Author(s): Tony Beyer
ANCHOR STONE by Tony Beyer is "a significant book by a significant poet" (Mark Young). It includes several longer works & a significant proportion which deliberately address issues relevant to contemporary concepts of New Zealand identity and culture. Importantly for the work of a senior pakeha poet, there is a strong Maori element, as for example in "At Ratana" a vivid depiction of events at Wiremu Ratana's annual birthday celebrations. The approach throughout is vigorous, often entertaining, and consistently stimulating. As fellow New Zealand poet David Howard remarks: "Tony Beyer has never followed signposts; he has always attended to the road, rewarding us with a considered prosody that honours the moment yet goes beyond it. His language is disciplined, almost ascetic, but there is a generosity in even the most clipped line, a kind of `elated patience' that is rare, and all the more welcome for its rarity, in New Zealand poetry. It is clear to me that Beyer's lifelong focus on the vocation of making poems rather than the business of literary politics has come to a wonderful maturity in Anchor Stone."
Shortlisted for Ockhams NZ Book Awards Poetry Prize 2018
Tony Beyer was born in Auckland, New Zealand in 1948 and has lived in the North Island throughout a career in secondary school teaching. Since the first in 1971, he has published 15 collections of poems with independent presses in New Zealand and Australia. His work has been widely anthologised and reviewed, receiving awards in the USA (Tanka Splendor 2002 and 2003) and Australia (Jack Stamm 2003). He was an inaugural Aratoi Fellow at New Pacific Studio, Wairarapa in 2011 and was represented in the recent New Zealand special issue of Atlanta Review (USA).