Look, Listen & Learn
HONOURED NEW ZEALAND WRITER: BRIAN TURNER (2021)
To read Brian Turner “is to enter a world where natural things stand starkly, and emotions are felt as directly as the rock and streams and mountains to which he constantly returns,” says fellow poet and 2016 Festival Honoured Writer Vincent O’Sullivan.
Lyric poet and keen environmentalist Turner is a man of both sporting and literary talents: rabbiter, fisherman, cricketer, cyclist, mountaineer, and former international hockey representative, as well as an award-winning writer of 12 poetry collections, memoir, sport biography (Meads and Kronfeld), essays, reviews and more.
He won the Commonwealth Poetry Prize with his first collection Ladders of Rain and has gone on to further accolades including the Robert Burns Fellow at Otago University, the Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement in Poetry, and the 2005 Te Mata Estate New Zealand Poet Laureate.
His most recent book, Landmarks (2020), celebrates the places and people of his beloved Central Otago, continuing the kaupapa of companion work Timeless Land (1995), written with friends and collaborators Owen Marshall and Grahame Sydney.
To open the 2021 Festival, Turner joins John Campbell on stage in a free celebratory session of his life and work.