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Coconut Milk
By Dan Taulapapa McMullin
80 pp. / 6.00 x 9.00 / 2013
Paper (978-0-8165-3052-6)
  - Sun Tracks

Related Interest
  - Poetry
  - Fiction

Coconut Milk is a fresh, new poetry collection that is a sensual homage to place, people, love, and lust. The first collection by Samoan writer and painter Dan Taulapapa McMullin, the poems
This book gave me a lot to think about as a reader even while leaving me envious of his crafting of poems. You know you impress another poet when they think,

Wow, I wish I'd written that!

—Anita Endrezze in The Raven Chronicles

McMullin's style is sometimes conversational and performative, and sometimes focused on the poetry on the page. He has some simply stunning images, and I appreciate his refusal of translation. He balances humor, rage, and the erotic through his words.

—Qwo-Li Driskill, co-editor of Sovereign Erotics: A Collection of Two-Spirit Literature

McMullin's Coconut Milk is a brilliant collection of both narrative and avant-garde poems descended from traditional storytelling that give voice to Samoan fa'afafine culture as it continues to flourish in Samoa and in the colonial diaspora.

—Brandy Nalani McDougall, author of The Salt-Wind: Ka Makani Pa'Akai

evoke both intimate conversations and provocative monologues that allow him to explore the complexities of being a queer Samoan in the United States.

McMullin seamlessly flows between exposing the ironies of Tiki kitsch–inspired cultural appropriation and intimate snapshots of Samoan people and place. In doing so, he disrupts popular notions of a beautiful Polynesia available for the taking, and carves out new avenues of meaning for Pacific Islanders of Oceania. Throughout the collection, McMullin illustrates various manifestations of geopolitical, cultural, linguistic, and sexual colonialism. His work illuminates the ongoing resistance to colonialism and the remarkable resilience of Pacific Islanders and queer-identified peoples.

McMullin's Fa'a Fafine identity—the ability to walk between and embody both the masculine and feminine—creates a grounded and dynamic voice throughout the collection. It also fosters a creative dialogue between Fa'a Fafine people and trans-Indigenous movements. Through a uniquely Samoan practice of storytelling, McMullin contributes to the growing and vibrant body of queer Indigenous literature.

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