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Reviewed by Cassidy Grace, Assistant HOD of English, Hamilton Girls' High School, Hamilton
Opening sentence
No white people were harmed in the making of this book
From the very first line on page one, Avia sets the tone for the rest of the anthology. Through her words she shows that she will not be silenced from those who have criticised her and chooses this collection to speak her truth. She addresses the accusations of racism, bigotry and hate which her last collection received in a fiery and powerful way.

The anthology is split in four sections, each compelling and commanding. Werewolf is the first section in the collection and it allows readers who are disillusioned with the government and all of their nonsense to feel vindicated in their feelings towards events that have occurred. Her poems reflect what it is like to be brown living in Aotearoa and how it feels to have your very essence trampled on by the effects of colonisation.

The poetry uses explicit language throughout and would be suited to an older audience. It would be suited to a Year 13 English course centering around the power of voice and finding your own identity. Kaiako could pair this poetry with discussion around the context of colonisation and the effects it has on literature and the media.

One of my favourite parts of this collection is the encore at the end where Avia takes one last stab at those who want to belittle brown women and tells them where to go. Her voice is loud and uncompromising and just what we need in these enduring times.
Publisher: Te Herenga Waka University Press
ISBN: 9781776921294
Format: Paperback
Publication: November 2023
Ages: 16+ years
Themes: Using your platform and voice to speak out against racism and injustice