David Mitchell was one of NZ's great poetic characters from the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s: poet, lover, political activist, cricketer, impresario, mysterium and, to some, an all-round pain in the arse. Steal Away Boy, re-introduces Mitchell to a new generation and collects widely scattered poems in book form for the first time. A great partisan of poetry in performance, Mitchell initiated readings in various Auckland hotels and was a participant in the famous readings at the Barry Lett Gallery. In 1972 Mitchell's only full-length collection, Pipe Dreams in Ponsonby, was published and became an instant classic, selling thousands of copies in two editions. It broke new ground and won a Commonwealth literary prize. David Mitchell supports the Steal Away Boy project and his private papers and manuscripts have been made available to Edmond and Hughes by his daughter.
Table of Contents
Introduction -- 1. The Singing Bread: Europe, 1962-4 -- 2. Pipe Dreams in Ponsonby: New Zealand, 1965-72 -- 3. Myths of Wolloomooloo: Australia, late 1960s/early 1970s -- 4. Menton: Europe, 1975 -- 5. State of the Nation/ Poetry Live: New Zealand, late 1970s/early 1980s -- 6. The Cold Wind It Blows: Auckland/Wellington: 1980s/1990s -- 7. Happy as a Sandboy: Bronte, Sydney: 2008-9 -- Notes -- Indexes.
David Mitchell was born in Wellington in 1940. He associated with various other poets including James K Baxter, Peter Bland, Alistair Campbell and Louis Johnson. He travelled in Europe in the early 1960s and on his return became an active reader and promoter of his own and others' work. His collection Pipe Dreams in Ponsonby, published in 1972, sold out several printings and won a Commonwealth literary prize. He won the Katherine Mansfield Fellowship in 1975 and founded Poetry Live at the Globe Hotel in Auckland in 1980. He now lives in Sydney. Editors Martin Edmond and Nigel Hughes are New Zealand born residents of Sydney. Edmond is the author of the award-winning Chronicle of the Unsung (AUP), Waimarino County (AUP), Luca Antara and Zone of the Marvellous (AUP). Roberts trained in Auckland as a teacher and is now a Sydney poet and former publisher of Free Poetry.