At First Sight: Floating Islands, Floating Lands

At First Sight - image by Steve Miller

For more information

  • This event has taken place
  • Tel: +44 (0)1937 546546
  • Email:
  • Full Price: £10.00 Member: £10.00 Under 18: £7.00 Other concessions available

An evening of poetry and stories from Oceania and the Pacific islands

Poet Vanessa Lee-Miller will be joined by guests Rhys Feeney, Giles Leaman, Rich Sylvester, Crystal Te Moananui-Squares and Sara Taukolonga for an evening of poetry and storytelling, whose ancestors have kept the legendary narrative of James Cook, his crew and their time in Oceania alive and vivid over the centuries. 

In July 1835 a Hawaiian man, one of the last eyewitnesses to the arrival in the Hawaiian Islands of James Cook and his ships in January 1778, passed away. His obituary in a Hawaiian language newspaper included an account of what he recalled upon first sighting the tall ships approach the bay. The ships were so huge, their shape and size was unrecognisable to those who observed: they could only perceive this vision as floating land. This description lends us the title for tonight.

Vanessa Lee-Miller was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, where she still keeps one foot firmly planted on her ʻohana's kuleana, a family patch of land. The other foot is firmly planted in London, England. She describes her decades-long struggle to keep ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi off the list of endangered languages as essential to preserving our deeply treasured culture, 'the ʻōlelo is the place where its soul lives and thrives.'

In association with in-words

Image by Steve Miller


Name: At First Sight: Floating Islands, Floating Lands
Where: Knowledge Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show Map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Price: Full Price: £10.00
Member: £10.00
Senior 60+: £8.00
Student: £7.00
Registered Unemployed: £7.00
Under 18: £7.00
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546