cover image Rangikura


Tayi Tibble. Knopf, $28 (96p) ISBN 978-0-593-53462-5

Māori poet Tibble (Poukahangatus) meditates on the turbulence of youth and the spiritual guidance of her ancestors in her sagacious and impishly outspoken second collection. These poems engage with overt and overlooked subjugation, the weight of expectation, and the quest for self-containment in piquant, virtuosic stream of consciousness fused with ripe sensuality and robust lyricism. Playful slang, refreshing impropriety, and the Māori language establish an aura of authenticity and relatability that Gen Z and Millennials specifically will appreciate. Hilarious, punchy one-liners are ubiquitous—from the vision of AI strippers and the concept of “slutty food” to “taking boyfriends/ like appointments with a doctor.” Indulgence is epitomized in a summary of nights out, employed by exquisite wordplay: “Hoarded invitations to swanky lobotomies/ where I sipped Dom Perignon and rolled my eyes in divination.” In the collection’s denouement, Tibble basks in the embrace of her ancestors: “They gas me full tank and/ yas me in the mirror/ as I summon them out of me with/ my mascara wands and glitter.” Refulgent moons, fevered trysts, and racing cars backdrop the speaker’s search for true fulfillment. These poems pulsate with the heightened emotions of formative years. (Apr.)