James Keir Baxter (1926 to 1972) is recognised as one of New Zealand's foremost poets. He was born in Dunedin and was educated in Quaker schools in New Zealand and England. His father, Archibald, was a pacifist who was imprisoned for his beliefs during World War I and his mother, Millicent was the daughter of a prominent Christchurch academic, J Macmillan Brown.
Baxter wrote more than 30 books of poetry, several plays and many critical articles. He was recognised as a major talent when his first book, Beyond the Palisade (1944) was published. He was 18.
Beyond the Palisade, 1944
Blow, Wind of Fruitfulness, 1948
Hart Crane; a poem, 1948
Recent Trends in New Zealand Poetry, 1951
Poems Unpleasant, 1952 (with Louis Johnson and Anton Vogt)
Rapunzel: a Fantasia for Six Voices, 1953
The Fallen House, 1953
The Fire and the Anvil, 1955
Travellerís Litany, 1955
The Iron Breadboard: Studies in New Zealand Writing, 1957
The Night Shift: Poems on Aspects of Love, 1957 (with Charles Doyle, Louis Johnson and Kendrick Smithyman)
In Fires of No Return, 1958
Chosen Poems, 1958
Two Plays: The Wide Open Cage and Jack Winter's Dream, 1959
Howrah Bridge and Other Poems, 1961
Three Women and the Sea, 1961
The Spots of the Leopard, 1962
The Ballad of the Soap Powder Lock-Out, 1963
A Selection of Poetry, 1964
Pig Island Letters, 1966
Aspects of Poetry in New Zealand, 1967
The Lion Skin, 1967.
The Man on the Horse, 1967
The Bureaucrat, 1968 (prod.)
The Rock Woman: Selected Poems, 1969
Jerusalem Sonnets: Poems for Colin Durning, 1970
The Flowering Cross, 1970
The Devil and Mr Mulcahy, and The Band Rotunda, 1971 (plays)
Jerusalem Daybook, 1971
The Sore-Footed Man, and The Temptations of Oedipus, 1971 (plays)
Ode to Auckland and Other Poems, 1972
Autumn Testament,1972 (edited by Paul Millar)
Four God Songs, 1972
Letter to Peter Olds, 1972
Two Obscene Poems, 1974
Barney Flanagan and Other Poems, read by James K. Baxter, 1973 (record)
The Labyrinth: Some Uncollected Poems 1944-72, 1974.
The Tree House and Other Poems for Children, 1974.
The Bone Chanter, 1976 (ed. and introd. by J.E. Weir)
The Holy Life and Death of Concrete Grady, 1976 (ed. and introd. by J.E. Weir)
James K. Baxter as Critic, 1978 (by Frank McKay).
Baxter Basics, 1979
Collected Poems, 1979 (edited by John Weir, reissued in 1995)
Collected Plays, 1982.
Selected Poems, 1982.
Horse: a Novel, 1985.
The Essential Baxter / selected and introduced by John Weir, 1993
Cold Spring: Baxter's Unpublished Early Collection, 1996 (edited by Paul Millar)