David Eggleton

ANZL Member

David Eggleton who is of Rotuman, Tongan and Palagi ancestry, grew up in Fiji and South Auckland and now lives in Dunedin, New Zealand/Aotearoa. He is a poet, art critic, writer, editor and freelance journalist. His work investigates ideas of contemporary popular culture versus ‘highbrow’, blending the literary and vernacular with energy and vigour. David received the Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement in poetry (2016) and is the current New Zealand Poet Laureate (2019 – 2021).

David has had multiple books of poems and a book of short fiction published, as well as a number of works of non-fiction. His first collection of poems was co-winner of the PEN New Zealand Best First Book of Poems Award (1987). He was awarded the Robert Burns Fellowship (1990), won a substantial Copyright Licensing Ltd (CLL) Writers’ Award (2004), and was a finalist in the lifestyle and contemporary culture category at the 2004 Montana New Zealand Book Awards. His poetry and short stories appear in a wide range of recent anthologies. David has also won Reviewer of the Year Award six times at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, most recently in 2009.

Well-known as a performance poet, David has released several poetry recordings featuring his collaborations with musicians and been involved in poetry text collaborations with practitioners of a variety of other art forms, from sculpture to fashion design. In addition, he has produced short films and documentaries.

For eight years (2009-2017) David was Editor of Landfall, New Zealand’s pre-eminent journal of arts and letters. His collection, The Conch Trumpet (Otago UP, 2015) won the Poetry Award at the 2016 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards. In 2017 David was the recipient of the Fulbright-Creative New Zealand Pacific Writers’ Residency.

His latest collection The Wilder Years: Selected Poems (Otago University Press, 2021) is a hardback compendium of the poet’s own selection from 35 years of published work, together with a handful of new poems.



Read NZ Te Pou Muramura writer page

Otago University Press author page

NZ Electronic Poetry Centre poet page

Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand: New Zealand Poetry: Diversity Since 1985: David Eggleton

The Poetry Archive poet page

Editor at Landfall Review Online, University of Otago, Dunedin

Cultural Icons video interview conducted by Graeme Lay (Aug, 2016)

Jacket2 article about South Island poets (Sept, 2015)

NZ Poetry Shelf interview (March, 2015)

NZ Poetry Shelf review of The Conch Trumpet (Jan, 2015)

Poetry from Aotearoa New Zealand on Best American Poetry website (Aug, 2014)

Oamaru Public Library poetry reading review (Aug, 2015)

New releases by David Eggleton

The Wilder Years: Selected Poems (poetry)

Published by Otago University Press on April 21, 2021

Bibliography: David Eggleton



The Wilder Years: Selected Poems (Otago UP, 2021)

Edgeland and other poems (Otago UP, 2018)

Snap, with illustrations by Nigel Brown, (Otakou Press, Dunedin, 2017)

The Conch Trumpet (Otago UP, 2015)

Time of the Icebergs (Otago UP, 2010)

Fast Talker (Auckland UP, 2006)

Rhyming Planet  (Steele Roberts, 2001)

Empty Orchestra (Auckland UP, 1995)

People of the Land (Penguin, 1988)

South Pacific Sunrise (Penguin, 1986)



After Tokyo (Short fiction: Earl of Seacliff/Brick Row, 1987)


Creative Nonfiction

Towards Aotearoa: A Short History of Twentieth Century New Zealand Art  (Reed Publishing/Raupo Books 2007)

Into the Light: a History of New Zealand Photography  (Craig Potton Publishing 2006)

Ready to Fly: the Story of New Zealand Rock Music  (Craig Potton Publishing 2003)

Seasons: Four Essays on the New Zealand Year  (Craig Potton Publishing, 2001)

Here on Earth: The Landscape in New Zealand Literature  (Extended essay with selected text by NZ writers: Craig Potton Publishing, 1999)

'NZ literature is such a vast and varied thing' - Pip Adam

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