Press Release – Beatnik Publishing
Young Auckland writer Courtney Meredith thought Christmas has come early when she was asked to be a guest of NZ@ Frankfurt until she found out publisher Beatnik would be launching her debut book at the Frankfurt Book Fair.
The 26 year old will give a sneak preview of Brown Girls In Bright Red Lipstick at the Auckland City Art Gallery this week on Sunday Sept 30th before flying out next week to Germany.
The inner city resident says it took awhile for reality to set in. “It wasn’t until my cousin came over and started jumping around that I thought gosh this is really happening.” 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.”
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