This pastel sketch of Kendrick Smithyman was made by Una Platts in 1959. At that time Smithyman was part of an Auckland group of poets that included Keith Sinclair and Allen Curnow. Influenced by international modernism, Smithyman produced poems that were intellectually demanding and syntactically complex. Later he began to write about Northland, where he was from, and his last major work, Atua wera, was about Papahurihia, a 19th-century Ngāpuhi prophet.
You can hear him read one of his early poems, 'Foreign service'.
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Sound file from Radio New Zealand Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero. Any re-use of this audio is a breach of copyright. To request a copy of the recording, contact Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero (New Zealand poets readings their own works/Reference ID33747)