Māori scholar and poet Alice Te Punga Somerville was once advised to 'always italicise foreign words’. In her Ockham-winning debut book of poetry, she does precisely that. With equal parts humour and bite, sadness and aroha, she unpacks how one 'writes while colonised' in a masterclass of feeling isolated, rendered in poetic form. Drawing on her experience as a scholar, Te Punga Somerville traces the power of language throughout Aotearoa and the wider Pacific, Indigenous and colonial worlds. She asks how to be the only Māori person in a workplace and how – and why – to do the mahi anyway.
Alice Te Punga Somerville (Te Āti Awa, Taranaki) is a scholar and poet. She researches and teaches Māori, Pacific and Indigenous texts to de-centre colonialism at the University of British Columbia. She earned a PhD at Cornell University, is a Fulbright scholar and a recipient of a Marsden grant.
21.5 x 16cm