Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Edmond, Lauris

Lauris Edmond (1924-2000)


Classic New Zealand Poets in Performance (2006):

Before a Funeral
Scar Tissue
yellow-eyed penguin
Autumn in Canada

Aotearoa NZ Poetry Sound Archive (2004):


[read by Lauris Edmond]:

1. Yellow-eyed Penguin
2. In Position
3. Body Language
4. Autumn in Canada
5. Taking Down Christmas Decorations
6. Hymn to the Body
7. Take One

[read by Frances Edmond]:

8. Late Song
9. The Eighth Decade
10. Afternoon at Akatarawa
11. Being There
12. Generation Gap
13. Driving home, Sunday night
14. Lunch in the city
15. Looking like Veronica
16. Geography
17. This year 1000 Americans will live to be over 100
18. Insomniac
19. Evening in April
20. Cucumber: a short essay

Frances Edmond [photograph: Jan Kemp]

Waiata Archive (1974):

CD 4

A Mixed Neighbourhood
Commercial Traveller
Before a Funeral
A Visit
Piano Practice
Facing Facts
Scar Tissue
Mister Dog
Making Good
The Party
The Rabbit

Bio /Bibliography:

Lauris Edmond (1924-2000) grew up in Greenmeadows and spent the first part of her adult life in rural communities. Her husband was a teacher in country high schools and during the 1950's and 1960's she brought up their six children. In 1975 she began to write seriously and her first book In Middle Air (1975) won the PEN Best First Book Award. Some sixteen volumes of poetry followed, ending with the posthumous collections Late Song and Carnival of New Zealand Creatures (2000). Amongst the awards and fellowships were: the Katherine Mansfield Fellowship (1981), Commonwealth Poetry Prize (1985), OBE for services to poetry and literature (1986), Lillian Ida Smith Award for poetry (1987), Hon D. Litt (Massey University, 1988), and many others. She read her work widely both in New Zealand and overseas. Her poetry won her not only critical acclaim but reached out to many different people throughout the world.

Other writing included a novel, a sequence of plays for radio, a number of short stories as well as essays and reviews and she edited a volume of A.R.D. Fairburn's letters (1981). Her life as a poet, mother, wife, teacher and editor has been recorded in three volumes of autobiography which were collected into one volume as An Autobiography in 1994. Her commitment to the writing community is reflected in her work for New Zealand Books, the review periodical founded by the Peppercorn Press in 1990.


In Middle Air, Pegasus Press, 1975
The Pear Tree, Pegasus Press, 1977
Salt from the North, Oxford University Press, 1980
Wellington Letter: A Sequence of Poems, Mallinson Rendel, 1980
Seven (with lino cuts by Jim Gorman), Wayzgoose Press, 1980
Catching It, Oxford University Press, 1984
Selected Poems, Oxford University Press, 1984
Seasons and Creatures, Oxford University Press and Bloodaxe Books, 1986
Summer near the Arctic Circle, Oxford University Press, 1988
New and Selected Poems, Oxford University Press and Bloodaxe Books, 1991
Five Villanelles, Peppercorn Press, 1992
Scenes from a Small City, Daphne Brasell Associates, 1994
Selected Poems, Bridget Williams Books, 1994
A Matter of Timing, Auckland University Press, 1996 (published by Bloodaxe Books as In Position)
50 Poems: A Celebration, Bridget Williams Books/Peppercorn Press, 1999
Late Song, Auckland University Press, 2000
Carnival of New Zealand Creatures, Pemmican Press, 2000


Hot October, Allen and Unwin, 1988; Bridget Williams Books, 1989
Bonfires in the Rain, Bridget Williams Books, 1991
The Quick World, Bridget Williams Books, 1992
An Autobiography, Bridget Williams Books, 1994, 2001

Frances Edmond, writer and actress, is Lauris Edmond's daughter and Literary Executor. She trained at Toi Whakaari/New Zealand Drama School and first performed her mother's work at Circa Theatre in 1977. During Lauris' lifetime she and Frances collaborated on many projects including a one woman play that Lauris wrote for her daughter. Frances currently works as a screenwriter.

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