Pat White

ANZL Member

Pat at the Fracking & Hawk launch. Photo credit: Glen Innes


Drawing on a varied background, Pat White has crafted an extensive body of poetry and creative nonfiction that reflects his love for the natural environment. Vincent O’Sullivan described Pat’s work as ‘poetry with its eye on “real things” – on work, on weather, on love, on finding the right name for things at the moment they are slipping away … with the everyday presented as the rare privilege it is.’  John Horrocks described Pat’s poems as ‘drawn from a lifetime of immersion in the natural world and its rhythms. Pat White is among the very few New Zealand writers who can speak to this experience.’

Pat has worked as a dairy farmer, teacher, librarian, shepherd, tertiary art lecturer as well as other jobs. A parallel career as a landscape painter has added depth to his sense of place.

His experience as a writer has included running workshops, involvement in the Wairarapa Poems in the Vines festivals, giving readings, and promoting the work of others. He has been a participant in various national festivals and was invited to attend the Watermark Muster, Australia, as the only international guest. Pat has been awarded several residencies. Most recently, he and wife Catherine Day donated proceeds from his book Fracking & Hawk to the creation of a Creative Writing Award for senior students at Mackenzie College, Fairlie.

In 2010 Pat published his powerful and moving memoir How the Land Lies: Of Longing and Belonging through Victoria University Press.

 Notes From the Margins: The West Coast’s Peter Hooper (Alexandra: Frontiers Press, 2017) is Pat’s work on the life of author Peter Hooper (1919-1991).



Read NZ Te Pou Muramura writer page

Victoria University Press author page

Cold Hub Press author page

takehē review of Fracking & Hawk (April, 2016)

Landfall review of Fracking & Hawk (April, 2016)

Bibliography: Pat White



Fracking & Hawk (Frontiers Press, 2015)          

Gnossienne (Wai-te-ata Press, limited edition of images by Catherine Day and poetry by Pat White, French translation by Nadine Ribault. Also hand-printed in twelve boxed sets for exhibition purposes: 2012)

Planting the Olives and Other Essential Acts (Frontiers Press, c/Red Roofs, 2003)

Drought & Other Intimacies (Steele Roberts, 1999)

Dark Backward (Wakelin House, 1994)

Acts of Resistance  (Longacres Press, 1985)

Cut Across the Grain (Dunedin City Library, 1980)

Bushfall (Pat White, 1978)

Signposts (Frontiers Press, 1977)


Creative Nonfiction

Notes From the Margins: The West Coast’s Peter Hooper (Alexandra: Frontiers Press, 2017)

How the Land Lies: Of Longing and Belonging (Memoir: Victoria UP, 2010)

Being Local: A Sense of Place (Exegesis for MFA: Massey, 2008)

Gallipoli: In Search of a Family Story (Biographical essay & exhibition catalogue: Red Roofs, 2004)

Catching the Moment (Catalogue essay regarding Roy Steer, water colour artist, [Accompanied major exhibition at opening of Aratoi, Wairarapa Museum of Art & History]: 2002)

'Many of our best stories profit from a meeting of New Zealand and overseas influences' - Owen Marshall

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