Story: Intellectuals

Allen Curnow book launch

Allen Curnow emerged as a major New Zealand poet in the 1930s. Curnow always had a sense of the role of the poet as articulating public concerns, and the introductions to his anthologies became founding statements about the importance of recognisably New Zealand literature. This film clip begins with a reference to Curnow's lighter poems, published under the pseudonym Whim Wham, which were satirical reflections on contemporary issues. Curnow helped create a community of intellectuals who took poetry seriously and through poetry raised wider issues. The film also shows a range of other literary figures at the 1997 launch of his volume of poems, Early days yet. They include the poets Bill Manhire and Elizabeth Smither, Curnow's son Wystan Curnow (an art critic) and the historian Michael King.

Using this item

Point of View Productions
Reference: Early days yet: a profile of the poet Allen Curnow. Director and producer, Shirley Horrocks. Auckland: Point of View Productions, 2001

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How to cite this page:

Chris Hilliard, 'Intellectuals - Literature and the modern New Zealand intellectual', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/video/42356/allen-curnow-book-launch (accessed 8 December 2019)

Story by Chris Hilliard, published 22 Oct 2014