BRIAN TURNER was born
in Dunedin in 1944 and lives at Sawyers Bay in Otago. He is a freelance
journalist, editor, and writer whose varied output includes non-fiction
books, TV scripts and several volumes of poetry. His journalism has
appeared in the New Zealand Listener, North and South,
Metro, Sunday Times, National Business Review,
The Independent, Evening Post, The Dominion,
the Otago Daily Times , The Press, Fish and Game
New Zealand and elsewhere. He has written on a diversity of subjects:
sport, recreation, conservation, current affairs and literature among
His poetry has appeared
in a great many publications in New Zealand and overseas. His awards
include the New Zealand Book Award for Poetry in 1993 and the Commonwealth
Poetry Prize in 1979. He was Robert Burns Fellow at the University
of Otago in 1984, and in 1985 he won the John Cowie Memorial Award
for Playwriting. In 1994 he was awarded an Arts Council Scholarship
in Letters, and in 1997 he was writer-in-residence at the University
of Canterbury. In the 70s he won the Dulux Prize for Sports Journalism.
He is working on new poems, a memoir, a collection of his writings
on trout fishing and a book on the All Black rugby legend
he comments: What to say about it that isnt obvious? It
is fairly obvious that it is meant to be read as a wry self-evaluation.
Occasionally Ive been irritated by women who expect New Zealand
males to be all-round handymen, do-it-yourselfers. Theres an
implication that youre not a real man unless you
can replace weather-boards on your house, put up spouting, scrape
and paint the roof, chop down a tree, and so on and on. The irony
is I can and have done all those things, and more, but I dont
think its fair to make it a cultural and gender requirement.
But it is, oh yeah! The poem is also about, to me, the need to be
aware of and mock ones inadequacies not to take oneself
seriously all the time.