The voice of Tayi Tibble is one of most exciting in poetry today. In Poukahangatus (pronounced 'Pocahontas’), her debut volume, Tibble challenges a dazzling array of mythologies – Greek, Maori, feminist, kiwi – peeling them apart and respinning them in modern terms. Her poems move from rhythmic discussions of the Kardashians, sugar daddies and Twilight to exquisite renderings of precise emotions and the natural world alike. Tibble is also a master narrator of teenage womanhood, its exhilarating highs and devastating lows; her high-camp aesthetics chart the overflowing beauty, irony and ruination of her surroundings.
Poem by poem, Tibble carves out a bold new way of engaging history without merely telling it, of straddling modernity and ancestry, desire and exploitation. These are warm, provocative and profoundly original poems, written from a world in which the effects of colonization, land, work and gender are intimately and insidiously connected. Along the way, Tibble scrutinizes perception and asks how she as a Maori woman fits into trends, stereotypes and popular culture. With language that is at once colourful, passionate and laugh-out-loud funny, Poukahangatus announces the presence of a surpassingly daring new poet.