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Invite: A Book A Week

February 26, 2011 Leave a comment

Just the other day I happened upon a story from USATODAY.com that found that in 2007, one in four people read no books. Given this figure from the US, imagine what it is like for us here in Papua New Guinea. (Sorry folks, we have no statistics for PNG to work with here now since our government in its hallowed wisdom saw it fit to scratch the 2010 Census.)

I would dare to safely guess that an even lesser percentage of us do read. An additional statistic shows that it is more likely that university and college graduates often never (!) get to read a book again after leaving school thinking that they know everything that they need to know. So where does this leave us?

Now Hope Trek as you know, is fundamentally about promoting books to children and young adults, with the aim to cultivate a reading culture in PNG, focusing first on schools in rural to remote areas.

Piksa piing nii

But this does not mean that this idea has to be confined to the space within the walls of the classroom nor the library. My one desire is to ultimately see this reading culture spread out like an infection to the masses out there who can take the time to pause for a breath to pick up a book to read.

The human mind, being a vital organ of this living organism – you and me – needs to have new information and ideas put into it to continue to develop and grow or it will sink into a state of lethargy and become stagnant. As someone once said, reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.

We cannot deny the fact that books are a repository of untold wealth in knowledge and adventure. Books provide the means by which one can get to broaden their horizons as far as they can allow their minds’ eyes to see. Books are portals into worlds beyond our five senses; into the fourth dimension, transcending cultural barriers, taboos, gender divides and even beyond the unknown and into forbidden realms. Books take us into the maze of great minds and into the corridors of time as only an H.G. Wells contraption could achieve.

So to spur this idea on, I take this opportunity to invite you to come read a book with me. Let us say one each week or at least 2 each month. Even one book every month would be just as good. So at year’s end, we are talking 20 to 40 books at the most. Mind you, this is not a strict regime. It is only a suggestion.

So while reading, why not share ideas and information on what you are reading about.

Here I further invite you to write a book review and post it onto our Facebook page. And if you are not on FB, then just email them to me and I can post it there. The outstanding ones will get a spot to feature as a post on this blog each month. I don’t care if it is a 500 word essay or a 5 word sentence. I just want you to read and just tell me about it.

So come pick up a book and let us get reading today. 🙂

::end::

Categories: Books Tags: , ,

Crocodile Prize: an initiative promoting PNG writers

February 1, 2011 Leave a comment

PNG art

 

There has been a noteworthy development in the PNG Literature scene that I would like to make a mention of here and that is the Crocodile Prize. This BRILLIANT literary competition was initiated by PNG Attitude and the Post Courier to promote PNG writers and their work.

Named after the first published novel by a PNG writer (Sir V. Serei Eri), this competition is open to all Papua New Guinea citizens within the three categories of short story, poetry, and journalism. According to the organisers there has been a steady stream of entrants since its launch last September.

If you have time, I urge you to pay a visit to the contributors’ page at Keith Jackson’s PNG Attitude. The qualities of entries from our local writers are quite astounding and you will be impressed! Unlike works from overseas, the collective body of work from these Papua New Guinean writers will take you through the sights and sounds of places and settings that you are more familiar with.

One notable entrant in this competition is Jeffrey Febi. He’s been my friend since Uni but I had no idea he could write so eloquently in the way he does with his collection of short stories and poems. Russell Soaba of the Soaba’s Storyboard fame has a more in-depth take on this particular writer in his post, ‘Our Prolific Jeffrey Febi’.

But it does not stop there. We have a poet in Icarus with his political sketches that reflect the all too familiar stories we hear so often. Tanya Zeriga-Alone takes you through a stormy night to see the world through the eyes of an old man as he takes his last breath on his death bed. Meanwhile from across the Bismarck Sea, Carolus Ketsimur takes us back in time to paint us a picture of the day when the blackbirders came to the village. Then theres Bernard Sinai, David Kitchnoge, Eva Kuson, Lapieh Landu and more.

I could go on but you get the picture. I suggest you go there to get a full dose of what I am referring to.

For you aspiring writers do take a minute to go there and download the entry forms and start entering.

Write, write, write and read, read, read!

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