David Eggleton

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New Zealand poet David Eggleton, pictured reading some of his verse in Dunedin, 2011
In recital at Knox Church, Dunedin, March 2016

David Eggleton (born 1952) is a New Zealand poet and writer.

Early life[edit]

Born in Auckland and of mixed European, Tongan, and Rotuman descent, Eggleton spent part his formative years in both Fiji and Auckland, dropping out of school to take up performance music and poetry.[1] Eggleton later moved to Dunedin, where he has been based since the 1980s.

Literary career[edit]

Eggleton's creative output has been diverse, including mixed media recordings involving poetry and music, several volumes of poetry, histories of New Zealand music and photography, and a large number of literary reviews. He is also an established Art Critic, writing regularly for Art New Zealand, which is New Zealand's major visual arts journal. He has been editor of New Zealand's premier literary journal, Landfall, since 2010. He was also made the Editor of Landfall Review Online in 2010. He is a six-time Montana New Zealand Reviewer of the Year. Other awards have included a Robert Burns Fellowship from the University of Otago in 1990, and London Time Out's Street Poet of the Year (1985), and the 2015 Janet Frame Literary Trust Award for Poetry.[2] A video, For Art's Sake: Art and Politics. Performance Poet David Eggleton, won the TV Arts Documentary prize in the 1997 Qantas Media Awards.[1]

Ian Wedde (in the Penguin Book of New Zealand Verse) describes Eggleton's poem Painting Mount Taranaki as "...inside its history. Its language is a confident if erratic blend of vernacular, lyric, and high demotic; this confidence allows for mobile and ironic cross-currenst animating the texture and depth of the language throughout."[3] Eggleton's poems are frequently iconoclastic or anti-establishment, using mockery to point out the shortcomings of political and social systems, and when read are delivered at a fast, fluent tempo.[4]

Recordings and publications[edit]


  • Versifier (2001)
  • Baxter (2000)
  • Seeing Voices (1999)
  • Poetry Demon (1993) .


  • The Cloud Forest (2002) (short film; Eggleton co-editor)
  • Teleprompter (2001) (short film; Eggleton co-editor)


  • The Conch Trumpet (2015) (poetry)
  • Time of the Icebergs (2010) (poetry)
  • Towards Aotearoa: A Short History of Twentieth Century New Zealand Art (2007)
  • Into the Light: A History of New Zealand Photography (2006)
  • Fast Talker (2006) (poetry)
  • Ready to Fly: The Story of New Zealand Rock Music (2003)
  • Seasons: Four Essays on the New Zealand Year (2001)
  • Rhyming Planet (2001) (poetry)
  • Here on Earth (1999) (an anthology of New Zealand landscape writing; Eggleton editor)


  1. ^ a b Eggleton, David", New Zealand Book Council. June 2015. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
  2. ^ "Kiwi poet David Eggleton reveals his inspirations," stuff.co.nz, 20 September 2015. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
  3. ^ Wedde, I., and McQueen, H., (eds.) (1985) The Penguin book of New Zealand verse. Auckland: Penguin. p.40
  4. ^ "David Eggleton", The Poetry Archive, Retrieved 26 February 2016.