Saturday, December 1, 2007

Baxter, James K.

[Photograph: NZ Book Council]

James K. Baxter (1926-1972)


Classic New Zealand Poets in Performance (2006):

Poem in the Matukituki Valley
The Fallen House

New Zealand Poets Read Their Work (1974):

LP 2, side 2

Poem in the Matukituki Valley

LP 3, side 1


Waiata Archive (1974):

CD 24

Poem in the Matukituki Valley
The Fallen House

Bio /Bibliography:

James K. Baxter was born in Dunedin, the son of pioneering pacifist Archibald Baxter, author of We Will Not Cease (1939), and Millicent Brown, daughter of Professor John Macmillan Brown. These two sides of his personality, the idealist and the intellectual, warred in him for the rest of his life.

His first book of poems, Beyond the Palisade, was published in 1944, and he was immediately hailed as a wunderkind. From then until his death in 1972 there was never a moment when he was not at the forefront of New Zealand literary life – in Christchurch in the late 40s, in Wellington in the 50s, and (most famously) as a commune organizer at Jerusalem on the Whanganui River in the late 60s and early 70s. Out of this came his most famous (and arguably his finest) book, the Jerusalem Sonnets (1970).

As a critic, dramatist, social commentator, Baxter published widely, but his monument remains that amazing profusion of poems, which continue to address issues of race, class, and spirituality of vital concern to all New Zealanders. His Collected Poems appeared in 1980, followed by Collected Plays in 1982. His critical prose has been assembled in James K. Baxter as Critic (1978).

Selected Bibliography

Beyond the Palisade. Christchurch: Caxton Press, 1944.
Blow, Wind of Fruitfulness. Christchurch: Caxton Press, 1948.
The Fallen House. Christchurch: Caxton Press, 1953.
In Fires of No Return. London: Oxford University Press, 1958.
Howrah Bridge and Other Poems. London: Oxford University Press, 1961.
Pig Island Letters. London: Oxford University Press, 1966.
The Rock Woman: Selected Poems. London: Oxford University Press, 1969.
Jerusalem Sonnets. Dunedin: Bibliography Room, University of Otago, 1970.
Jerusalem Daybook. Wellington: Price Milburn, 1971.
Autumn Testament. Wellington: Price Milburn, 1972.
Runes. London: Oxford University Press, 1973.
The Labyrinth: Some Uncollected Poems 1944-1972. London: Oxford University Press, 1974.
The Tree House and Other Poems for Children. Wellington: Price Milburn, 1974.
The Bone Chanter: Unpublished Poems 1945-1972. Edited by J. E. Weir. Wellington: Oxford University Press, 1976.
The Holy Life and Death of Concrete Grady: Various Uncollected and Unpublished Poems. Edited by J. E. Weir. Wellington: Oxford University Press, 1976.
Collected Poems. Edited by J. E. Weir. Wellington: Oxford University Press, 1980.
Selected Poems. Auckland: Oxford University Press, 1982.
The Essential Baxter. Edited by J. E. Weir. Auckland: Oxford University Press, 1993.
Cold Spring: Baxter's Unpublished Early Collection. Edited by Paul Millar. Auckland: Oxford University Press, 1996.

Collected Plays. Auckland; New York: Oxford University Press, 1982.

James K. Baxter as Critic: a Selection from his Literary Criticism. Edited by Frank McKay. Auckland: Heinemann Educational Books, 1978.
Spark to a waiting fuse: James K. Baxter's correspondence with Noel Ginn, 1942-46. Edited by Paul Millar. Wellington: Victoria University Press, 2001.

Oliver, W. James K. Baxter: a portrait. Wellington: Port Nicholson Press, 1983.
McKay, Frank. The Life of James K. Baxter. Auckland: Oxford University Press, 1990.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi the date stated under James Baxters photo is wrong he died on October the 22nd 1972 not 1973.