Sunday, November 11, 2007

Trussell, Denys

[Photograph: Jan Kemp (2002)]

Denys Trussell (b. 1946)


Aotearoa NZ Poetry Sound Archive (2004):


1. Full Moon Feminine
2. Between Sea-Mouths Kaipara/Hokianga [1-3]
3. Letter From The Whitcombe Pass
4. There Is At This Time The Building of Light [1-8]
5. The Naming
6. The Conquistador Soliloquy [3-5]
7. Six Evocations of the Unburied City [6]

Bio / Bibliography:

Born, Christchurch, New Zealand, 1946. Studied at Auckland University. Graduated with degrees in English and History, 1969, 1971. Has lived in Auckland ever since, excepting two years in Europe and six months in Australia.

Began publishing poetry with Stephen Chan, editor of Craccum and manager of The Association of Orientally Flavoured Syndics, in 1972. Has published in many magazines and journals since then, here and overseas. The NZ Listener, Landfall, Blast, Ulitarra, Poetry New Zealand and Climate are among the publications that have carried his poems and/or his writing on poetics.

His first book, a single long poem for choreography, Dance of the Origin, was text of a major dance work of the same name – choreography by Alison East, music by Ivan Zagni. His biography of the poet A.R.D. Fairburn has in it extensive discussions of literary history and poetics, particularly in New Zealand. This book wins PEN Best First Book of Prose in 1985. 1991 the long poem Archipelago, The Ocean Soliloquies appears. It is choreographed in 1996 by Alison East and Catherine Chappell, music, Paul Hewitt. Its subject material is nature and history in the Pacific. Republished 1999. 1998, Walking Into The Millennium is short-listed for Montana NZ Book Awards. Most recent book, Islands of Intimacy, published 2000. Reprinted 2002.

Trussell is a classical pianist. Other musicians sometimes use his texts. Part of Walking Into The Millennium is text for the composer-conductor, Peter Scholes’ orchestral work “The Birth of Light”, 1999. Shorter lyrics have been set as songs by Dorothy Ker, New Zealand composer living in London.


Dance of the Origin, Auckland: Origins Dance Theatre, 1980.
Fairburn, Auckland: Auckland/Oxford University Press, 1984.
Words for the Rock Antipodes, Auckland: Hudson/Cresset Publishing, 1986.
The Man of Paradise, Auckland: Hudson/Cresset Publishing, 1991.
Archipelago, The Ocean Soliloquies, Auckland: Hudson/Cresset Publishing, 1991, 1999.
Walking Into The Millennium, Auckland: Brick Row Publishers, 1998.
Islands of Intimacy, Love Poems (1970-2000), Auckland: Addenda Publishers, 2000, 2002.

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