Alistair Campbell Poems

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Alistair Campbell
Alistair Te Ariki Campbell, ONZM, (born 25 June 1925) is a poet and novelist. He was born on Rarotonga, Cook Islands, but has lived for most of his life in New Zealand mainly around the Wellington region, and for several decades in Pukerua Bay, Porirua. Born Alistair Campbell but later added 'Te Ariki' after going back to the Cook Islands and discovering his grandfather had ties to chiefdom. So in his honour he added Te Ariki or "the chief" to his name. His father was a New Zealand Scot, while his mother was Cook Island Maori from the island of Penrhyn. He grew up in an orphanage in Dunedin on the South Island of New Zealand with his brother following the death of his mother to TB and his father who literally drank himself to death (both in 1933). He would later move up to Wellington and become a member of the Wellington Group in 1950s. The group was just an affiliation of a number of writers who mostly shared a common opposition to Allen Curnow's, another notable New Zealand writer, ideas and writings. His first wife was the poet Fleur Adcock from whom he was later divorced. His second wife, Aline Margaret (Meg) (1927-2007) was also a poet. From 1976 till 1979 he was the President of the New Zealand branch of PEN-International. His poem "The Return" was set to electronic music by Douglas Lilburn.

at a fishing settlement
October, and a rain-blurred face,
And all the anguish of that bitter place.
It was a bare ... [read poem]
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