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Athabasca University

Ondobondo Poster Poems

In 1980, the Literature Department of UPNG secured the third South Pacific Festival of the Arts, which promised to provide a great opportunity for younger writers. The Literature Department decided to organize activities prior to and during the Festival. It planned to raise a special fund to publish some of the creative material in its Archives as well as to solicit new material.

The sum of K4,050 had been secured from the National Cultural Council (NCC), the UPNG Publications Committee, and from the Literature Trust (a memorial to Kirsty Powell). The plan was to publish a novel (Russell Soaba’s Maiba had been selected), a series of poster poems (to be called OndoBondo, which is a Binandere word meaning “festival, singsing, and feasting”), some new titles in the Papua Pocket Poets (PPP) series, and a collection of short stories. In addition, the Department wanted to produce some new plays. Almost immediately, though, it ran into financial difficulties. Maiba was K250 over-budget. Only 12 of the planned 16 poster poems could be published because of rising production costs. All other publications were held in abeyance until funds could be located (Chakravarti 1980, 21-24).

“The first poster was produced for K295, but the cost of producing the subsequent numbers went up by 30% to 40%. This, being beyond our expectation, stopped us from any more publications. However, the press copies of four poetry titles, four workshop plays and a collection of short stories are kept ready in case some additional fund is available in future. In the meantime, it is decided that the Ondobondo Poster Poems that are presently in press will be published this year with the money from the sale proceeds of our recent publications” (SPAN 11[1980], 24-25).

COME ON BABE RACE WITH THE DEVIL by Nora Vagi Brash, illus. John Danger. July 1979.

LOOKING THRU THOSE EYE HOLES by Russell Soaba, illus. Joseph Nalo. [French translation by M. Schiltz and Anne-Marie Smith]. August 1979.

DEVELOPMENT by Yosep Sukwianomb, illus. Joseph Nalo. September 1979.

BIA BOTOL LONGLONG by Mary Toliman, illus. Joseph Nalo. October 1979.

KIAN KAR YA, a Pidgin poem by Jerry Daniels, illus. Kauage. November 1979.

NOBODY by Melio Masen, illus. Kauage [ French translation by Anne-Marie Smith]. December 1979.

OLOMAN, a Pidgin poem by Regis Stella, illus. Michael Ayulo. January 1980.

NIGHTMARE by Johnny Saulo, illus. Hanau Gou. February 1980.

MOPALAU by Elsie Mokis, illus. Pauline D. Toro. March 1980.

YUPELA MERI I SENIS HARIAP PINIS by Baluwe Umetyrifo, illus. Titus Tilley. April 1980.

YOU FEAR? By Kubura Basu. April 1980.

NATIONAL ANTHEM by Renagi Lohia, illus. Warrey Apporo. April 1980.

Updated October 13 2016 by Library Services