writing as Panni Palásti
Eva Brown writes under her maiden/pen name of Panni Palásti. She was born in Budapest, Hungary, and has lived in New Zealand since 1973, in Nelson since 2002.
She says: ‘Some of my work reflects my early experiences, which include schooling under Nazism and under Communism, life during the siege of Budapest in 1945 and during the 1956 revolution, times of helpless fear, all of which have left a profound impression on my mind. Others are about the joys and trials of everyday life and thoughts about our rapidly changing world.’
Panni regularly performs her poetry, including at Nelson Live Poets. Her volume of poems Taxi! Taxi! was published by Maitai River Press in 2008, and Born in Budapest, a CD of 26 poems accompanied by Gábor Tolnay’s jazz improvisations, appeared in 2012.
In 2013 three of her poems, based on her childhood experiences in Nazi-occupied Budapest, were the inspiration for Ross Harris’ 'Symphony
No. 5', which was premiered by the Auckland Philharmonic.
A second CD, Love and War in the Yurt, based on a live performance in the Yurt of The Free House, Nelson, with Panni reading 24 poems with accompaniment by jazzmen Gábor Tolnay on keyboard and saxophonist Simon Williams, was published in 2014.
Panni's memoir of her childhood, Budapest Girl: an immigrant confronts the past, was published in December 2015.
Her new book of poems in both English and Hungarian, A Tongue is Not for Lashing, was published in August 2017.