Check out some of the excellent poetry and fiction Tayi has been reading and read her debut collection of poetry, Poūkahangatus (VUP) launching at Unity Books along with Sam Duckor-Jones’ People from the Pit Stand Up (VUP), 6-7:30pm Thursday 12th July 2018.
Tayi Tibble (Te Whānau ā Apanui/Ngāti Porou) was born in 1995 and lives in Wellington. In 2017 she completed a Masters in Creative Writing from the International Institute of Modern Letters, Victoria University of Wellington, where she was the recipient of the Adam Foundation Prize. Poūkahangatus is her first book.
‘This collection speaks about beauty, activism, power and popular culture with compelling guile, a darkness, a deep understanding and sensuality. It dives through noir, whakamā and kitsch and emerges dripping with colour and liquor. There’s whakapapa, funk (in all its connotations) and fetishisation. The poems map colonisation of many kinds through intergenerational, indigenous domesticity, sex, image and disjunction. They time-travel through the powdery mint-green 1960s and the polaroid sunshine 1970s to the present day. Their language and forms are liquid—sometimes as lush as what they describe, other times deliberately biblical or oblique. It all says: here is a writer who is experiencing herself as powerful, restrained but unafraid, already confident enough to make a phat splash on the page.’
—Hinemoana Baker on Poūkahangatus
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING AND HOW DID YOU DISCOVER THE BOOK(S)?
I’ve been reading Courtney Sina Meredith’s short story collection, Tail of the Taniwha. I bought it for my bookish sister for her 13th birthday, but I recently went home and borrowed it back. I was a big fan of Brown Girls in Bright Red Lipstick, and Courtney Sina Meredith, generally. I first saw Courtney reading at LitCrawl in 2015 and I thought she was phenomenal.
WHO ARE YOUR FAVOURITE WRITERS AND WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT THEM?
My current favourite writers are Warsan Shire, Harmony Holiday, Cate Marvin and Kaveh Akbar. I like cool writers who mix the political and the personal in ways which feel very inherent. I like poets who have a certain sense of urgency in their poetry; in their word choice and in the rhythm.
WHAT BOOKS ARE ON YOUR BEDSIDE TABLE?
Tail of The Taniwha, The New Animals, Hollywood Forever by Harmony Holiday, Your Beauty Mark: A Guide to Eccentric Glamour by Dita Von Teese (always, biblical) and my book.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE BOOK-TO-FILM ADAPTATION?
Baz Luhrman’s The Great Gatsby duh, because it came out when I was in year 13 and my class was studying the book for English. The whole class went to see the film at Reading Cinemas Porirua. I cried when Gatsby came in from the rain and was looking at Daisy feeling some kinda way. Lana Del Rey should have won the Grammy for Young and Beautiful.
WHAT BOOK HAVE YOU RE-READ THE MOST AND WHY?
Probably Lolita because I read it when I was way too young to get anything about it and I used to be low-key morbidly obsessed with it. Every time I re-read it I feel smarter and more assertive. It’s a book I can open on any page and oops I’ve accidently read it through to the end. The only other book that I end up re-reading this way, is the first Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants Book.
WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE LITERARY CHARACTER?
Heather Wolfe from Starting Out in the Evening by Brian Morton or Blair Wardolf from the Gossip Girl series, if you want to count Gossip Girl as Literary!
WHAT BOOK HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN MEANING TO READ BUT STILL HAVEN’T GOTTEN AROUND TO?
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. A friend whose taste I admire gave it to me for my 18th or 19th birthday, but I still haven’t read it.
WHICH THREE WRITERS WOULD YOU HAVE OVER FOR DINNER?
Hmm Harmony Holiday, Warsan Shire and Cate Marvin.
WHAT WOULD YOU COOK THEM?
I wouldn’t cook, but I’d uber eats them anything they wanted and encourage them to go hard.
HOW ARE YOUR BOOKS SHELVED AND ORGANISED AT HOME?
I have these bookshelves that are so short they must have only ever been meant to house lil paperbacks so all my books have to be stacked flat. I try to categorize them by type or genre, but I don’t try very hard. Otherwise they just congregate in rowdy piles around the place and gang up and bully me.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE LITERARY QUOTE?
Life imitates Art.
Photo credit to Ebony Lamb