James K. Baxter: The Selected Poems -  edited by John Weir

James K. Baxter: The Selected Poems - edited by John Weir

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James K. Baxter (1926–72) was, as he once described Louis MacNeice, ‘the most human of poets’: a flawed, passionate, complex, haunted man, a ‘lively sinner’ who revealed himself fully and unapologetically in his poems. As editor John Weir has written in his introduction, ‘from his various quarrels with God, self, society and death emerged a body of work which reveals him to be not merely the most accessible and complete poet to have lived in New Zealand, but also one of the great English-language poets of the twentieth century.’

John Weir’s definitive selection of James K. Baxter’s best poems has been made from the more than three thousand poems that comprise his literary legacy.

John Weir was born in Nelson in 1935. He was ordained a priest in 1961 – the year in which he and Baxter became close friends and began an extensive correspondence which lasted until Baxter’s death. He has published poetry, bibliographies and critical monographs, and edited major collections of Baxter’s writings, including the first Collected Poems (1979), and the multiple-volume editions: Complete Prose (2015), Letters of a Poet (2019) and Complete Poems (2022).


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