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Kendrick Smithyman (1922 - 1995 )

a   c h r o n o l o g y

1922 William Kendrick Smithyman born (9 October) in Te Kopuru, a small logging town on the Wairoa River near Dargaville, Northland, New Zealand; his father, also William Kendrick, was English-born and formerly a soldier, sailor and waterside worker (see Imperial Vistas Family Fictions); his mother, Annie Lavinia Evans, was born in Christchurch. In KS’ childhood his parents managed an Old Men’s home in Te Kopuru.
1930s The Smithyman family moves to Auckland living in various suburbs before settling in Boscawen Avenue, Point Chevalier. KS attends Point Chevalier Primary School where he meets Keith Sinclair (poet and historian).
1935-39 Attends Seddon Memorial Technical College.
1940-41 Attends Auckland Teachers Training College (Teacher’s Certificate), and Auckland University College. Meets Bob Lowry (printer and publisher). First poems published in Manuka.
1941-42 Military service in the NZ Artillery as bombardier, then quartermaster.
1942-45 Service in the Royal NZ Air Force.
1943 Begins writing poetry on regular basis.
1944 First published in New Zealand New Writing and New Zealand Observer.
1945 Serves in Norfolk Island. Begins writing the sequence “Considerations of Norfolk Island” (subsequently published in Landfall and included in the 1951 edition of Allen Curnow’s A Book of NZ Verse 1923-50) whilst stationed there. First published in Angry Penguins. Discharged in November. Attends refresher course at Training College, November 1945 - February 1946. Mother dies.
1946-63 Works as a Primary and Intermediate School teacher, specialising in Special Needs children (Kowhai and Belmont Intermediate Schools). Teaches at Gladstone Road Primary (1946), Westmere Primary (1946-48), Pine/Herald Island Primary (1949-51), Victoria Avenue Primary (1952-53), Takapuna Primary (1954-56), Belmont Intermediate (1957-60), Kowhai Intermediate (1961-63).
1946 Marries the poet Mary Stanley (1919-80). First published in Book, Yearbook of the Arts in New Zealand, Meanjin, Kiwi, Rostrum, Briarcliff Quarterly (U.S.). Seven Sonnets (Auckland: Pelorus Press) published. Part time study at Auckland University College.
1947 First published in Landfall, Arena, Poetry Quarterly (U.K.). Son Christopher born.
1948 First published in Circle (U.S.), Poetry Commonwealth (U.K.).
1949-57 Literary Editor of Here & Now.
1949 Moves to Pine Island (later known as Herald Island). First published in Hilltop, NZ Listener, Southerly (Australia), Matrix (U.S.), University of Kansas Quarterly.
1950 First published in Arachne, Wooden Horse, Here & Now. Publication of The Blind Mountain and Other Poems (Christchurch: Caxton Press). Son Stephen born.
1951 First published in New Zealand Poetry Yearbook, Outposts (U.K.). Included in A Book of New Zealand Verse 1923-50, ed. Allen Curnow. Attends NZ Writers’ Conference, Christchurch.
1952 Included in 13 New Zealand Poets, ed. Robert Thompson. Moves to Nile Road, Milford.
1953 Included in Poems from The Outlook. Son Gerard born. Mary Stanley’s Starveling Year (Christchurch: Pegasus Press) published.
1954 First published in Numbers.
1955 Publication of The Gay Trapeze (Wellington: Handcraft Press).
1956 First published in Best Poems (U.S.). Included in An Anthology of New Zealand Verse, ed. Robert Chapman and Jonathan Bennett (O.U.P.).
1957 Publication of The Night Shift: Poems on Aspects of Love, by James K. Baxter, Charles Doyle, Louis Johnson & Kendrick Smithyman (Wellington: Capricorn Press).
1958 First published in Image.
1959 First published in Mate, NZ Monthly Review. Included in The Penguin Book of New Zealand Verse, ed. Allen Curnow.
1962 Publication of Inheritance (Hamilton: Paul’s Book Arcade). Included in Landfall Country, ed. Charles Brasch.
1962-63 Publishes four articles on NZ Poetry in Mate (8-11); having been refused leave from the Education Department to turn these into a book, he resigns instead.
1963 Appointed Tutor in English at the University of Auckland. Article on The Curry Report on Special Education published in Comment.
1963-77 Publishes articles on language in Te Reo
1964 First published in Craccum.
1964-65 Edits and presents radio programme: Perspective: A programme of critical writing
1965 Publication of A Way of Saying: A Study of New Zealand Poetry (Auckland & London: Collins). First published in Argot. Included in Recent Poetry in New Zealand, ed. Charles Doyle.
1966-87 Senior Tutor in the Auckland University English Department.
1966 First published in Comment, Dispute, Poetry Australia.
1967 First published in Westerly (Australia), Balcony (Australia)
1968 Publication of Flying to Palmerston (Christchurch: Auckland University & Oxford University Press), awarded Jessie Mackay Prize. First published in Poet (India), Poetry East West (U.S.).
1969 Appointed Visiting Fellow in Commonwealth Literature at the University of Leeds. Travels in U.K. and North America. First published in Frontiers, Southern Review (Australia).
1970 Included in An Anthology of Twentieth Century New Zealand Verse, ed. Vincent O’Sullivan.
1971 Edits William Satchell’s The Land of the Lost [1902] (Auckland: AUP & OUP). First published in Edge, Tuatara (Canada), Newsletter of Association of Scottish Literary Studies, Poetry New Zealand. ‘The Common Experience, the Common Response’ published in Journal of Commonwealth Literature.
1972 Publication of Earthquake Weather (Auckland: AUP & OUP). First published in New Zealand Universities Arts Festival Yearbook, Lipsync, Pembroke Magazine (U.S.).
1973 First published in Islands. Contributes Afterword to The Young New Zealand Poets, ed. Arthur Baysting
1974 Publication of The Seal in the Dolphin Pool (Auckland: AUP & OUP).
1975 First published in Creative Moment (U.S.).
1976 Included in An Anthology of Twentieth century NZ Verse, ed. O’Sullivan, 2nd ed.
1977 Publication of Dwarf with a Billiard Cue (Auckland: AUP & OUP).
1979 Included in A Cabbage Press Anthology.
1980 Mary Stanley dies. Included in Fifteen Contemporary New Zealand Poets, ed. Alistair Paterson. First published in Humanities Review (India). Moves to Alton Avenue, Northcote
1981 Marries fellow English Department tutor Margaret Edgcumbe. Included in Still Life After Kafka. Visits Canada to read at Harbourfront Festival, Toronto.
1981-82 Works on Festives People Places Pictures Book (October 1981-October 1982), an account of his second visit to Canada.
1982 ‘Singing to the Ancestors: Some Aspects of Present Poetry in NZ’ published in Journal of Commonwealth Literature.
1983 Included in Tango, a Literary Rage. Included in The Oxford Book of New Zealand Writing Since 1945, ed McD. Jackson and V. O’Sullivan.
1983-84 Works on Imperial Vistas Family Fictions (published 2002).
1984 First published in Span. Included in The Oxford Book of Contemporary New Zealand Poetry, ed. Fleur Adcock.
1985 Edits William Satchell’s The Toll of the Bush [1905] (Auckland: AUP & OUP).
Publication of Stories About Wooden Keyboards (Auckland: AUP & OUP). First published in Ariel (Canada). Included in The Penguin Book of New Zealand Verse, ed. Ian Wedde and Harvey McQueen.
1986 Honorary Doctorate from the University of Auckland. First published in Rambling Jack, Untold, The Dinosaur Review (Canada). New Zealand Book Award for Stories About Wooden Keyboards.
1987 Publication of Are You Going to the Pictures? (Auckland: AUP). Included in The Caxton Press Anthology of New Zealand Poetry, ed. Mark Williams. Edits Greville Texidor’s selected stories, In Fifteen Minutes You Can Say a Lot (Wellington: Victoria University Press). Retires from the Auckland English Department.
1988 First published in Island Magazine (Australia). Landfall 168, includes essays on KS by Reginald Berry and Murray Edmond and interview with Mac Jackson
1989 Publication of Selected Poems, ed. Peter Simpson (Auckland: AUP). Included in The Penguin Book of Contemporary New Zealand Poetry, ed. Wedde and McQueen.
1990 Awarded an OBE. Included in Vital Writing.
1992 Publication of Auto/Biographies (Auckland: AUP).
1993 Finishes work on Versions from Italian: Quasimodo / Campana to Montale.
First published in Printout, Takahe, Sport.
1995 (28 December) dies at North Shore Hospital, Auckland, after being taken ill at his home in Northcote.
1996 Publication of Tomarata (Auckland: Holloway Press), designed by Alan Loney, with an afterword by Peter Simpson. We Stand in Language: a memorial reading, University of Auckland (readers: Elizabeth Caffin, Allen Curnow, Marilyn Duckworth, Murray Edmond, Riemke Ensing, Mac Jackson, Michael King, Dennis McEldowney, Peter Simpson, Elizabeth Smither, C.K. Stead, Terry Sturm). Closing the Chocolate Factory, a video of a December 1995 reading, directed by Margaret Henley, released.
1997 Publication of Atua Wera (Auckland: AUP).
1998 Atua Wera short-listed for Montana Book Awards
2001 Author page included in New Zealand electronic poetry centre (nzepc)
2002 Publication of Last Poems (Auckland: Holloway Press), designed by Tara McLeod, with notes by Peter Simpson. Publication of Imperial Vistas Family Fictions (Auckland: AUP). Heather McCann, Syntax and Theme in the Poetry of Kendrick Smithyman MLitt thesis, University of Auckland, 2002.
2003 Publication of brief 26 – Smithymania, ed. Jack Ross.
2004 Publication of Collected Poems commences on line


This chronology builds on that published in Smithymania, brief 26 (2003), ed. Jack Ross.

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