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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...

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

Paradise Lost (extract)

John Milton

read by Helen Dunmore

A Frog's Fate

Christina Rossetti

read by Alice Oswald