Author(s): Peter Simpson (Selected by)
This volume of Charles Brasch's journals covers the years from late 1945 to the end of 1957, when the poet and editor was aged 36 to 48. It begins with his return to New Zealand after World War II to establish a literary quarterly to be published by the Caxton Press. The journals cover the first decade or so of his distinguished editorship of Landfall, a role that brought Brasch into contact with New Zealand's leading artists and intelligentsia. His frank and often detailed descriptions of these people - including Frank Sargeson, A.R.D. Fairburn, Keith Sinclair, Eric McCormick, James Bertram, J.C. Beaglehole, Maria Dronke, Fred and Evelyn Page, Alistair Campbell, Bill Oliver, Toss and Edith Woollaston, Denis Glover, Allen Curnow, Leo Bensemann, Lawrence Baigent, Ngaio Marsh, Colin McCahon, James K. Baxter, Janet Frame, Ruth Dallas and many others - are among the highlights of the book.
Charles Brasch (1909-1973) was a major figure in New Zealand's cultural life of the mid twentieth century - a poet, patron and founding editor of Landfall. His books included several volumes of verse, a collection of essays (The Universal Dance, 1981), a memoir (Indirections, 1980), and an edited volume of work from Landfall (Landfall Country, 1962). Peter Simpson is a writer, editor and curator who has taught at universities in New Zealand and Canada. He was director of the Holloway Press and a head of English at the University of Auckland, retiring in 2013. Peter has written and edited many books and essays on New Zealand art, literature and cultural history, including titles on Ronald Hugh Morrieson, Allen Curnow, Colin McCahon, Kendrick Smithyman and Leo Bensemann. Recent projects include 'Bloomsbury South: The arts in Christchurch 1933-53' (AUP, 2016), and 'Leo Bensemann & Friends: Portraiture & The Group' (2016), an exhibition curated for the New Zealand PortraitGallery. He lives in Auckland.