The Yellow Buoy: Poems 2007–2012

C. K. Stead


From his green enclave and ‘avid for copy’, this poet is singing still – but also considering the acceptance of silence.


C. K. Stead has always swum through literature, cultures, surroundings both physical and social, with a deft stroke. Completed in his eightieth year, The Yellow Buoy sees the poet firmly attached to his memories, attuned to his craft and attentive to his world. The book is divided into three parts: ‘The Yellow Buoy’, ‘The Silence’ and ‘The Green Enclave’. Here, in classic vein, Catullus returns to receive the ONZ, write to friends and ‘read the world’. Various other literary fellows appear in person, dream or conversation – Allen Curnow and Hugh Kawharu, Frank Sargeson and Barry Humphries, Creeley, Mansfield and Wordsworth. The collection also includes warmly translated versions of poems by Eugenio Montale, Carlo Vita and Philippe Jaccottet; alongside glimpses of fantails and elegies for friends. From sonnets to syllabics, with settings ranging from Croatia and Colombia to Karekare and the Côte d’Azur, these masterly poems urge a reader to stay alert – to pay attention to ‘the poetic moment / so easily missed, / so quickly lost.’


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C. K. Stead was born in Auckland in 1932. From the late 1950s, he began to earn an international reputation as a poet and literary critic and, later, as a novelist. He has published more than 40 books and received numerous prizes and honours recognising his contribution to literature, including in 2009 the Prime Minister’s Award for Fiction and the Montana New Zealand Book Award (Reference and Anthology) for his Collected Poems and in 2010 The Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award and The Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine. He received our highest award, the Order of New Zealand, in 2007.


February 2013, 224 x 164 mm, 144 pages, World rights except UK, Ireland and Europe
Paperback, ISBN 978 1 86940 735 3, $27.99