A diverse treasure trove of work, Thora Moffat
Out Here: An Anthology of Takatāpui and LGBTQIA+ writers from Aotearoa
Edited by Chris Tse and Emma Barnes
IBSN 978 1 86940 931 9
Auckland University Press 2021
Feb 13, 2023
Out Here: An Anthology of Takatāpui and LGBTQIA+ writers from Aotearoa is a beautiful book edited by Chris Tse and Emma Barnes. It’s filled with poems, short stories, and even comic strips by LGBTQIA+ authors, giving them the opportunity to share their work free from discrimination.
The pieces are written by a wide range of authors and in many different styles and genres, making them an interesting read for anyone.
I have found that it is great to just open Out Here to a random page and read from there when I need a break from technology or just want to relax for a bit without having to commit to reading an entire book.
I believe this book is intended for older readers as some of the content is a bit mature and would be more relatable for fifteen to sixteen-year-olds rather than someone younger. It is, though, certainly written for those of the LGBTQ+ community, as they can relate better to some of the experiences shared and may find comfort in knowing that they are not alone, and can accomplish anything they put their mind to. It is inspiring knowing that there are so many queer authors just from New Zealand.
After each work, there is a small blurb about each author and at the back there is a list of the previously published works by the authors, meaning if you find one author you particularly like you now know where you can find more of their works. As they are all from Aotearoa finding some who are from the same region as you can be really inspiring. I loved the fact that a lot of the authors tied in their connection to Aotearoa, including Stacey Teague, who wrote a beautiful short poem on the significance of greenstone.
This book would be perfect for a classroom or college library as it allows teenagers to read some of the stories instead of having to buy the book. It would mean people feel more included at their school.
Another thing I enjoyed about Out Here is that not everything in it was about being LGBTQ+. I think this really reflects how, although it is a significant and important part of the authors’ lives, being part of the rainbow community is not all they are.
I would give this book a 9/10. I think it is a fantastic idea and I love the fact that there will be something for anyone who reads it. Some of the stories I personally did not enjoy but that is to be expected from a book by many authors.
Out Here is a fabulous collection of wonderfully written pieces which reflect each author’s own unique style. I would encourage everyone over fifteen to read this book as it can help you view the world in a different light and bring awareness to problems facing the rainbow community. Helping LGBTQ+ authors be known, Out Here is filled to the brim with fantastic creations that would be otherwise difficult to find.
Thora is 15 years old and lives in Nelson