Stacey Teague


210mm x 138mm
Publication date:
14 March 2024

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you see a photo of yourself / pressed behind plastic / three years old in a white skivvy

In Plastic, Stacey Teague reaches beyond the frame of her known world to find a way back to te ao Māori. Hers is a complicated, joyful route, full of conversations with ancestors, old places and herself. In form these poems range from plain-speaking prose and concrete poetry to odes and spells; in mood they are just as restless, taking in those times when life feels as big as a movie screen and times when it is more like ‘a loose stone to kick down the path’.

Gathered here are names that travel through time, failed photos of the moon, and love like a feather in the throat. There are encounters with Hine-te-iwaiwa, the bird-woman Kurangaituku, Hine-nui-te-pō, and Hinemoana as she erodes the land with her wildness. This whole-hearted collection shows us how many ways there are to search for one’s bones and at last get to know them.

'A love letter to us so-called "plastic" Māori, to us queer Māori, to us still searching for their place Māori, a love letter to the powerful kuia who make us who we are, and spells to utter a better world in.' —essa may ranapiri, author of echidna and ransack

'I love this book. . . . I feel like they do what you want poems to do, which is make you look twice.' —Claire Mabey, RNZ

'This is a book of mātauranga, of recovery, and of mana. . . . Plastic is a must-read for all. Prepare to be nourished, changed, and unable to put it down.' —Isla Huia, bad apple

'This is a book to pack an overnight bag for, to sojourn within and beyond, to reflect upon and to re-emerge nourished.' —Paula Green, NZ Poetry Shelf

'Powerful and compelling.' —NZ Listener

Stacey Teague (Ngāti Maniapoto/Ngāpuhi) is a poet, publisher, editor and teacher. She is the author of the poetry collection takahē (Scrambler Books, 2014) and two chapbooks: not a casual solitude (Ghost City Press, 2016) and hoki mai (If a Leaf Falls Press, 2020). She is currently a publisher and editor at Tender Press. She is the former poetry editor for Scum Mag and Awa Wahine. In 2019 she completed an MA in Creative Writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters.

Cover illustration: Sarah McNeil

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