Cover Image: Poukahangatus


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Member Reviews

It is so difficult to find mainstream Indigenous and feminist poetry collections, so I'm thrilled that Tayi Tibble's writing is getting the praise it clearly deserves. I admire how Tibble isn't afraid to question all of her choices in this collection, specifically when it comes to social media, cancel culture, and personal beliefs. Tibble weaves in intricate and timely references to pop culture and makes historical connections between various mythologies. This is a stunning piece of intersectional feminist writing and I can't wait to get my hands on a physical copy for my bookshelf.
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3 stars

Published: 7/26/22

**ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**

genre: poetry, Indigenous
themes: colonization, gender, Indigenous culture and identity, death and grief, assimilation

+ that phenomenal cover
+ Greek, Māori, feminist, kiwi mythos
+ snake & Medusa imagery
+ discussion of hair as power
+ ocean and mermaid imagery
+ favorite poems: "Nobody in the Water," "Christmas," "Baptism"
+ Part 2 was my favorite section due to the use of stanzas and occasional rhythm

/ Part 1 was the weakest, Part 2 was the strongest, and Part 3 was a mixed bag

- I'm not the intended audience for this and I'm sure I'm not properly understanding it. Please refer to reviewers who may be more fitting.
- Stream of consciousness poem style, which isn't my favorite

Comp Recs
+ There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce - Morgan Parker
+ Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth - Warsan Shire
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I wanted to love this as I often want to love poetry books. I can't, in good faith, leave a positive or negative review. I'm not quite sure if I didn't like it or if I didn't understand it. I appreciate the representation of the inigenous female voice regardless.
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3.5 stars***

An interesting and amusing collection! Tayi Tibble has a way of making their insights into comedy. I liked it, though I did find it difficult to connect with personally. Perhaps just not my flavour of poetry! That being said, I would recommend this collection to folks who want something fresh, contemporary, witty, and from a unique Indigenous perspective. I also appreciated the ways that Maori culture is centered in this book.
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Poukahangatus by Tayi Tibble is a moving collection of poetry that highlights the authors life as an Indigenous woman. Her poem titled Agenda was my favorite of the collection and I believe it highlights the authors sharp emotional writing style as well as her unique storyteller voice. This is a beautiful book of poetry with a viewpoint that the reader should read and meditate on.
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I love work that interrogates / reimagines / generally plays with myth and legend and the present and this collection carries that in spades. Refreshing, invigorating, emotionally deep -- I'll be coming back to these poems the rest of my days.
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Many of these feels more like inti3thoughts and essays versus poems. Some were hit and miss and some were pointed. The words and flow didn't seem to connect. But it was an interesting and eye opening dive into another's thoughts and life.
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I really wanted to love Poukahangatus by Tayi Tibble but I feel like most of the poems went over my head. I was trying to catch a deeper meaning and find the connection but often felt disappointed when I reached the end of the poem. Maybe it was me but I would definitely give the poet another go in the future.
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Maybe it's me
I'm going to reread this again
Hopefully I'll be able to get into it.

But I just wasn't able to finish this unfortunately
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"all anyone ever does around here is / grow weed and stare / into burnt- out houses / into the rabbit hole / into the cards / into the skin / and roll their cars / their eyes / their r’s / their cigarettes / and kick snow / kick rugby balls / kick each other / kick bad habits / only to find another / like an eel / in the creek / in the backyard / in the dark / in winter / and try to kill it on the rocks / chase the girls / in a shed / a bathtub / a bed / with wet fingers / eyes / tongues / and T-shirts / from spilled beer / spilled cum / spilled blood / spilled secrets / bad boys / with bad skin / bad tattoos / and bad reputations / because here / all anyone ever does is / swear / across their hearts / at referees / at other drivers / taking to the road / cos all anyone ever wants around here is / out / of home / of the closet / of the relationship / of the sixth-storey window / open it / to the cold / to the clouds / to the sky / cos all anyone ever does around here is / dive /"

In all honesty, it was the gorgeous cover that first piqued my interest concerning this anthology. The synopsis heightened my interest and the wonders immediately found instead convinced me that I had made the correct choice in picking this up. Look at the power, the rawness, the perfect placement of words featured in the snippet above and tell me I was not wrong?

Throughout this anthology, Tibble explores her identity as a twenty-first-century Indigenous woman and I appreciated the insight to their culture just as much as the rich language used to evoke it.
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Wow, this is a beautiful collection of poetry. I was enthralled with this book of works and the lyrical forum they took on each page. Absolutely beautiful.
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There’s undeniable heart in these poems and a clear desire to share personal and cultural experience. Unfortunately, that intention was the only anchor in this collection for me; an intention that didn’t always connect to the execution of each poem. Tibble is a young poet, although accomplished in performance, and it feels like these poems needed more time to develop. 

Sharing this book on socials to promote this author without critical review.
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Thank you to Knopf for this ARC - out 26 July!

In her American debut collection, Tayi Tibble has created modern, rooted poems that tie in her Māori upbringing with mythos and feminist movements from around the world. Her poems spring from the joy and death that the ocean brings, to the ways that class and race become tantalizing playgrounds as soon as horny teens hit high school. This was a wonderful read, and something I’m definitely going to go back to the next time I find myself near some crashing waves. 
Fave poems:
Cowboys and Indians 
Vampires versus Werewolves

Read If You Like:
Reading essays critiquing the accuracy of the Pocahontas myth
Diana Clarke’s books, particularly “The Hop”
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Through visceral and entertaining poems, Tayi Tibble makes her American debut; her language is striking and stripped back, and touches on life as a modern Indigenous woman in New Zealand. Included in Apartment Therapy's July "New Book" Roundup.
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Thank you for Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group and NetGalley for a free eARC in exchange for my honest thoughts. 
I enjoyed this poetry collection. My favorite poems were: "Assimilation," "Vampires versus Werewolves," and "Long White Clouds" Tibble has a unique voice and writing style that keeps you both engaged and thoughtful. 
There were things that hit me as a Millennial American and other poems were I felt like a listener as Tibble explored the history of Indigenous peoples and her own experiences. Overall, a solid poetry collection that I would recommend.
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Competent, occasionally impactful, but rarely stands out above similar works. Not a bad collection, but a bit of a linguistically and thematically repetitive one.
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These poems feel more like diary entries, and they are easy to understand and quick to move. The poems were, mostly, outstanding, and I loved how steeped in Maori culture and life they all were. I will also mention that the cover itself is absolutely stunning. 

Favorite poems include Christmas, The Smell, The Ghosts, Mint Green Cross!
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As with most other reviewers, I want to begin with the caveat that I'm not a poetry expert! That being said, I did find Tibble's collection to be a bit uneven -- some poems ran together, while others were crisp and biting. The opening sequence and the Twilight-focused poem were standouts. I'll certainly give the poet's next collection a read!
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As with most poetry and personal essay collections, this book had both hits and misses for me. Poukahangatus covers a range of themes such as history, race, culture, adolescence and womanhood. I really enjoyed the ones about pop culture, with the author's analysis about Twilight being my favourite. Overall, it's a great collection even though most of it isn't really to my tastes.
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Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this poetry book in exchange for an honest review!


I'm not the best critic for poetry, and I definitely am not a very good one, however I can understand poetry enough to know if it's good or not. The poems in this book were very reminiscent of 'honey & milk' by Rupi Kaur, it is to the point and leaves very little room for interpretation - and it just doesn't feel like poetry; if anything, it feels more like a series of thoughts put into a book and the sentences are spaced out into paragraphs to make them look aesthetically pleasing. 

I picked this up cause I wanted to try something new - as well as begin my deeper understanding of poetry, and I think this was a good starter book, despite its simplicity. There wasn't enough imagery, analogies, and context for me to really grip the poems enough - I just felt like they were surface-level and was hard for me to absorb, despite reading the poems three to four times. There were two poems that I enjoyed, Identity Politics And LBD, as I felt like these were the ones that I could absorb best and relate to the most - it had the most depth for me and flowed really well in my opinion, it was just a shame that the others were just as equally important but I couldn't absorb as well. One gripe I also had with the poems were also that the titles did not relate to the poems themselves, and I was re-reading the poems to better understand the title, but I just couldn't understand. 

The themes the author talks about in the poems are really important, however I feel like it could have been told in short essays rather than poetry. I feel like the author does love their poems and loves poetry, I just think they need to hone their craft better and learn how to create atmospheric, hard-hitting, and thought-provoking poems. It might just be me that doesn't understand, and I am proud of the author!
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