new zealand electronic poetry centre




Chris Tse

Recorded 2 February 2016 at the University of Auckland, Faculty of Arts Sound Studio.
Tim Page, sound engineer.


Chris Tse
 Photo credit: Sklee

Chris Tse was born and raised in Lower Hutt. He studied film and English literature at Victoria University of Wellington, where he also completed an MA in creative writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters. Chris was one of three poets featured in AUP New Poets 4 (Auckland University Press, 2011). His first book, How to be Dead in a Year of Snakes (Auckland University Press, 2014) was shortlisted for the 2016 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards and won the Jessie Mackay Best First Book Award for Poetry. Chris has published short stories and non-fiction in a number of publications, and he is also an occasional actor and musician.

Poem notes

How to be Dead in a Year of Snakes is a book-length sequence that revisits the murder of Joe Kum Yung in Wellington’s Haining Street in 1905. For Six Pack Sound, I’ve chosen three ‘interview’ poems to represent the multiple voices in the book, namely those of Joe Kum Yung, Lionel Terry and the ambiguous presence of light on the scene of violent death.

The other poems I’ve chosen to record have appeared in journals since the publication of How to be Dead in a Year of Snakes. They reflect a number of interests that I’m exploring in my current writing, in particular how we adapt and share our personal histories, and how music affects memory and shared experience.

‘Lupine’ (originally published in Rejectamenta); ‘Belated backstory’ (originally published in Cordite Poetry Review); ‘Stillthe boys’ (originally published in Glitterwolf); ‘Thunder’s soul clap’ (originally published in Ika); ‘Present tension’ (originally published on Queen Mob’s Tea House); ‘Por Por’ (originally published in Cha).


Last updated 23 May, 2016