an interview with the Award Recipient of the Hibiscus Three Publishing Award 2022
(WiP, release date scheduled for March 2022)
With Hibiscus Three and Mary Terriette Aseari already underway with finalising the winning manuscript , we took a few moments to ask the soon-to-be published Papua New Guinean Author a few questions about her creative writing life:
Hibiscus Three: Can you briefly share with us how a few facts about yourself?
Mary Terriette Aseari: Well, I just finished University where I majored in English Literature. I’m 22. I love reading, coffee is my go to beverage, I enjoy a good laugh, and am always up for spontaneous adventures. Oh yeah, I’m the recipient of the 2022 Hibiscus Three Publishing Award which I can now add to my list of facts to make me sound a tad bit interesting hehehe.
HT: How does writing fit in with your everyday life?
MTA: I’m nocturnal. I do most of my writings in the night or early hours of the morning. That’s usually when my creativity is at its peak. So my writing hardly clashes with my day schedule.
HT: Hibiscus Three admires your advocacy for reducing social injustices faced by Papua New Guinean women, particularly how it is conveyed through your writing. Can you tell us a bit more about this?
MTA: The whole idea of the manuscript was for my words to represent the cries of womenfolk in this country , who have in one way or the other, fallen prey to social injustice. We read about it daily in the papers or watch in the news and yet there is little to nothing done about it. As a Papua New Guinean woman born to this land, walking this land and having felt first-hand the plight of social injustice, writing about it in this manuscript was my way of saying enough is enough how long do we have to bleed and cry for this to stop. Hence that was the inspiration behind the heading of my poetry collection Bleeding Words.
HT: What three words describe your writing style:
MTA: I’d say; Authentic, Deep, Fresh
HT: What are three key points you’d like readers to know about your collection of poems and short story that will be published as the winning manuscript of the Hibiscus Three Publishing Award 2022?
MTA: I think the first thing would be that the collection of poems is very REAL in the sense that I’ve either experienced the stuff that I’ve written or observed and captured them from the experiences of others. The second thing would be that the short story is not written in the ‘traditional’ style. It’s actually a short story in verse so basically it has poetic elements but the story line is there. The final thing would be that the short story is very fictional but the issue behind the short story is very real. Real situations that PNG women face but hardly talk about because these situations are deemed taboo in our societies. My request would be for readers to have an open mind when reading and to read line by line to get the message (literally the story is written in lines) hehehe.
HT: Hibiscus Three’s vision is to contribute to expanding published writing by Papua New Guineans, especially PNG women. What are some of your favourite books (or blogs) written by Papua New Guineans?
Book: A thousand coloured dreams by Dame Josephine Abaijah.
Blog: Pacific Philios by Pearl Walters. Absolutely love her piece on Decolonizing the mind.
IG Page: alwaysmala by Maria Narakobi. A young woman with some much depth and insight her pieces are soothing to the soul.
HT: What are your favourite genres to read for inspiration and help to develop your own writing? Is there anything else that you do to inspire your writing?
MTA: I’m not really picky with genres. I’m just an all-out bookish person. If it’s an interesting read with a cute hard cover I’m down for that. But hands down the person that has influenced my style of writing would be Dominican American Poet and Author Elizabeth Acevedo. Aside from books the other thing that gets me in the mood to write or inspires me to write would be music. This may sound weird but this is usually what I do. If my poem or writing is centred on a certain topic I usually play a song that’s in line with that topic so that it gets me in the mood and sets the tone for me to write.
HT: Where can readers and other PNG writers find you on social media /website?
MTA: My social media handles are;
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