Auckland University Press, March 2018

In How to be Dead in a Year of Snakes, Chris Tse took readers back to a shocking 1905 murder. Now he brings the reader much closer to home. 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 — pop star, actor, hitman, and much more. These are poems that delve into worlds of hyper-masculine romanticism and dancing alone in night clubs.

With its many modes and influences, HE’S SO MASC is an acerbic, acid-bright, yet unapologetically sentimental and personal reflection on what it means to perform and dissect identity, as a poet and a person.

Launch speech by Greg O’Brien.

Named one of New Zealand Herald‘s Best Books of 2018
Named one of The Spinoff‘s 20 Best Poetry Books of 2018

A Fine Line
Booksellers NZ
NZ Booklovers
Landfall Review Online
New Zealand Review of Books
Otago Daily Times
Radio New Zealand ‘Best of 2018’
Santa Barbara Independent

“…a self-assured manifesto and statement on identity and a fully realised self… I absolutely adored this book.” – Charlotte Graham-McLay, Radio New Zealand

“…a real jewel box of sparkling verse.” – Marcus Hobson, New Zealand Booklovers

“Perhaps the best thing about He’s So MASC is that it feels utterly contemporary… Tse is writing about, and for, the present.” – Shanti Mathias, Salient

“It’s exciting to see a poet like Chris Tse entering the now-future of Aotearoa New Zealand poetry. About time too, I say.” – Vaughan Rapatahana, Landfall Review Online

“Tse presents himself ironically as a “self-loathing poet”… He is also Asian, gay and a lover (not to mention a bandleader, a figure in a selfie, a rock star, a king or queen, a hitman, a local celebrity and … Chris Tse). The number of proposed identities destroys the notion of a stable and circumscribed self.” – John Horrocks, NZ Books

“[An] edgy, sometimes hallucinogenic collection.”  – David Starkey, Santa Barbara Independent