Tin Fish Net 2

“I was born in Britain but I am not quite British. I have sojourned in Australia but am not quite Australian,” writes Hazel Smith. Smith’s “poetics of uncertainty” has much in common with the otherwise uncommon company her work keeps in this second number of Tinfish Net. For Jacinta Galei`a writes, in two languages, of being Samoan and American; Emelihter Kihleng of Micronesians in America; Ken Goto of being educated in a colonial tradition that is not one’s own; Janice Williamson of being a mother not by biology but by adoption. New Zealand writer Murray Edmond’s Noh Business, reviewed by Janet Bowdan, is composed in three parts and includes scholarship, travelogue, and drama, enacting his search to appreciate a tradition far removed from his own. Each of these writers works to define a central term, whether it describes a people (Micronesian, British) or a process (education) or a crucial relationship (adoption). Janice Williamson’s alphabet poem about adoption brings together an old tradition (the alphabet!) with a term as yet inadequately defined (adoption). If, as Emelihter Kihleng acknowledges at the end of her poem, “Micronesian” lacks concrete definition, she—and the others—have at least illustrated some of the real complexities of identity formation in the Pacific.

Tin Fish Net 2
June 2005


Preface to a Samoan Novel
by Jacinta Galea’i

The Micronesian Question
by Emelihter Kihleng

The Poetics of Uncertainty
by Hazel Smith

Two Poems
by Ken Goto

Four Poems
by Kaia Sand

A Is for Adoption
by Janice Williamson

Murray Edmond, Noh Business
Review by Janet Bowdan