Vana is a Greek-New Zealand poet who has been moving between Aotearoa and Kirihi Greece, and has now settled in Ōtautahi Christchurch. Her most recent book The Grief Almanac: A Sequel (Seraph 2019), followed Ithaca Island Bay Leaves: A Mythistorima (Seraph 2009) in experimenting with hybridity and code-switching, and has been translated for forthcoming publication in Greece. In 2017, she edited and translated for Ναυάγια/Καταφύγια Shipwrecks/Shelters, a chapbook of contemporary Greek poems and in 2018 co-edited Tātai Whetū: Seven Māori Women Poets in Translation with Maraea Rakuraku Tūhoe, Ngāti Kahungunu ki te Wairoa.
Vana was Ursula Bethell Writer-in-Residence at Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha Canterbury University, along with Behrouz Boochani, in 2021, and from 2022 she is teaching Creative Writing there.
During her residency Vana is completing the final draft of a manuscript for a work that follows her earlier poetic texts in experimenting with hybridity. The project is a series of multilingual dialogues between diverse speakers, and diverse readers. It is a vocalising of silence. It is also something of an excavation of ‘monsters’. With one eye to antecedents like Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Homer’s Odyssey (and oral storytelling), the project aims to redefine monstrousness and enact eco poetics – that is, an engagement with climate crisis as a kaupapa – all from within a specifically Aotearoa New Zealand landscape and dreamscape.