Kia hiwa rā! A huge congratulations to Aotearoa’s literary darling, cool kid and all-round powerhouse, Tayi Tibble (Te Whānau ā Apanui, Ngāti Porou) who has a new piece of work, ‘Creation Story’, published in this month’s edition of The New Yorker.
This is a huge achievement and we cannot recall a Māori poet being featured in this iconic publication before – making Tayi the first. The Māori Literature Trust team reached out to editors at The New Yorker to confirm this, and whilst they say Tayi is most likely the first, demographics have not always been recorded. (If you know of any Māori published in The New Yorker please our DMs so we can settle this)
One of our mission statements is to take Māori voices to the world. To see Tayi being published in such a prominent, international publication is very inspiring for us as a team, as wāhine Māori and as creatives. Ka rawe Tayi, blaze those trails, share our stories – your tīpuna must be so proud of you!
We asked Tayi what this publication means to her to be the first kaituhi Māori published in The New Yorker.
“The New Yorker is such an iconic and illustrious publication — its the dream placement for poets everywhere — so its super cool, and overdue, for a wahine maori to appear in these pages too. My current artistic kaupapa is focused on Polynesians being pioneers, so I feel the significance of possibly being the first to cross this specific ocean, and I take it as a tohu that I’m on the right path and doing the right thing.
Plus I am super proud of the poem. I think its a full expression of my specific modern Māoritanga and perspective, as well as my craft. It’s a poem that acknowledges many years and layers of struggle while also being an expression of deep gratitude and wonderment and I love that it’s so full with atua and whanau and friends so even though I may be the first to appear in, I am not appearing alone. Lesh go.”
Photo Credit: Jane Ussher