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Brown Girls In Bright Red Lipstick

It’s been a long journey from the Glen Innes home she knew as a small child in the late 1980s to the cobbled streets of Europe for newly published poet Courtney Sina Meredith.

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It’s been a long journey from the Glen Innes home she knew as a small child in the late 1980s to the cobbled streets of Europe for newly published poet Courtney Sina Meredith.

Publishers Beatnik will launch her first collection of poetry Brown Girls In Bright Red Lipstick at the Frankfurt Book Fair next month but fans of Meredith won’t miss out. Meredith will give a sneak preview of Brown Girls In Bright Red Lipstick at the Auckland City Art Gallery next week on Sunday Sept 30th.

Reality has yet to sink in for the young Auckland writer. “I’m so excited and I still can’t believe it’s happened.” Beatnik publishing director Sally Greer says it’s been a fantastic project to work on and travelling with Meredith to the Frankfurt launch is the icing on the cake. “Courtney is an amazing young talent, she has a following locally and internationally. She’s a writer celebrating her youth but she’s also aware of the social and political landscape around her.”

At 26, Meredith is described as leading a generation of new poets, Brown Girls In Bright Red Lipstick captures a youthful urban Auckland landscape through a Pacific lens by Meredith.

She says the collection that takes its title from one of her poems is an accumulation of works from the past five years. “The 20s are such a pivotal time especially for young women, it’s so fraught and exciting.”

Despite the playful title she describes her works as complex and layered. “It’s a panoramic view of youth with an undercurrent of something quite raw, political and representing a transition period of that culture.”

The book is dedicated to her late Samoan grandmother Rita Sina Meredith. “It was just my mother and me but she was there from the moment I was born, caring for me while mum worked, to dedicate this collection to her feels like a real accomplishment. ”

It’s been a remarkable year for Meredith following on from her Berlin writers’ residency last spring. She toured Indonesia for the International Poetry Festival in April and in June was a delegate of the British Council in London for a series of Phakama arts initiatives that formed part of London's cultural Olympiad. Her first visual art installation Machen Saya was exhibited at the Mangere Arts Centre over winter and her award winning play Rushing Dolls will be published in Urbanesia a collection of New Zealand plays from Pacific playwrights by Playmarket.

“I guess it has been a big year, it probably explains why I’m exhausted but it’s so exciting. I work incredibly hard but I’m also appreciative of the people who have gotten me this far, it really does take a village,” she laughs.

Sneak preview and book signings by Courtney Sina Meredith

Where: Auckland City Art Gallery auditorium

When: Sunday September 30th at 1pm.

Free admission

Kim Melhuish | +64 (0)274 357 591 | PH +64(9) 309 2793| SKYPE: beatnikpublishing 120 NEW NORTH RD, AK 1021 | WWW.BEATNIKPUBLISHING.COM | Facebook | Tumblr | Twitter

Written by

Kim Meredith

10 Sep 2012