Double Book Launch | Madison Hamill & Oscar Upperton

18:00 pm
19:30 pm
Unity Books
57 Willis Street

Unity Books Wellington & Victoria University Press warmly invite you to celebrate the launch of SPECIMEN BY MADISON HAMILL & NEW TRANSGENDER BLOCKBUSTERS BY OSCAR UPPERTON All welcome.

ABOUT SPECIMEN A father rollerblading to church in his ministerial robes, a university student in a leotard sprinting through fog, a trespass notice from Pak’nSave, a beautiful unborn goat in a jar . . .

In scenarios ranging from the mundane to the surreal, Madison Hamill looks back at her younger selves with a sharp eye. Was she good or evil? Ignorant or enlightened? What parts of herself did she give up in order to forge ahead in school, church, work, and relationships, with a self that made sense to others?

With wit and intelligence, these shape-shifting essays probe the ways in which a person’s inner and outer worlds intersect and submit to one another. It is a brilliantly discomfiting, vivid and funny collection in which peace is found in the weirdest moments.

‘I never felt that I was looking at fine writing – only at astonishing writing.’ —Elizabeth Knox.

Cover: Hannah Salmon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR MADISON HAMILL is based in Wellington. She has an MA in Creative Writing from the International Institute of Modern Letters. Her work has appeared in The Spinoff, Sweet Mammalian, Turbine Kapohau and Pantograph Punch.


The dead should come back changed, or what’s the point?

Why do you hide your head beneath the bedclothes?

Doesn’t everyone name themselves?

Is your house a bottle? Are you trapped in there?

Isn’t it nice to be this close to someone?

Can we go back to our notes? Please?

Urgent, witty and unnervingly beautiful, Oscar Upperton’s first collection takes familiar language and makes it uncanny. Suns detach. The ocean climbs a mast. Someone forgets where their haunted house is. These poems are vitally human and consoling; they reframe the ordinary as something to yearn for.

Cover photograph: Russell Kleyn

T-shirt: creepwear

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Oscar Upperton was born in Christchurch in 1991, and grew up in Whangārei and Palmerston North. He now lives in Wellington. In 2019 he was awarded the Creative New Zealand Louis Johnson New Writer’s Bursary. His work has featured in Sport, The Spinoff, Metro and Best New Zealand Poems.