u blow on my fingers
and i feel ur breath in the 
soft gaps 
that i am trying to live in

In ransack, essa may ranapiri addresses the difficulty of assembling and understanding a fractured, unwieldy self through an inherited language – a language whose assumptions and expectations ultimately make it inadequate for such a task. These poems seek richer, less hierarchical sets of words to describe ways of being. Punctuated by a sequence of letters to Virginia Woolf’s character Orlando, this immersive collection is about discovering, articulating, and defending – to oneself and to others – what it means to exist outside of the western gender binary, as takatāpui. It describes an artist in a state of becoming, moving from Te Kore through Te Pō and into the light.







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