Hinemoana Baker



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Shortlisted for the 2021 Mary and Peter Biggs Awards for Poetry

JUNE 2020 mebook.gif

Don’t ask me to speak for the nations, we shift
the hate with the light from our fascinators

A queer / takatāpui Māori writer living in Berlin, Germany since 2015, Hinemoana Baker brings a unique perspective both to and from the ‘global North’. Drawing on the German meaning of the word ‘funken’ – to send a radio signal – her latest collection broadcasts unsettling songs of rebirth, love, friendship and alienation across homes and languages, to the living and to the dead.

Funkhaus is home to big, punchy poems and shimmering delicacy, as well as Hinemoana’s trademark humour. This book invites readers to tune out the crackle and static, and dial in their own receivers to a signal that has travelled a long way to reach them, no matter where they are.

The polaroid grows branches, colours and
cousins, rivers, mountains twist and pose
on the high-stepping stiletto
red carpet

‘Born in Berlin, Funkhaus is always somehow calling home. Or calling out for home.’
—Marty Smith

'Baker is at the top of her game. . . . Funkhaus is a significant achievement in that it manages to capture both the loveliness and awfulness of human existence.' —Kiri Piahana-Wong, Academy of New Zealand Literature

'Sharp, enigmatic humour and deep warmth.' —Loose Reads, 95bfm

'Like the emanations from the radio station of the title, these poetry messages travel; from Lake Geneva to Waitangi, Berlin to Ihumātao, Funkhaus transmits an unstaunchable array of emotions in rhythmic form.' —Judges' comments, 2021 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards

'In these poems we have the work of an intelligent, enquiring, sometimes angry, on-the-edge poet. . . . But the poet can also access the humorous and the loving.' —Vaughan Rapatahana, Landfall Online

'The journey and arc of the book is one of self-reflection, moving bird-like from the mother marae to the aunties and cousins to the self, to loss, to lovers, to the place the author calls home: one foot in each place. . . . Ngā mihi e te whanauka, Hinemoana. You pieced me back together, in this time of uncertainty and loss, with your kupu, like the superglue red clay of Hineahuone. You showed me what perspective on the self and our turangawaewae can create.' —Arihia Latham, Pantograph Punch

Paperback, 210x138mm, 72 pages