• David Howard

    Public Email davidhowardpoet@gmail.com
    Website http://www.davidhowardpoet.com

    Born in Christchurch (1959), David Howard is a poet and co-founding editor of Takahe magazine. He describes his writing as 'gnarled, metaphysical poetry which fosters rather than forbids tenderness.'

    David has published several collections, including The Incomplete Poems (Cold Hub Press, 2011), which was 35 years in the making. Poems from his last four volumes have appeared in Best New Zealand Poems. He edited A Place To Go On From: the Collected Poems of Iain Lonie (Otago University Press, 2015), which was named an outstanding book of the year.  David has collaborated with the photographer Fiona Pardington, and the composers Brina Jez Brezavscek, Marta Jirackova, and Johanna Selleck.

    With Sandra Arnold, he co-founded the Christchurch literary journal Takahe (1989). He also co-founded the Canterbury Poets Collective (1990). A quarter of a century later, both have become literary institutions.  Dr Richard Reeve observed that ‘Today’s poetry in the South would be very different without David Eggleton, David Howard and Cilla McQueen.’

    David’s honours include the NZSA Mid-Career Writers Award (2009), University of South Pacific Poetry Prize (2011), Robert Burns Fellowship at Otago University (2013), Otago Wallace Residency (2014), the UNESCO City of Literature Residency in Prague (2016), the Ursula Bethell Residency at Canterbury University (2016), the Grimshaw Sargeson Fellowship (2018), and the UNESCO City of Literature Residency in Ulyanovsk (2019). His collection The Ones Who Keep Quiet was short-listed for the Kathleen Grattan Award (2016), long-listed in the Ockham Book Awards, and named as one of The Listener’s Books of the Year, being cited as ‘Brilliant, intellectually challenging collection by New Zealand’s master of the long-form poem.’ He has read at the International Poetry Festival in Granada Nicaragua (2009), and Goronovo Proljece 53, Croatia (2016).

    David is a former professional pyrotechnician who has worked as SFX supervisor for acts such as Janet Jackson and Metallica.



    • Drama
    • FlashFiction
    • Poetry
    • Plays


    • CompetitionJudging
    • Long-term placement (schools, universities)
    • Manuscript assessment
    • Mentoring
    • Poetry readings
    • Public speaking
    • Readings (adults)
    • Tutoring




    Dunedin, New Zealand & Pazin, Croatia


    The Incomplete Poems (Cold Hub Press, 2011)

    "Howard has a good ear for clashing phrases and jagged rhythms, for the passive-aggressive mode of dour Kiwi understatement. At times, he’s a kind of fossicking archaeologist, one who excavates telling language from Victorian journals and Scottish folk ballads, as well as superannuated rock songs. At other times, he’s the laconic narrator forced to fall back on an embarrassment of unreliable words – “don’t squirm with words”, he mocks, in a poem addressed to a painter."
    - David Eggleton, NZ Listener (May 11, 2012)


    The Ones Who Keep Quiet (Otago University Press, 2017)

    "This is an intellectually challenging collection by a master poet who knows exactly what he is about."
    - Nicholas Reid, Reid's Reader (July 10, 2017)


    A Place To Go On From: The Collected Poems of Iain Lonie (Otago University Press, 2015)

    "This invaluable collection brings together in one place all of Lonie’s previously collected poems, along with a large range of previously uncollected ones from which we may make our own assessments of his work – while also providing extremely helpful supporting material. There is David Howard’s brief, eloquently suggestive Preface, stating that ‘it is the saving grace of compassion’ which often accompanies the irony ‘that calls the mature poetry into account, that is the measure of its quality’, helping to form ‘the most poised body of elegiac poetry that New Zealand has’."
    - Lawrence Jones, Landfall Online (November 1, 2015)


Copyright © 2015 The New Zealand Society of Authors | Developed by The Web Company