Out Here: An anthology of Takatāpui and LGBTQIA+ writers from Aotearoa
Chris Tse and Emma Barnes
A remarkable anthology of queer New Zealand voices.
We became teenagers in the nineties when New Zealand felt a lot less cool about queerness, and gender felt much more rigid. We knew instinctively that hiding was the safest strategy. But how to find your community if you’re hidden?
Aotearoa is a land of extraordinary queer writers, many of whom have contributed to our rich literary history. But you wouldn’t know it. Decades of erasure and homophobia have rendered some of our most powerful writing invisible.
Out Here will change that. This landmark book brings together and celebrates queer New Zealand writers from across the gender and LGBTQIA+ spectrum with a generous selection of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction and much much more.
From established names to electrifying newcomers, the cacophony of voices brought together in Out Here sing out loud and proud, ensuring that future generations of queers are afforded the space to tell their stories and be themselves without fear of retribution or harm.
Chris Tse (he/him) was born and raised in Lower Hutt. He studied English literature and film at Victoria University of Wellington, where he also completed an MA in creative writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML). Tse was one of three poets featured in AUP New Poets 4 (2011). His first collection How to be Dead in a Year of Snakes (2014) won the Jessie Mackay Award for Best First Book of Poetry and his second book He’s So MASC was published to critical acclaim in 2018.
Emma Barnes (Pākehā, they/them) studied at the University of Canterbury and lives in Aro Valley, Wellington. Their poetry has been widely published for more than a decade in journals including Landfall, Turbine | Kapohau, Cordite and Best New Zealand Poems. They are the author of the poetry collection I Am in Bed with You (2021).
‘I was excited by the extraordinary list of names before I even read their wonderful words. Such a variety of ages and ethnicities; poetry, prose, plays, comics – so comprehensive, so inclusive, so cool! When I signed the Homosexual Law Reform petition more than thirty-five years ago, I never dreamed that one day I would be able to marry a woman if I chose, or that a publication like this could possibly exist. It’s the past and the future. It’s a taonga. These writers have claimed their space. Let’s celebrate their voices!’
— Carole Beu, MNZM, The Women’s Bookshop
‘This is an incredibly rich and very contemporary collection of prose and poetry. The writing is diverse, moving and often funny; the authors spark recognition and introduce the reader to new worlds.’
— Chris Brickell, University of Otago
'It is this multiplicity which makes Out Here such a precious taonga, and such a gift to the world. The emerging writers nestled in amongst icons, the multiculturalism of queer Aotearoa, and the sheer variety of passion and story reinforces the diversity and urgency of writing in New Zealand.' — Jean Sergent for The Spinoff
'Out Here is thoughtful, delicate and refreshing. There will be names you know and do not know, but you will close the book feeling enlightened and present. No doubt more is to come, for it proves that we have a future and place among the literary scene of Aotearoa. So count yourself included.' — Demi Cox for Kete Books
ContributorsA. J. Fitzwater
Ash Davida Jane
Courtney Sina Meredith
essa may ranapiri
Hera Lindsay Bird
Jessica Niurangi Mary Maclean
Kerry Donovan Brown
Luka Leleiga Lim-Cowley
Ngahuia te Awekotuku
Robyn Maree Pickens
Sarah Jane Barnett
Sophie van Waardenberg
Vanessa Mei Crofskey