peace. One can read and analyse the dichotomy of war and peace and of life and death in the lives, culture and landscape of this place. Some of the contradictions are clear from the stanzas of the poem, for instance the play on the role of Papuans and New Guineans who worked as medical orderlies and carriers (carer’s) versus those who fought as soldiers. The majestic mountains of the ranges now named after one called Owen Stanley conceal some of these callous contradictions. The resplendent rugged terrain does not easily reveal the stories of those ragged bloody hero’s, foreign and locals alike, who traipsed across this landscape eighty years ago.

image by NomadicPixel
The Facial Tattoos of Oro Province in Papua New Guinea | Nomadicpixel

By Gregory Bablis

Oro da
Oro da
Oro da Biage
Oro da Kaiva
Welcome to this place
Welcome to this place
Welcome to this place of the Biage
Welcome to this place of the Kaiva
Oro means welcome
Da means place
Oro, Oro, Oro
Coming from a smiling face

Greetings for strangers and kin
And for you and me
This is no awful din
But jovial camaraderie

From Eora, Alola, Isurava, Kokoda
To Hoi, Sengi, Oivi and Gorari
Kovelo to Kamando
Sisireta to Popondetta
Oro, Oro, Oro

The place of flying monarchs
And wingless angels
The bird-sized butterfly
And ghosts who walked

Our very own Los Angeles
Home of michaelangelo’s and Raphael
Messengers and labourers
Fuzzy Wuzzies on bush tracks
Carer’s and soldiers
Papuans and New Guineans
All shades of black

Bloody be Buna
Gona got gone
Shattered seashores Sanananda saw
Enough had everyone at Endaiadere

Welcome to this place
Of grass-skirts and tapa
A place of people
From Binandere to Kaiva
Of warriors and chiefs
Sorcerers and martyrs
Men and women
From Hunjara and Kaina

A place of love
A place of peace
A place of war
A place of life
A place of death
Ended lives
Beginning of life,
After life.

Ensuring the literary embers still burn bright

Despite the setbacks and difficulties, sparkling embers still burn in the fireplace of Papua New Guinean literature. Rait ples, rait papagraun, rait pipol. Right place, right heritage, right people. In Tok Pisin rait is also ‘write’ – Keith Jackson

Earlier this year, prime minister Marape learned of the existence of a struggling but rich literature in PNG. He was impressed – and said he would offer a helping hand

MICHAEL DOM – posted on PNG Attitude blog

LAE – Around the middle of June, Ples Singsing Writers & Associates held its first writers kivungKirapim Paia Long Ples Singsing – Create the Passion of Ples Singsing.

Ples Singsing is, of course, the Papua New Guinea writers’ blog, the spirited lovechild of me and a number of colleagues whose turn it was to seize the waning fire of PNG literature.

The kivung (standard translation = official meeting) was held at the University of Papua New Guinea in the apposite surrounds of Language Laboratory L241 of the Kuri Dom Building, long ago known as the Arts 1 Building.

Apposite because, as poet and Grand Old Man of PNG letters Russell Soaba has written, “it was once a literary hub and “host to many a linguistic debate on power, hegemony and post-colonial discourse”.

On this occasion the building named for my own father was to be the scene of intense discussion and about the state, issues and prognosis of PNG literature.

We were hosted by Sakarepe Kamene, senior lecturer in the university’s Language & Literature Strand and president of the PNG Linguistic Society.

Among the participants were Emmanuel (Manu) Peni, author of Sibona, Imelda Griffin, co-founder of Eve PNG magazine and Baka Bina, prolific author who this year broke new ground for PNG writing by being the first from our country to be shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize.

Getting down to business, I observed for those present that it would be entirely appropriate to respond to prime minister James Marape’s statement of some time ago that he would help PNG writers to write.

On the eve of a visit to China, Marape had said as much to author Daniel Kumbon who the prime minister had invited to meet with him in his Port Moresby office.

After his return from China, Marape had vouched, he would make an announcement to reveal how established PNG writers could be assisted and encouraged to write about the diversity of PNG.

“Power, hegemony and post-colonial discourse” – the Kuri Dom Building holds an important place in the literary history of PNG

Were such assistance forthcoming, we would say that what PNG writers really need is the facilitation of better editing, proofreading and publication processes.

Or, on a somewhat higher plane, the fostering of a small print-on-demand industry to supply a local market which we know exists but has yet to be fully explored.

I also reflected on the idea of a public-private partnership, perhaps in a small-to-medium sized enterprise.

Philip Fitzpatrick picked up on these thoughts in a recent PNG Attitude piece, Kindly Kindle became a greedy book monster.

Despite the setbacks and difficulties, the embers still burn in the fireplace of PNG literature.

Rait ples, rait papagraun, rait pipol. Right place, right heritage, right people.

At the kivung, we spent time discussing the first issue of seeking to facilitate better editing, proofreading and publication processes.

Long namba tu wari, bai yumi noken weitim gavaman, em ol bisi man meri tumas laka. And on the second concern, we can’t wait for the government. They’re busy men and women.

Kam sindaun arere long paia na sikirapim wanpela kaukau. Ino long taim bai pik igo insait long mumu. Let’s sit near the fire and peel a sweet potato. It won’t be long before the pig is placed in the cooking pit.

We’ll soon be providing more information on action by Ples Singsing Writers & Associates on behalf of PNG’s writers.

Some of the leading lights of PNG’s new literary revival -Greg Bablis, Michael Dom, Caroline Evari and Betty Wakia

Em nau mi tanim Tok Pisin long dispela poem long em iken karai olsem tok-singsing long nek bilong yumi iet. Na yu pilim tu o? But now, I translated into Tok Pisin a poem which sounds like the sweet poetry of our shared voices. See if you feel it too

There is a theory, rather complex, that proposes that poetry can evoke sensations and emotions that bring the reader one with the words, or more adventurously, make the reader become the words.

If you’re interested in this theory you can read all about it here.

Meanwhile I’ll continue with my sonnet. See if you can feel it.

Anutu i dai, tok tru blong yu iet

[Translated by the poet in Lae, 5 June 2022]

Tok tru em ino blong yu wan, poro
Em stap insait long yumi olgeta
Na yu laik strongim tingting blong yu iet
Antap long mipela, em bai sotwin
Long kamapim mak stret, na stap wankain
Long as tru blong laip, we olgeta bai
Pilim pen. Sapos tok tru em istap
Yumi wanwan baimbai karim hevi.
Stretim toktok blong yu, em bai tok aut
Long asua blong yu iet long ples graun.
Tasol saveman itok, tok tru long laik

Blong yu iet, bai yumi sutim igo.
Anutu i dai. Laik blong yu i tru.
Tok tru blong yumi inogat wari.

The god of truth is dead so speak your own

[The original sonnet in English, published on PNG Attitude, 11 January 2022]

The truth does not belong to you, my dear,
It lives and breathes inside us all. And what
You say is yours to speak, for which you dare
Force us to share, when a fraction of it
Does not compute the sum of nor compare
To the fullness of life, where each remits
The pain of being. If truth exists, we bear
The weight, we each, so if each one is fit
Be wary of your words, your vice declares
Itself in the nature of being. Know that.

But say the wise, just speak your truth, no fear,
We shall force the mathematics to fit.
God is dead. Truth is whatever you care,
The truth we speak need not care about that.

A note from the editor

Keen-eyed readers may have noted that the writers’ kivung was held in the Kuri Dom Building of the University of PNG, a building named in honour of Michael’s late father. In preparing Michael’s piece for publication, I came upon this report in the Pacific Islands Monthly of March 1987. It tells of Kuri Dom’s tragically young death and also evidences his great scholarship. That his name lives on within UPNG is a great tribute to him and the enduring effect of his ethos. Lest We Forget – KJ

Sir Peter Barter, great figure in PNG, dies at 82

Sir Peter Barter and Sir Michael Somare at a Divine Word University function in Madang (Garry Roche)

GARRY ROCHE – posted on PNG Attitude blog

MAYNOOTH, IRELAND – Sir Peter Barter, 82, who passed away in Cairns after a short illness on Wednesday 22 June, was well known and respected as a politician and businessman.

It is widely acknowledged that he achieved much in his time especially for both Madang Town and Madang Province.

Certainly the Peter Barter I knew was a good man.

Sir Peter Leslie Charles Barter GCL OBE was born in Australia but later became a naturalised Papua New Guinean citizen.

He attended Newington College in Sydney before training as a pilot and flying for Qantas Airways.

He established, owned and operated the popular Madang Resort and, as early as 1980, created the Melanesian Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation which invested in remote communities that had shown great hospitality to tourists and other visitors.

Sir Peter was elected Governor of Madang Province in 1997, serving a five year term.

In 2001, he was knighted for his services to PNG and the tourism industry.

While in parliament he also served as Minister for Health and Minister for Bougainville Affairs.

In this latter role, he played an active and fruitful part in the process of reconciliation following the Bougainville civil war of the 1990s. He was highly regarded and trusted by both sides.

In addition to his political and business activities, Sir Peter was a long-serving member of the Governing Council of Divine Word University (DWU) in Madang.

It was through my own involvement over many years on the University Council that I got to know him.

About four times each year between 1998 and 2013, I travelled from Mt Hagen to Madang for meetings of the Council, and was pleased to associate with Sir Peter at these meetings.

Quite often, if there was no accommodation available on the university campus, several of us Council members would be lodged at Sir Peter’s Madang Resort.

I only have good memories of those times.

Peter BarterSir Peter rarely missed a Council meeting and he genuinely seemed to enjoy the opportunity of mixing with people from different backgrounds and discussing matters relating to education and the university itself.

The Council included people from industry and the academic world, and from different faith backgrounds, not only Catholic but also from the Lutheran, Anglican and United churches.

Sir Peter participated in Council meetings in a polite and serious way and his contributions were always worthwhile.

He never tried to browbeat or be officious. I would describe him as being genuinely humble in his contributions to our meetings.

So I only have very good memories of Sir Peter.

My condolence goes to his family members.

You can all be so very proud of the late Sir Peter Barter.

26 Letters

Image from Hayim Oshky

By Michael Mondo

This poem is about the motivation I sought when writing. Sometimes words don’t come easily, other times they just flow in the mind, like wave ripples; single words, dancing letters, phrase, etc. And all It takes is to capture the first wave of letters before the next can be revealed. 

When letters dance to your
graphite spill
you’d know there is more your
pen can spell

I’ve had mine on a
morning of July
like a dog turning
around to lie
been awake doodling
seen them letters shy

Walked my fingers across
flat paper white
In between nigh lines and
night dimmer light

Dare to dance? the
letters charged
Scared to write? the
twenty six marched
up and down the stairs
of pearl paper lines

My fingers that doodle
now write as if they
had a mind to mingle
like wave ripples, aye

Sound of their tiptoe
of rhythm and rhymes
in the silence echo
that spell themselves
Twenty Six Letters

Dominica Are & her Prized Possessions

HAZEL KUTKUE
Sipikriva Girl Blog | Photographs by Dominica Are

‘Prized Possessions: A Collection of Poetry’by Dominica Are, paperback, 132 pages. Independently published, March 2020. ISBN-13 979-8622956454. Available here from Amazon for $US8.73

BRAUN – Poetry makes for beautiful literature.

Sipikriva Girl, despite not entirely embracing poetry, had the opportunity to speak to 34-year old writer, poet and accountant, Dominica Are, who recently published her first collection of poetry, Prized Possessions.

Hailing from the highlands of Papua New Guinea, Dominica works full time as an accountant with PNG Coffee Exports Ltd in Goroka.

She spent almost all of her formative years in Mt Hagen attending schools there and then moving to Madang to attend Divine Word University.

Dominica has been writing for almost 20 years, mostly poetry and short stories. As with a lot of art, often powerful emotions are the triggers of works of great beauty.

When her parents separated in 1998, she took to scribbling in her notebook about the hurt and pain she felt, and the hopes and wishes she had.

“I find solace in spilling out my thoughts and emotions. It has been quite a long journey but I haven’t given up on documenting what I go through,” Dominica says.

She religiously makes daily journal entries and it was these that form the basis of her book, which has been in the pipeline for a quite a while.

“I keep a collection of all that I’ve written over the years,” Dominica says.

“I have been keeping notebooks and newspaper cuttings of published work. When I got my first laptop at university, I started keeping e-copies.”

Dominica at her writing desk – busy with her second ‘job’

Initially Dominica wasn’t very keen on publishing. However her collection kept growing.

“I was only writing for myself.

“When I started seeing my entries published in the annual Crocodile Prize anthologies (and in My Walk to Equality), I experienced a different outlook in approaching my writing.”

Dominica decided to give publishing a shot after encouragement from people close to her.

“In 2019, I decided I must do it! I started pulling out my work from here and there.

“Seeing that all my writings were about personal experiences, I decided to have my first publication about that.”

Putting a collection of her poems together for publication was not easy for Dominica, who struggled to fight off the negative feelings of exposing her very personal experiences.

“The thought of dying with these beautiful stories within saddened me. I care about my stories. I care about my writing,” she says.

In the end, she found courage enough to tell her story through poetry.

In early 2020, Dominica contacted the late Francis Nii who helped edit and publish Prized Possessions.

Dominica likes freestyle poetry best and believes it to be her strength.

She has also dabbled in more technical styles including ballad, sonnet, ode, rondeau, kyrielle, haiku, limerick and tanka.

Prized Possessions contains 90 poems in its 116 pages.

“I want my readers to be inspired to write their own story,” Dominica says.

“No matter how ugly it may seem, your children need to hear your story.

“You might not be around long enough to relay these stories to them. Your writings can give them an important insight into your life.”

Dominica believes that our experiences, written down and read by others, might help readers who feel downtrodden and lost.

Dominica with the late Francis Nii’s tribute book ‘Man Bilong Buk’, edited by Keith Jackson and Phil Fitzpatrick

Prized Possessions was published by Francis Nii Publications through CreateSpace. Francis also played a part in editing the book.

Working with Francis, who died in August, Dominica described him as open and a straight shooter.

“I truly appreciate his honest critique on my work. There were a few pieces whose meanings were quite ambiguous so he asked me to look at them again.

“I read over and over again and found that it was true so I had to rewrite.”

Francis emphasised that writers have to think of the average Papua New Guinean reader when publishing.

At the time of publishing, Francis was very ill, but pressed on to help make Prized Possessions a reality.

Dominica faced some hurdles in getting hardcopies of her book. Amazon had stopped shipping to PNG so it was difficult to get copies.

Dominica had to buy copies of her book and have them shipped to people in Australia who shipped them to PNG.

Dominica believes government support is the way to go.

“Support should be given through the initiation of writing competitions, reviving, building libraries and supporting local authors in purchasing and distributing their books,” she says.

“The environment must be so ideal that local authors and publishers can produce well and profitably too.”

Dominica has a few words of wisdom for other writers as a parting remark.

“You don’t have to be an expert or have a background in creative writing in order to write.

“You have to make it happen. Be persistent and you’ll get better eventually.

“The most important thing is to read. Reading and writing go hand in hand. The more you read, the better your writing will be.”

Sipikriva Girl wishes Dominica only the best in her endeavours, writing or otherwise

WHY BUY A PNG AUTHORED BOOK?

By Caroline Evari

A fellow Papua New Guinean author once told me, “I gave up drinking when I got the response from my fellow Papua New Guinean menfolk that my K50 book was too expensive. A carton of beer seemed more affordable than a reading book”

How many of us have picked up a PNG authored book and gave the exact response?

I have watched people debate all over social media about the “price tags” that are associated to certain products, be it shoes, bags, perfumes, clothing, or gadgets. The same product being charged a little higher by another while being charged a little lower by the other. The most common responses to these are freight costs, customs clearance, labor, markup, transport etc. I’ve even seen entrepreneurs explain some of the lengthy and costly process they must go through with just to bring in or create their products I think to myself, “I hear you and I feel you”.

Just like every entrepreneur, an author invests their time and resource to create a product to sell. The one difference that sets a book apart from other products is value it carries within its content. One book can impact an individual, a family, a community, a village, or a country. If you have ten people in your home, you don’t necessarily have to buy 10 books because that one book can be read by 10 people. It does not matter what the size, shape or color of the book is, it serves its purpose. If you buy a size 16 meri blouse of K50, it can only be worn by a woman who can fit into it. It complements the customers look and size, puts money into the seller’s pocket to help her grow her business or support her household. That meri blouse loses its value overtime, the book does not. The color may fade, the pages may tear, it could get burnt and disappear but it’s content – the words, memories, emotions, and story lives within those who have held it.

With the 2022 national elections coming up, I’d like to see a political party with a policy aimed at improving the country’s literacy rate and Human Development Index. A policy that is specific to prioritizing libraries and books. Bringing back into society what use to be the norm. Reading in public places – in the bus, in the long queues, at the marketplaces, bus stops etc. We say that PNG’s official language is English, yet the standard of English today is below average and is evident particularly on most social media platforms.

To be able to speak better English one must read. To be able to write better English one must read. Having access to books makes these possible.

When you spend K50 on a PNG authored book, you are:

1. Buying knowledge.

2. Making an investment – One book priced at K50 educates 10 people at value of K500 or 20 people at a value of K1,000.

3. Preserving and promoting local knowledge and literature. In the same way as promoting a local SME

4. Creating a chain reaction. Tapping into that space of inspiring more Papua New Guineans to get into the habit of reading and writing.

So you see, buying a PNG authored book goes beyond supporting a local author. If you would like to get into this space, you can start by purchasing a book authored by a Papua New Guinean today.

To get a copy of my children’s story book, send me an email on caroline.evari@gmail.com.