Much-loved poet no ordinary son
Hone Tuwhare POET Born: October 21, 1922 Died: January 16, 2008
HONE Tuwhare reshaped New Zealand poetry, introducing a distinct Maori and working-class voice. He set the tone for a future generation of writers.
His No OrdinarySun him a celebrity in NZ.
The first imprint sold out rapidly, and it was reprinted 10 times over 30 years. The title piece, his most famous, is a microcosm of nuclear horror at weapons testing in the Pacific.
It drew on his spell in postHiroshima Japan with the occupation forces.
Over 40 years and 15 volumes of poetry (plus a few plays), Kiwis took Tuwhare to their hearts.
He took simple pleasure in the landscape, or the sexiness of food (especially kaimoana, hand-gathered seafood) to rich combinations of Maori legend.
Overseas success eluded him, but he was widely honoured at home, becoming Poet Laureate in 1999 and named one of NZ’s 10 greatest living artists in 2003.
Tuwhare, 85, died in Dunedin.