Counter Culture
July 14, 2018 posted by Unity Wellington

AFTERGLOW: Poūkahangatus – Tayi Tibble & People From The Pit Stand Up – Sam Duckor-Jones

AFTERGLOW: Poūkahangatus – Tayi Tibble & People From The Pit Stand Up – Sam Duckor-Jones

12th July 2018 –

Victoria University Press and Unity Books came together on Thursday 12th July to launch books from two of the Wellington publisher’s most exciting new talents, poets Tayi Tibble and Sam Duckor-Jones. Fergus Barrowman of VUP was joined by editor Ashleigh Young in introducing the poets, who Young (author of celebrated essay collection Can You Tolerate This?) noted, in a break with usual practice, were both courted with publishing deals by VUP. Young gave a glowing endorsement of both writers, talking about some of the unique characteristics she enjoys in their work. On Tayi Tibble’s poems, Young talked about the focus on everyday objects as memorial touchstones and signifiers of experience and emotion, a technique which rang true in Tibble’s reading of a poem about her mother. On Sam Duckor-Jones’ work Young noted the preponderance of ‘good yarns’ and went on to praise his ability to challenge traditional notions of masculinity without making his poems into overt statement pieces, more so she said, his work celebrates freedom.

Tayi and Sam both gave recitals of some of their favorite poems, receiving hearty applause from a packed shop floor, and the signing queue kept them both busy for some time.

Fergus Barrowman thanks Ashleigh Young for her editing work on the two books

Ashleigh Young, a passionate advocate for both young writers

Sam Duckor-Jones reads from People From The Pit Stand Up

Tayi Tibble reads from Poūkahangatus

An appreciative crowd filled Unity from front to back

Books signing commences

Tayi and Sam

Poet of impeccable taste Chris Tse makes it to the front of the line

Looks like the booksellers may have left Tayi and Sam to man the fort at this stage

Sam Duckor-Jones


Poūkahangatus and People From The Pit Stand Up, published by Victoria University Press, are available now in store and online.

Words & photos by John Duke

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