Hungarian-born Nelson-resident poet, Panni Palásti is releasing a new book of poems, A Tongue is Not for Lashing. The poems draw on her experiences in Hungary during World War 2, her flight to the US as a refugee after the defeat of the Hungarian revolution in 1956, and her migration to New Zealand in search of peace.
Fellow poet Elizabeth Smither says of Panni’s work, ‘I love the writing, the honesty of it, the search that is always there, the courage to face hard truths and at the same time imagine other lives with compassion.’ A Tongue is Not for Lashing affirms the value of all lives and draws strength from all experiences. The work is both passionate and compassionate.
The book is remarkable in that the poems appear in both English and Hungarian versions, with a scholarly introduction to Panni Palásti’s work by Marianna D. Birnbaum, an international authority on Central European literature.
The book will be launched at VOLUME bookshop, 15 Church Street, Nelson, at 6 pm on Friday 11 August. Panni will read poems in both English and Hungarian and discuss the issues she faced in translating her own work. All welcome to this free event. Bubbles and nibbles will be provided.