Out of the dark
January 17, 2009 – Auckland writer CK Stead’s Collected Poems 1951-2006 is reviewed this week in the Guardian. “The main stylistic influence on Stead is probably Ezra Pound, from whom he has inherited a delight in iconoclastic adaptations of classical poets. Here’s his take on Catullus – ‘Death, you clever bugger / who would have credited you / with such finesse!’ And the sequence ‘Walking Westward’ (1979) is full of the colloquial rumbustiousness and jarring disjunctions of the middle Cantos. The Black River (2007), the most recent collection included here, has all the ambition, outspokenness and breadth of reference of Stead’s best writing.” Christian Karlson Stead was Professor of English at the University of Auckland until 1986, when he took up writing full-time. He is a member of the Order of New Zealand.