Blog Archives

Obituary — Mike Doyle

“A nice guy” C K Stead recalls the poet and critic Mike Doyle (1928-2016) Late in December, I received a phone call to say my former colleague, and friend of many years, Mike Doyle had died at home in Canada.

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Poem — C K Stead

A matter of time When I was young it was C.P. Snow averred anyone who did not know the Second Law of Thermodynamics was uneducated. ‘Two Cultures’ was his bag and what he wanted was scientists reading poems, Arts chaps

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Moss, C K Stead

Maurice Gee: Life and Work
Rachel Barrowman
Victoria University Press, $60.00
ISBN 9780864739926

When I was young, New Zealand fiction had three Maurices. Duggan (“Maurice”) was the maestro, Gee (“Moss”) the dependable tradesman, and Shadbolt (“Morrie”) the showman. The maestro wrote mostly very slowly and with difficulty; the tradesman was more fluent and produced new work with what appeared to be near regularity; the showman was always ahead of the pack, prolific and catching the public eye, but was felt by some to be a bit of a sham. All three were in varying degrees neurotic – to be a writer in the 1950s, you had to be.

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Posted in Biography, Literature, Non-fiction and Review

Poem — C K Stead

The Widow Will Not Be Returning   The widow across the street has been taken to live with her family, and later perhaps to a hospice. Last week I was called to witness her will. Now Rufus her little dog

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Late style, Michael Hulse

The Yellow Buoy C K Stead Auckland University Press, $28.00, ISBN 9781869407353 The Blue Coat Elizabeth Smither Auckland University Press, $25.00, ISBN 9781869407360 Collected Poems 1956-2011  Peter Bland Steele Roberts, $46.00, ISBN 9781877577994 These writers are past their three-score-and-ten –

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Posted in Literature, Poetry and Review

Nothing sacred, Christine Johnston

Risk  C K Stead MacLehose Press, $30.00, ISBN 9780857052230 C K Stead is a towering figure in New Zealand writing – a distinguished novelist, literary critic, poet, essayist and emeritus professor of English of the University of Auckland. He has

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Posted in Fiction, Literature and Review

Poem — C K Stead

The Silence The dead we think are gone except when dreams return them. So it was Frank Sargeson took me aside in Hell and said, “You know, my friend, the ways the wind among the reeds is used by shaman

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Life in the bush, by the bay, Dougal McNeill

Speaking Frankly: The Frank Sargeson Memorial Lectures 2003-2010 Sarah Shieff (ed) Cape Catley, $31.99, ISBN 9781877340277   Celebrating Katherine Mansfield: A Centenary Volume of Essays Gerri Kimber and Janet Wilson (eds) Palgrave Macmillan, $162.00, ISBN 9780230277731   It was a

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Posted in Essays, Lecture, Literature, Non-fiction and Review

Risk, C K Stead

An extract from C K Stead’s new novel. It was in December that Tom Roland was at home standing in front of the television set thinking about travel. The memory of a poem had set him off on this track.

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