Chris was born and raised in Lower Hutt and 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’ first full-length poetry collection, How to be Dead in a Year of Snakes, was published in 2014. In 2016, Snakes was a finalist in the poetry category at the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards, where it received the Jessie Mackay Award for Best First Book of Poetry. In 2018, he published his second collection, HE’S SO MASC, which was critically acclaimed and was included in the New Zealand Herald‘s Best Books of 2018 and The Spinoff‘s 20 Best Poetry Books of 2018. He co-edited Out Here: An Anthology of Takatāpui and LGBTQIA+ writers from Aotearoa. His most recent collection, Super Model Minority, was published in March 2022 and was longlisted for the Mary and Peter Biggs Award for Poetry and a finalist at the 35th Lambda Literary Awards.
In 2022, the National Library of New Zealand named Chris the 2022-2024 New Zealand Poet Laureate.