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Alistair Te Ariki Campbell

1925-2009

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Blue rain from a clear sky.
Our world a cube of sunlight –
but to the south
the violet admonition
of thunder.
From 'Blue Rain' in The Dark Lord of Savaiki: Collected Poems, Hazard Press, 2003

Alistair Te Ariki Campbell

Alistair Campbell was born in Penrhyn in the Cook Islands. His parents both died young, and from 1933 his home was a Dunedin orphanage. He arrived in Wellington in 1945 and became involved with people who shared his interest in poetry, including James K Baxter and Louis Johnson.

'I developed a good feeling about myself, 'he has said of those times, 'and that possibly eventually I might write some good poems.'

Campbell's first collection announced a distinctive lyrical voice, drawing on the European traditions of his education and an intense response to the natural world. His return to the Cook Islands in 1976 led to a renewed engagement with his Pacific background and heritage; a dimension evident in The Dark Lord of Savaiki (1980).

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Nearby Sculptures