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UC legend

Allen Curnow

12 July 2023


LittD 1975


Recognised as one of the most influential and defining voices of New Zealand literature in the 20th century, Allen Curnow’s reputation as a poet and author stands to this day. Between 1937 and 1988, he published 2250 satirical (and very topical) verses in The Press and The New Zealand Herald, under the penname ‘Whim Wham’. Alongside his satire, Allen published 21 volumes of poems, seven of which received New Zealand’s annual Book Award for Poetry. Awarded the Commonwealth Poetry Prize in 1988, the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry in 1989 and the Cholmondley Award in 1992, Allen was also appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1986 and to the Order of New Zealand in 1990.

Photo credit: Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections: 34-81 (Clifton Firth)

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