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The Pop Artist's Garland: Selected Poems 1952-2009

The celebrated poet Eileen Duggan and the influential editor J H E Schroder were among the early appreciators of Niel Wright's verse. This selection edited by Mark Pirie draws on six decades of writing, 120 Books of Wright's epic poem The Alexandrians as well as his Post-Alexandrian work, and displays an extraordinary and wide-ranging talent.

Avoiding the narrow constraints of a regionalist poetry or the bohemian outlook of the Wellington group of poets, Wright has consistently forged his own path and poetic style since the 1950s often at odds with contemporary fashion and modernist/postmodernist tendencies. As with the English poet Robert Bridges, he has sought above all to renew the prosody.

Skilled in many traditional forms such as the triolet, the epigram, the ballad, the sonnet and the lyric as well as classical and epic narrative verse, the selection presents for the first time a generous sampling of his prolific output and reveals his original and remarkable voice in New Zealand poetry.

...a delight to see the classics revived in a comparatively new land and in an age alien to them. - Eileen Duggan, personal correspondence

...a witty turn of phrase - James K. Baxter, New Zealand Listener

...a poet of unusual range ... Mr Wright's use of prosody and his use of half-rhymes and assonances often recall those of Wilfred Owen - Peter Dronke, Landfall

...a pot-pourri of astonishing richness, lyrical in its presentation but with a strong narrative thread. - Michael Gifkins, New Zealand Listener

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