Blog Archives

So wide, can’t get around it, John Newton

James K Baxter: Complete Prose John Weir (ed) Victoria University Press, $200.00 ISBN 9781776560370 James K Baxter’s Collected Poems which appeared in 1979 remains the most monumental object in New Zealand verse. But it contains a mere 700 poems; the…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Non-fiction, Review, Short stories

A lonely Orpheus, Liam McIlvanney

The Snake-Haired Muse: James K Baxter and Classical Myth Geoffrey Miles, John Davidson and Paul Millar Victoria University Press, $50.00, ISBN 9780864736581   “What happens is either meaningless to me, or it is mythology.” Though James K Baxter’s vatic pronouncement…
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Posted in Literature, Non-fiction, Poetry, Review

Being a bard, Dougal McNeill

Selected Poems of James K Baxter Paul Millar (ed) Auckland University Press, $40.00, ISBN 9781869404611 Maurice Shadbolt called Baxter “a Bard, our only one”. It’s unusual now to read the term used without irony or self-consciously distancing care; but, with…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review

Poets for the ear, Hugh Roberts

James K Baxter: Poems  Sam Hunt (ed)  Auckland University Press, $29.99,  ISBN 9781869404345 Doubtless: New and Selected Poems  Sam Hunt Craig Potton Publishing, $29.99, ISBN 9781877333811 Googling the phrase “New Zealand’s greatest poet” finds hits evenly divided between James K…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review

Pioneers of bicultural spirituality, Paul Morris

Ratana: The Prophet  Keith Newman Raupo, $40.00, ISBN 978014310972 Double Rainbow: James Baxter, Ngati Hau and the Jerusalem Commune  John Newton Victoria University Press, $40.00,  ISBN 9780864736037 Pakeha and Maori find themselves in Martin Heidegger’s phrase “thrown” together in our…
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Posted in Health, Māori, Non-fiction, Review

Speaking frankly of Frank and James K, Stevan Eldred-Grigg

An Affair of the Heart: A Celebration of Frank Sargeson’s Centenary ed Graeme Lay and Stephen Stratford Cape Catley, $49.99, ISBN 0908561938 O Jerusalem – James K Baxter: An Intimate Memoir Mike Minehan Hazard Press, $24.95, ISBN 1877270385 Two icons…
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Posted in Essays, Literature, Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

Young Jim, W H Oliver

Spark to a Waiting Fuse: James K Baxter’s correspondence with Noel Ginn 1942-1946 ed Paul Millar Victoria University Press, $49.95, ISBN 086473400X I began this book thinking that a shorter one might have been enough for a smallish collection of…
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Posted in Letters, Literature, Poetry, Review

Buying into Baxter? Rob Jackaman

Beyond the Palisade James K Baxter (ed Paul Millar) Oxford University Press, $29.95, ISBN 0 19 558406 6 Autumn Testament James K Baxter (ed Paul Millar) Oxford University Press, $29.95, ISBN 0 19 558386 8 Not arriving in New Zealand…
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Posted in Literature, Poetry, Review

Wielding the jawbone of an ass, Fleur Adcock

I last saw Jim Baxter towards the end of 1962, eating steak and chips for lunch in a restaurant on Lambton Quay. I was about to leave for England, but not so imminently that I felt the need to make…
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Posted in Opinion

More than the myth he became, Tom Beard

I was four when Baxter died and living on the other side of the world. It seems that everyone here has a Baxter anecdote ‑ something along the lines of “I remember finding Jim passed out next to my letterbox”…
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Posted in Opinion
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