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Kendrick Smithyman (1922-95) was one of New Zealand’s best and most prolific poets. During his 50 year career he published a dozen collections of verse including Seven Sonnets (1946), The Blind Mountain (1950), Inheritance (1962), Flying to Palmerston (1968), Earthquake Weather (1972), The Seal in the Dolphin Pool (1974), Dwarf with a Billiard Cue (1978), Stories about Wooden Keyboards (1985), Are You Going to the Pictures? (1987), Selected Poems (1989) and Auto/biographies (1992). His major book-length poem Atua Wera was published posthumously in 1997.

Last Poems includes 36 poems written between 1992 and 1995. In them Smithyman ranges over many of his familiar concerns—the landscape and history of Northland, incidents drawn from childhood and wartime memories, poems based on his wide reading in literature, history, philosophy and other fields, witty anecdotes about people and places. The book also includes a photograph of the author by Kenneth Quinn and notes by Peter Simpson.

Last Poems was designed, letterpress printed and bound at the Holloway Press by Tara McLeod. There are 150 numbered copies.


Holloway Press