Night Is a Sharkskin Drum by Haunani-Kay Trask
(Talanoa Contemporary Pacific Literature)

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Night Is a Sharkskin Drum is a lyrical evocation of Hawai'i by a Native poet whose ancestral land has been scarred by tourism, the American military, and urbanization. Grounded in the ancient grandeur and beauty of Hawai'i, this collection is a haunted and haunting love song for a beloved homeland under assault.

"The experience of reading this collection is nothing short of swimming in fire.... Night is a Sharkskin Drum is a testament to Trask's poetic mana. With these poems, she shows us once more that despite the ugliness she has seen, the ugliness that has pierced her, stabbed her, wounded her, scarred her and her people, there is beauty still." --- Sia Figiel

"An important addition to the growing body of work coming out of Oceania by Polynesian writers.... The poetry is beautiful and brutal, subtle and direct, courageous and respectful -- but most of all, it is honest. The poet's deep and profound love for her country and people is central to the work." --- Reina Whaitiri

"A perceptive and astutely profound commentary on Trask's life and the life of her country,... [the poems] are rich with irony and a passionate love of language." --- Albert Wendt


About Haunani-Kay Trask

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Trask is descended of the Pi'ilani line of Maui and the Kahakumakaliua line of Kauai. She is a member of Ka Lahui Hawaii, a Native Hawaiian initiative for self-government. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is Professor of Hawaiian Studies at the University of Hawaii.
Published August 1, 2002 by Univ of Hawaii Pr. 96 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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Trask's From a Native Daughter: Colonialism and Sovereignty in Hawai'i is a classic of postcolonial studies, but Trask's poetry is also crucial to her activism.

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Project MUSE

/ From Halema'uma'u / our fiery Akua comes: / E, Pele E, / E, Pele E, / E, Pele E" (5 ).

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