18 Aug 2009
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New Zealand poet, playwright and novelist Alistair Te Ariki Campbell (1925–2009)
Creative New Zealand mourns the loss of iconic New Zealand poet, playwright and novelist Alistair Te Ariki Campbell (1925–2009). The author of numerous poetry collections and works of fiction from the mid-twentieth century onwards, his work is amongst those writers that characterise the rise of a New Zealand literary tradition.
Chair of the Creative New Zealand Pacific Arts Committee, Pele Walker says that Alistair Te Ariki Campbell has left an important literary legacy. “A prolific writer, Alistair Te Ariki Campbell has made an enormous contribution to all literature and played a vital role in the development of Pacific writing, particularly poetry. It was an important experience for himself and his poetry when he revisited the Cook Islands in 1976 with his brother Bill and reconnected and embraced his Pacific heritage. His work records the cross cultural experience of a Pacific person living in New Zealand and has laid the foundations for a Pacific literary tradition to grow in this country”.
Alistair Te Ariki Campbell has served the literary arts in New Zealand through writers' organisations, by touring with fellow poets, and tutoring here and overseas. He has been honoured with New Zealand and overseas fellowships, awards and residencies. In 1998 he was awarded the Creative New Zealand Pacific Arts Committee Senior Artist Award for literature and in 1999 he received an Honorary DLitt from Victoria University of Wellington.
In 2005 Alistair Te Ariki Campbell received the Creative New Zealand Prime Minister’s Awards for Literary Achievement for Poetry. That same year he was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM).
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