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Barry Mitcalfe’s † Biography

Last Updated:
23/03/2021, 9:09 am
Poet and Editior
Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship 1977
A teacher, journalist, linguist, social and political activist, he once described himself as “a hedonist, living and loving life.”

Barry Mitcalfe was a New Zealand poet, editor, and peace activist. He was regarded as a talented and versatile writer, notable especially for his work in Māori poetry. He spoke fluent te reo Māori.

Born in 1930 in Wellington, New Zealand, Mitcalfe studied at Victoria University of Wellington, where he received a Diploma in Education in 1962, and a Bachelor of Arts (with honours) in 1963. In the 1960s and early 1970s he was a leader of the New Zealand movement against the Vietnam War, and co-edited several booklets on the issue. After the war ended he became a leader of the New Zealand anti-nuclear movement. In 1981 he was a writer-in-residence at the South Australia College of Advanced Education, and in 1982 held an Ursula Bethell Residency in Creative Writing at the University of Canterbury.

Barry Mitcalfe died 1986