an interview with Wallace Nuealani Parimahi :
SHORT STORY | Silhouttes in the Distance, 2019 | MILNE BAY
With the theme 'Experience of Independence', Writers Exhibiton PNG46 by Hibiscus Three saw Papua New Guinea's 45th Independence Day celebrated online, hosted by the independent publisher's website.
Heeding Ignatius Kilage's clarion within the foreword of 'My Mother Calls Me Yaltep', Hibiscus Three invited Papua New Guinean writers from in-country and abroad, to submit original writing so that their words could be read, considered and appreciated by other Papua New Guineans
To do so on 16 September, Papua New Guinea's Independence Day, seemed only fitting.
The work of ten (10) writers were featured in the two-day online exhibition, where visitors to the website had an opportunity to reflect on the early contributors to literature of Papua New Guinea; many of whom have an impact on today's generation of emerging and established writers and their showcased writing. For the this instalment of our 'Meet the Writer of Writers Exhibition PNG46' series, we spoke to Wallace Nuealani Parimahi :
Hibiscus Three: Can you remember the moment you knew that you would pursue, and share your creative writing with others?
Wallace Nuealani Parimahi: I think it was back when I was in primary. I had just transferred to a new school which hosted an annual ‘Anis Writing Competition.” We the students were challenged to write a short-story based on a certain storyline devised our English teachers. I’m not sure whether it was the newness of the environment, or the inner-writer in me that prompted me to take part and so I did. And what do you, I was one of the winners for the upper primary category. It was in that moment I knew I would pursue and share my creative writing with others.
HT: What do you write about, and what are the common reactions you’ve had from readers?
WP: I mostly write poetry. My poems can be about anything really; however, I like writing about the abstract things in life – things like emotions and art. I recall back from when I was in grade 11, I wrote this poem about poetry itself and how it was analogous to a painting and how the poet was the painter. The reaction I got from my friends was priceless – as if they were eager to read more and yes, they definitely encouraged me to write more.
HT: What is the one thing you can’t do without when going to write?
WP: I’m probably one of the few people that take the saying “a fresh start” quite literally. Let me explain. So, whenever I’m about to write, I always ALWAYS start on a new page. Regardless if I have written something before and if I don’t agree with it, instead of simply erasing the whole thing, or new line, I will always start on a new page. Talk about a lot of wasted pages *laughing emoji*
HT: Encouraging a thriving literary culture of writers and readers in Papua New Guinea – what does this look like to you?
WP: I see this as an opportunity to expose the many talented and creative writers we have in the country. There are many Papua New Guineans who have an appetite for a good story and its paramount we unite us all. In addition, I also think that by encouraging writers and readers in our country, we further promote our country and culture to the rest of the world.
HT: What is the one thing you haven’t written yet that you’d like to eventually get to, and what inspires you to keep this as a goal?
WP: I would definitely like to write a poetry anthology about my cultural identity. Yes, we live in culturally-diversified society, however, the question we should we asking ourselves is whether we know enough about our culture. Therefore, I reckon writing about my culture, in turn, would allow me to understand my identity better. Thus, is my source of inspiration as I, as an individual, must aspire to know my identity and what I stand for.
HT: Where can readers find your writing?
WP: Feel free to check out some of my poetry on Wattpad:
Thank you of sharing your thoughts with us, Wallace. Hibiscus Three encourages readers and supporter of Papua New Guinean writers to visit Wallace's wattpad page to read more of his writing!
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