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Fleur Adcock

Fleur Adcock

b. 1934

Fleur Adcock (b.1934) is a New Zealander by birth but spent part of her childhood in England, returning to live in London in 1963. She worked as a librarian until 1979 before becoming a freelance...
Charles Brasch

Charles Brasch

b. 1909 d. 1973

Charles Brasch belonged to a generation of New Zealand poets who, rising to prominence in the 1940s, expressed anxieties that, while personal and pākehā (non-Māori), seemed endemic to both the nation...
Diana Bridge

Diana Bridge

b. 1942

Diana Bridge introduces her second collection of poems, The Girls on the Wall (1999), with a quote from M.M. Bakhtin who remarked that "outsidedness is a most powerful factor in understanding [......
Alistair Te Ariki Campbell

Alistair Te Ariki Campbell

b. 1925 d. 2009

Alistair Te Ariki Campbell was the first Polynesian poet to have a collection published in English, Mine Eyes Dazzle, published in 1950. The attractive qualities of his poems are obvious: confident...
Allen Curnow

Allen Curnow

b. 1911 d. 2001

Allen Curnow (1911-2001) is a central figure in the emergence of an authentic New Zealand literature. A clue to this pivotal role can perhaps be traced in the fruitful duality of his parentage: born...
David Eggleton

David Eggleton

b. 1952

Of Rotuman, Tongan and European/Pakeha ancestry, David Eggleton was raised in Auckland and Fiji. As well as his poetry, Eggleton writes extensively on New Zealand art and music, edits New Zealand’s...
Riemke Ensing

Riemke Ensing

b. 1939

Born in The Netherlands, Riemke Ensing moved to New Zealand in 1951. A distinguished poet, Ensing’s life has also been spent as a tutor at The University of Auckland (NZ), where until recently she...
Janet Frame

Janet Frame

b. 1924 d. 2004

Known primarily as a prose-writer, Janet Frame’s passion since the age of nine was for poetry. She never stopped writing poems, expressing the recurrent themes of nature, animals, people, death and...
Ruth Gilbert

Ruth Gilbert

b. 1917

In the 1950s and 60s Ruth Gilbert received more than her fair share of male condescension and negativity. Reviewing The Luthier (which won the Jessie Mackay Memorial Award for Verse along with James...
Denis Glover

Denis Glover

b. 1912 d. 1980

Denis Glover emerged as a poet in New Zealand in the 1930s, one of the new artistic generation of modernists and nationalists. A product of two of New Zealand’s elite secondary schools — Auckland...
Siobhan Harvey

Siobhan Harvey

b. 1973

Siobhan Harvey’s collection of poems Lost Relatives (2011) reveals her navigating shifting geographies in order to locate the sensorium of the self. Her compass is a pragmatic feminism that derives...
Sam Hunt

Sam Hunt

b. 1946

Sam Hunt is a rare commodity in New Zealand: a ham actor playing to the gallery and willing to go out on a limb; he's also a highly-effective poet, wise about his craft, while being a national icon....
Kevin Ireland

Kevin Ireland

b. 1933

Kevin Ireland was born Kevin Jowsey in Auckland and now lives just across the harbour in Devonport. A protégé of Frank Sargeson, he established a local literary presence as co-founder of Mate before...
Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson

b. 1940

‘Reality is where things happen’. So Michael Jackson writes in one of his poems, quoting William James. Reality, for Jackson, means to keep up a courteous but insistent conversation, a quest for...
Anna Jackson

Anna Jackson

b. 1967

Anna Jackson is a New Zealand poet and academic, partner of artist Simon Edmonds and mother of children, Johnny and Elvira. Her poetry was first published in book form in AUP New Poets 1 (AUP, 1999...
Andrew Johnston

Andrew Johnston

b. 1963

Andrew Johnston is the son of an English Professor, has had a successful career as a professional journalist including working as an editor for the International Herald Tribune for many years, and...
M. K. Joseph

M. K. Joseph

b. 1914 d. 1981

M. K. (Michael Kennedy) Joseph was among the foremost New Zealand writers of his generation, both as poet and novelist.
Born in Chingford, Essex to Catholic parents, who, after some years in post-...
Jan Kemp

Jan Kemp

b. 1949

Jan Kemp was born in Hamilton, New Zealand, in 1949. She was the sole woman anthologized in The Young New Zealand Poets (1973), and in 1979 co-starred with Alistair Campbell, Hone Tuwhare, and Sam...
Gary Langford

Gary Langford

b. 1947

Gary Langford (b. 1947, Christchurch) is a New Zealand poet and author with more than twenty books to his name, including eight volumes of poetry. His literary career includes editorships and...
Bill Manhire

Bill Manhire

b. 1946

Bill Manhire (b. 1946) was born in Invercargill, New Zealand, and joined the English Department at Victoria University, Wellington, in 1973, where he has held a Personal Chair since 1997. As a 'young...
Vincent O'Sullivan

Vincent O'Sullivan

b. 1937

Vincent O'Sullivan (b.1937, Auckland, New Zealand) lectured at Victoria University, Wellington (1963-1966) and Waikato University, Hamilton (1968-1978). In the following years he was the literary...
Alistair Paterson

Alistair Paterson

b. 1929

Alistair Paterson (ONZM) is one of New Zealand’s leading poets, editors and literary thinkers. He is the author of nine poetry collections, a novel, plays and numerous critical publications including...
Gloria Rawlinson

Gloria Rawlinson

b. 1918 d. 1995

Born in Tonga close to the end of the First World War, Gloria Rawlinson was a major New Zealand poet, biographer and editor. After her parents’ divorce, she moved to New Zealand with her mother, and...
Richard Reeve

Richard Reeve

b. 1976

Richard Reeve was born in 1976, and grew up in Dunedin. He has a PhD from the University of Otago centering on New Zealand poetry within the context of twentieth century European continental...
Elizabeth Smither

Elizabeth Smither

b. 1941

Wittiness and cleverness are hallmarks of Elizabeth Smither’s poems. Whether she is writing about colonial Parihaka, a small community in Taranaki, New Zealand (close to where she lives), listening...
C. K. Stead

C. K. Stead

b. 1932

Christian Karlson Stead (b. Auckland, New Zealand, 1932) Emeritus Professor at Auckland University, is perhaps New Zealand’s most internationally celebrated writer, with a literary life spanning more...
Robert Sullivan

Robert Sullivan

b. 1967

Contemporary Maori poetry in English has found its poetically most versatile spokesman in Robert Sullivan whose poems manifest their close affinity to patterns of an oral tradition. Listening to his...
Brian Turner

Brian Turner

b. 1944

Brian Turner was born in 1944. An outdoorsman, a mountaineer, a national representative hockey player, a keen cricketer, and an avid senior road cyclist he has made a unique career in New Zealand...
Hone Tuwhare

Hone Tuwhare

b. 1922 d. 2008

Hone Tuwhare (1922 — 2008) is New Zealand’s pre-eminent Maori poet; his tribal affiliations are with Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Korokoro, Ngāti Tautahi, Te Popote and Uri-o-Hau. From a working class background...
Briar Wood

Briar Wood

b. 1958

Aotearoa New Zealand writer, poet and academic Briar Wood is of Te Hikutu ki Hokianga Ngapuhi Nui, Scottish, Cornish, English and Portuguese descent. Her poetry has been published in a number of...

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A tour of the Archive with Connie Ruzich

As a university teacher who lives in an inland city surrounded by mountains, streams, and rivers, I sometimes have a...

Featured Guided Tours


Enjoy new recordings of classic poems from the past read by contemporary poets

Upon a Fit of Sickness

Anne Bradstreet

read by Denise Riley

Sonnet 116

William Shakespeare

read by Gillian Clarke