This book is a great addition to the school library and would be equally useful as a class resource to unpack.
Out Here: a Takatāpui LGBTQIA+ anthology defines writers/contributors as those with specific identities and preferences in order to be to be as inclusive as possible.
Many well known names are represented in this hefty tome of poetry, word art and short stories. There are many new voices too all of whom offer varied ideas and experiences.
Pre 1990s writing has moved on from misrepresented, discriminatory, queer characters to contemporary, insightful portrayals. Out Here editors comment on how the Homosexual Law Bill enabled transparency and recognition of previously challenged queer writing. Invisible writing thus is now visible. Gender and sexual identities are worked across genres.
Contributions are strikingly contemporary juxtapositions. Hera Lindsey Bird writes a love poem:
I stare and stare at you like you were a distant mountain in a homeopathic
with rare medicinal flowers on it
Contributions are exploratory and affirming, or search for identity:
You translating yourself
into other people
translating other people
In the short story Searches related to state, Gus Goldsack plays with words and metaphor to expose ‘ state of disarray’ changing viewpoints.
I don’t know what his view is like now because we don’t really talk any more
Out Here is a great addition to the school library or would be equally useful as a class resource to unpack.
Title: Out Here: an anthology of Takatāpui and LGBTQIA+ writers from Aotearoa
Publisher: Auckland University Press
Publication: November 2021
Ages: Young adult and adult
Reviewer: Michele Ayres, Librarian, Motueka High School, Tasman
How are you recommending this book? Highly recommended
What’s the book’s opening sentence? As teenagers, the two of us would look for queer texts in public and in private.