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Brian Turner (1944- ) is a poet, essayist, biographer and editor. As one of New Zealand's most significant writers on landscape, environmentalism and sport, Turner’s work is often grounded in the landscapes and skyscapes of the central Otago area of New Zealand where he lives. Brian Turner was appointed as the fourth Te Mata Estate New Zealand Poet Laureate in 2003. His work is frequently anthologized in collections of poetry and literary sports writing. He has published numerous poetry collections, as well as works of non-fiction.
Landscapes of Central Otago is a descriptive poem which talks of the vastness and permanence of the landscape, and the skies that “stretch and strain the land’s colours”. Included in the poem is a short quote from Robert Lowell’s “Epilogue”, a poem which speaks of the limitations of a poet’s artform and how the poet might not achieve the ‘high art’ he seeks, but rather provide something more modest.
Landscapes of Central Otago was written for Viva Voce (Auckland) and conductor John Rosser, for a concert titled “People and the Land”.
for Viva Voce (Auckland) and conductor John Rosser
Text by Brian Turner