Chris Tse

ANZL Member

Chris Tse is a Wellington poet, editor, writer, actor, musician, and occasional filmmaker. His first full length poetry collection How to be dead in a year of snakes (Auckland UP, 2014) received the Jessie Mackay Award for Best First Book of Poetry (2016) and was a finalist in the poetry category at the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards (2016). His poetry, short fiction, and non-fiction have been recorded for radio and widely published in numerous journals, magazines and anthologies. He is also one of three poets in the joint collection AUP New Poets 4 (Auckland UP, 2011). Landfall describes his work as ‘a kind of kaleidoscopic poetic play’ that is both ‘curious and original’.

Chris has appeared in a number of literary festivals, either reading or as part of a panel, both in New Zealand and Australia, and chaired sessions at the National Young Writers Festival in Newcastle and Wellington Writers and Readers (2018).

His award winning collection How to be Dead in a Year of Snakes revisits the 1905 murder of Joe Kum Yung in Haining Street, Wellington, at the hands of noted racist Lionel Terry. The collection weaves together the voices of Joe, Terry and a chorus of witnesses, and asks readers to consider our collective responsibility to remember the dead and the injustices of our past.

A second full-length collection, HE’S SO MASC was published by Auckland University Press in March 2018. HE’S SO MASC confronts a contemporary world of self-loathing poets and compulsive liars, of youth and sexual identity, and of the author as character. Greg O’Brien describes the book as ‘about life: high life, low life, city life, street life, night life, the love life, the gay life. . .Staying Alive’ and how to be alive very much in the present tense.  It is a poetry of the raised voice and the raised room temperature. Give me calamity, he exclaims. Give me soul. Faced with the existential predicaments of the era, the poet proclaims: I choose disco.’

Out Here: An Anthology of Takatāpui and LGBTQIA+ writers from Aotearoa (AUP, 2021), is a recent landmark anthology co-edited by Chris Tse and Emma Barnes. It brings together and celebrates queer New Zealand writers from across the gender and LGBTQIA+ spectrum with a generous selection of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction.



Chris Tse’s website

Read NZ Te Pou Muramura writer page

Auckland University Press author page

Wikipedia Chris Tse

Poetry Foundation poet page

Radio NZ ‘Nine to Noon’ interview (26 March,2018)

New releases by Chris Tse

Out Here: An Anthology of Takatāpui and LGBTQIA+ writers from Aotearoa (anthology)

Published by Auckland University Press on November 11, 2021

Bibliography: Chris Tse


HE’S SO MASC (Auckland UP, 2018)

How to be Dead in a Year of Snakes (Auckland UP, 2014)





The New Zealand Listener




Poetry NZ





Sweet Mammalian



Cordite Poetry Review





AUP New Poets 4  ([with Harry Jones and Erin Scudder], Auckland UP, 2011)



Out Here: An Anthology of Takatāpui and LGBTQIA+ writers from Aotearoa ([with Emma Barnes], Auckland UP, 2021)


'There’s a kind of heaven that comes from hearing another writer interpret the mysteries of process' - Tracey Slaughter

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