R. A. K. Mason (2834 words)

R. A. K. Mason has been authoritatively identified, by Allen Curnow, as New Zealand’s “first wholly original, unmistakably gifted poet” (“Introduction,” Mason, Collected Poems 9). Other men and women had written earlier poems of some abiding interest and merit, but he was one of a little cluster of poets active in the 1920s and 1930s who have been widely recognised as establishing a corpus of poetry of genuine quality. This group also included A. R. D. Fairburn, Denis Glover, Charles Brasch and Curnow himself, as well as the older writer Ursula Bethell, and Robin Hyde (Iris Wilkinson). Mason was the first of the cluster to get published, and had written nearly all of the poems on which his reputation depends by 1935, at …

Ross, John C.. "R. A. K. Mason". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 02 November 2015
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