Bryan Walpert

ANZL Member

Photo credit: Nancy Golubiewski

Bryan Walpert is the author of four books of poems, a novella, a novel, a collection of stories and two books of literary criticism. His work is characterised by an interest in marrying intellect to feeling, often employing as one reviewer observed, ‘the language and the prism of science and philosophy to try to rein in and explain the vicissitudes of life’.

His poetry collection, Native Bird (Mākaro Press) has been praised by critics for its ‘sharp, self-deprecating awareness’, for the way it ‘transforms the ordinary’ and as ‘one of those books where the poems reach out and hold you in the grip of attention’. His first collection, Etymology, was noted for ‘conjuring tricks with language’, while A History of Glass was called ‘delicate and translucent’. Bryan’s latest collection of lyric poems Brass Band to Follow (OUP, 2021) ranges in its focus from flowers to infinities, from laundry to eternity, but is founded most fully on what it is to move into middle age – to wait for life’s promised brass band to arrive.

Bryan won the 2020 Seizure Viva La Novella Prize (Australia) for his book Late Sonata; judges noted the ‘seamless melding of the emotional and the intellectual, its brilliant evocations of music and literature and a structure that offers both suspense and humour.’ His fiction collection, Ephraim’s Eyes, named a Best Book of 2010 on Radio New Zealand, received praise for its ‘mastery of the short story’, and ‘stories that resonate with compassion and insight’. One observer wrote that the ‘muscle of the stories is in the well-wrought complex characters [with] pitch-perfect voices who live ordinary lives alight with detail’. His monograph, Resistance to Science in Contemporary American Poetry, was called ‘an important contribution to the study of contemporary poetry and science’ while his critical book Poetry and Mindfulness: Interruption to a Journey was a finalist for the Ashton Wylie Mind Body Spirit Literary Awards.

He has received, among other awards, the James Wright Poetry Award from the Mid-American Review, first prize in the New Zealand Poetry Society International Poetry Competition, and shortlisting for the Montreal International Poetry Prize.

Bryan moved to New Zealand in 2004 from the U.S. to take up a position at Massey University. A Professor in creative writing, he has received a national Tertiary Teaching Excellence Award.

Brass Band to Follow (OUP, 2021), Bryan’s fourth collection, ranges in its focus from flowers to infinities, from laundry to eternity, but is founded most fully on what it is to move into middle age – to wait for life’s promised brass band to arrive.

In his recent novel Entanglement (Mākaro Press, 2021), a memory-impaired time traveller attempts to correct a tragic mistake in an entangled tale of love, desperation and physics. Entanglement was shortlisted for the 2022 Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction and named among the Best Books of 2021 by the New Zealand Listener .



Bryan Walpert’s website (for publications, sample work and reviews)

Bryan on Facebook

Bryan Walpert’s blog

Massey University profile

ANZL review of Entanglement (Mar, 2022)

Ockham 2022 shortlist announced (Mar, 2022)

ANZL review of Brass Band to Follow (Oct, 2021)

Corpus review of Poetry and Mindfulness (Nov, 2018)

Poem ‘Smoke’ on the Montreal International Poetry Prize Longlist (2015)

‘This Poem is Conversational’ in Best NZ Poems 2015

Radio New Zealand review of Native Bird (2015)

Booksellers NZ review of Native Bird (Dec, 2015)

NZ Poetry Shelf review of Native Bird (Dec, 2015)

Poem ‘Forgetting’ in Cordite Poetry Review (Aug, 2015)

NZ Listener review of Native Bird (June, 2015)

Massey University article on Native Bird (April, 2015)

takahē review of A History of Glass (2013)

Poem ‘Aubade’: Shortlisted for Montreal International Poetry Prize (2013)

Poem ‘objective correlative’: Finalist in 2011 U.S. Rattle Poetry Prize (Sept, 2012)

New releases by Bryan Walpert

Entanglement (fiction)

Published by Mākaro Press on October 11, 2021

Brass Band to Follow (poetry)

Published by Otago University Press on May 20, 2021

Late Sonata (novella)

Published by Brio Books on September 2, 2020

Bibliography: Bryan Walpert



Brass Band to Follow (OUP, 2021)

Native Bird (Mākaro Press, 2015)

A History of Glass (Stephen F. Austin State UP, 2011)

Etymology (Cinnamon Press, 2009)



Entanglement (Mākaro Press, 2021)

Late Sonata (Novella: Brio Books, Sydney, 2020)

Ephraims Eyes (Short Stories: Pewter Rose Press, 2009)

'There’s a kind of heaven that comes from hearing another writer interpret the mysteries of process' - Tracey Slaughter

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