Author(s): Alistair Te Ariki Campbell
Having just turned 80, Alistair Te Ariki Campbell presents the best of his early and middle period poems, as well as his latest collections, Gallipoli and other Poems, Maori Battalion and an autobiographical poem in letters, Poets in Our Youth. Few New Zealand poets have treated the natural world with greater sensitivity, while his personal lyrics and love poems have a music and a depth of feeling that set them apart. Campbell is in the enviable position of being both a New Zealand and a Cook Islands poet, enabling him to draw on imagery, folklore, history, and mythology from both sources, with powerful effect. By happy chance he was appointed Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) while this book was in production. And it is cause for celebration that in his eightieth year this is his best collection. Alistair Te Ariki Campbell was born in Rarotonga in 1925. He taught briefly before becoming an editor in the Department of Education and later senior editor at NZCER. He was president of PEN International (NZ Centre), 1977-79 and was presenter of three TV documentaries based on his poems. Campbell has received many honours, including the NZ Award for Poetry, 1983, the Pacific Islands Artist Award and a D. Litt (Hon) by Victoria University of Wellington.