Harvey McQueen (b. 1934)
Aotearoa NZ Poetry Sound Archive (2004):
4. Makeshift Holding Pen
5. One Simple Day
6. My Stepfather
7. A Letter
9. A November Evening
10. from Stoat Spring
12. Giverny in Autumn
Bio / Bibliography:
Harvey McQueen was born at Little River in 1934. Graduating from the University of Canterbury with History Honours he taught in secondary schools in the Waikato region - Morrinsville College, Thames High School and Melville High School. In 1972 he became an inspector of secondary schools and in 1977 shifted to Wellington to work in the Department of Education Head Office. When he took early retirement in 1985 he was Assistant Director, Curriculum Development.
He worked as an education consultant and writer, including a stint of 18 months as an aide in 1988-9 for David Lange when the Prime Minister held the education portfolio. Harvey subsequently wrote about his Beehive experience in a book titled The Ninth Floor. He resumed his consultancy work but was asked in 1992 to be the foundation director of the New Zealand Council for Teacher Education. He retired from that position at the end of 1997. He was a ministerial appointment on the Teacher Registration Board 1993-2000 and in 2001 was asked to be Interim Director of the Board to assist in its transition to the New Zealand Teachers Council. After eleven months in that position he handed over to the newly appointed Director. As he said at his farewell, “I am very retiring man.”
In the Queen’s Jubilee Honours 2002 Harvey was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to education and literature.
Harvey has had five volumes of his own poetry published.
• Against the Maelstrom (Caxton, 1981),
• Stoat Spring (Mallinson Rendell, 1983),
• Oasis Motel and Other Poems (Black Robin, 1986),
• Room (Black Robin, 1988),
• Pingandy (HeadworX, 1999)
He is also a well-known editor and anthologist with six collections.
• Ten Modern New Zealand Poets, with Lois Cox (Longman Paul, 1974)
• A Cage of Words: for schools (Longman Paul, 1980)
• The Penguin Book of New Zealand Verse, with Ian Wedde (1985)
• The Penguin Book of Contemporary New Zealand Poetry, with Ian Wedde & Miriama Evans (1989)
• The New Place: The Poetry of Settlement in New Zealand 1852-1914 (VUP 1993)
• Gifts: for schools (Longman Pearson) 2000)
Other books are
• Australia Today (Department of Education, 1988)
• The Ninth Floor (Penguin, 1991)
• A Quality Partnership: Transition between Education and Employment (Institute of Policy Studies, VUP, 1992)
• Education is Change: 20 Viewpoints (Bridget Williams Books, 1994)
• Our Country, Our Choices (the education chapter) (NZ Futures Trust, 1997)
As well as poems regularly published in New Zealand magazines he has had poems in Meanjin, Helix, Poetry Australia, and Poetry Canada Review. He has been a contributor to The Oxford Companion to Twentieth Century Poetry, The New Zealand Dictionary of National Biography, and The Oxford Companion to New Zealand Literature. As well he is demand as a reviewer and a writer of articles on education.
He was president of PEN 1987, resigning when he was appointed to work for David Lange, but he had begun commenced steps to spread the presidency of PEN around the country rather than leaving it as it had been previously, just Wellington-based.