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SUVA, Fiji Islands (June 30, 1999 - PACNEWS)---The conference of the South Pacific Association of Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies in Fiji next month is drawing a star studded list of participants to the Suva-based University of the South Pacific (USP).

Among those attending are Commonwealth Literature prize winner Sia Figiel, Samoan novelist Albert Wendt, Fiji poet Sudesh Mishra, Niue writer and artist John Pule and Papua New Guinea’s Nora Brash.

Dr. Shivani Narayan of Television New Zealand’s "Shortland Street" program also will be among the writers, artists and performers in attendance.

The conference's purpose is to give Pacific Island writers a chance to discuss their works with each other.

It is part of activities planned for the Pacific Artists and Writers Festival at USP, July 4 –11.

The theme of the conference, "Imagining Oceania," will be highlighted in a wide range of topics; from "Beyond Grass Skirts and Ukuleles" to "New Millennium to Melville and the Missionaries."

"It is important for writers to come together to discuss their work with each other and to find mutual support and perhaps, inspiration," USP spokeswoman Seona Smiles said.

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