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C.K. Stead

C.K. Stead
Books by this author: Collected Poems
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  • C. K. STEAD was born in Auckland in 1932. He has published thirteen collections of poems and two of short stories, eleven novels, six books of literary criticism, and edited a number of texts. His novels are published in New Zealand and Britain, and have been translated into a dozen European languages. He was Professor of English at the University of Auckland for twenty years, before taking early retirement in 1986 to write full time. His best-known critical work is The New Poetic (1964). His political fantasy, Smith's Dream (1971), was filmed in 1977 as Sleeping Dogs; two further novels won the fiction section of the New Zealand Book Awards. He has won a number of literary prizes, including the Katherine Mansfield prize for the short story, the Jessie Mackay Award, the New Zealand Book Award for poetry and the King's Lynn Poetry Prize.

    C. K. Stead was awarded a CBE in 1985 for services to New Zealand literature, elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1995, and was Senior Visiting Fellow at St John's College, Oxford in 1996-97. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Letters by the University of Bristol in 2001. His latest novel, My Name was Judas, was published in 2006, his latest collection of poems, The Black River, in 2007, and his latest critical collection, Book Self, in 2008. In 2007 he received his country's highest award, the Order of New Zealand (limited to twenty holders), one of only two writers to currently hold the honour.

    Praise for C.K. Stead 'C. K. Stead's Collected Poems deserves to be seen as an important contribution to the literature of the English-speaking world. His talent is more than ambidextrous. To excel as a poet, novelist and critic is rarer than we tend to think, and Karl Stead has managed it.'
    Karl Miller
    'Few poets can aspire to the combination of intelligence, lyricism, passion and honesty that are the hallmarks of Karl Stead's work. Born in New Zealand, Stead is revealed by his poetry as an intuitive, thoughtful and sensually responsive vagabond of the world, one whose rare gift it is to inhabit the moment - be it past or present - and bring it, burning, into life. He is a poet who can speak, not to one country, but to us all.'
    Miranda Seymour
    'For the past half century I have been a huge admirer of Karl Stead's poetry: topographical, amatory, lyrical and satirical. Here at last between the covers of one book is the essential Stead, in all its richness and variety.'
    Barry Humphries
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