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Tayi Tibble Q & A

“There are actually so many dope poets in New Zealand it’s literally disproportionate as well as a national mystery”

Why do you think poetry is so hot right now?

Because Megan Thee Stallion declared 2019 the year of the hot girl summer and Gigi and Bella Hadid were recently seen accessorizing their hot fits with Stephen King paperbacks. Also because poets have iphones now instead of typewriters which means we can also get on instagram and twitter, and share each other’s work dotted with cute emojis between re-tweets of Kim Kardashian’s face like it’s popular, and then it becomes popular, because life imitates art. 

We grow up with poetry in our lives. How does poetry shape us?

I think it shapes most people to hate poetry because Byron, Tennyson, Whitman are alienating and irrelevant to the modern skux, unless you’re a nerd born with bookish predisposition like me. I was a lucky nerd tho, I encountered Hone Tuwhare and Apirana Taylor poems in Intermediate school which certainly shaped me, as I discovered that there were at least two indigenous voices in poetry and New Zealand Literature. Young and ignorant and naive as I was then I thought, perhaps I could be the third. 

Tayi Tibble by Ebony Lamb photography

How can poetry break its ‘hierarchical chains’ and reach new communities?

I reckon instead of supporting me to write a follow up book, CNZ should finesse me an artist development deal with a major record label and a sick producer like, Timberland or Charli XCX and then I’ll make some dirty south(ern hempisphere) trap-poetry with bars like ‘before you try and come for me/open a book and learn to read/ because I’m literary e hoa!” which will break records as well as hierarchical chains, reaching new communities by way of making something that lil skuxes can whip to.   

Who are some NZ poets you think more people should be reading?

There are actually so many dope poets in New Zealand it’s literally disproportionate as well as a national mystery but the poets who consistently keep me in a creative state of productive jealousy include Hana Pera Aoake and Talia Marshall.