Simone Kaho is a New Zealand poet of Tongan descent. She was born in Auckland and received an MA in creative writing from the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University of Wellington. She is the author of Lucky Punch (Anahera Press, 2016).
By Simone Kaho
Coming August 2021
The poet is sexually assaulted and responds violently to fight off the attacker. She thinks she’s won, then her sense of safety is scrambled by distrust. Men pushing boundaries in every setting—once bearable—intensifies. Troubling memories from childhood resurface. The poet can’t bear it. She leaves every environment that feels unsafe and seeks understanding of the violence that was done to her, and roots of the violence that saved her. Does she owe it to Tongan-ness or tomboy-ness? Is it a seed that can be passed to other women? Over time, her triggered response evolves into calculated retaliation.
Bear is a blend of poetry and personal testimony about living with PTSD that lurches between identity, rage, and healing.