Twin Tongues

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2013 Robert Kroetsch Award For Innovative Poetry Winner!

Mining bilong dispela stori: Exploring the power imbalance between English and Tok Pisin, Twin Tongues transforms the English Language into a character who encounters her own foreignness in Papua New Guinea. This text struggles with the ethics of appropriation, language use and second language teaching, questioning the subjective position of the author, the teacher, the speaker of English. The poetry scrapes away the veneer of objectivity assumed by historical descriptions of Tok Pisin.

Twin Tongues tests the flexibility of language, and asks, “What does language sound like to unfamiliar ears? And what is English anyway?”


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