Sam Hunt, born In Auckland in 1946.
He is, to quote one reviewer, a “freewheeling ordinary bloke, a kind of Kiwi Jack Kerouac, laconic – somewhat gauche – whose poems or ‘roadsongs’ are direct and simple, surprised by their own powerful emotion.”
His distinctive appearance – tall and rangy, usually wearing drainpipe trousers (‘Foxton Straights’ he calls them) and open-chested shirts, with long hair curling wildly above a weathered face – is complemented by the familiar gravelly drawl that has made him one of New Zealand’s most recognisable figures.
Virtually single-handedly, Hunt has created a broad general audience for poetry; and if it was up to the crowds who flock to hear him on stage and the school pupils he has galvanised into enjoying verse, he would be the country’s poet laureate.
Hunt’s book sales far exceed most New Zealand poets. He has published From Bottle Creek: Selected Poems 1967–69 (1969), Bracken Country (1971), From Bottle Creek (1972), South Into Winter: Poems and Roadsongs (1973), Time To Ride (1975), Drunkard’s Garden (1977), Collected Poems 1963–1980 (1980), Running Scared (1982), Approaches To Paremata (1985), Selected Poems (1987), Making Tracks (1991), Naming the Gods (1992), Down the Backbone (1995), and, with Gary McCormick, Roaring Forties (1997), and Doubtless (2008).
He was awarded a QSM in 1986 for his contribution to New Zealand poetry.
In 2010 he was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
His most recent publications (2009) are; James K. Baxter Poems Selected and Introduced by Sam Hunt and Falling Debris a CD collaborating with David Kilgour.
A new book of poems Chords, is due out soon.

12 Responses to Poems

  1. Sophie Tomapahost says:

    lol man ur awesome !
    i luv ur cool poems!!! u should write a poem especially 4 ur fans…2 impress us further & so we know you actually care
    never give up/keep goin’ ur the bomb!


    PS i really hope you notice us fans

  2. Jade pearl williams says:

    Dear sam hunt.
    You may not remember me at all since it has been 15 years or so.. But ive always wanted to tell you how sorry i am that you put down your dog because it had bit me. It was something that you did not have to but i guess its just something that felt right.
    Even tho ive meet you once and i was way to yough to remember, i get reminded everyday about what happened all those years ago.
    Im sorry for making you put something so special to you down.
    But thank you for the rhings you did for me 15 years ago.
    And i look forward to reading somemore of your poems.

  3. Jim Scott says:

    DVD out July 2012

  4. Sue Walker says:

    I am an avid Sam Hunt fan now living in Queensland. I first saw and heard Sam live in Lower Hutt, where I bought my first book – Drunkard’s Garden 1978, where in the Birth of a Son, Sam changed the name to Tom. With Sam was Garry McCormack. When they walked in we were all sitting on the floor, Sam proceeded to open his briefcase…to bring out his bottle liquor.
    Many books later, the last book I have is Doubtless, 2008.

    My friend in NZ sent me the details of the doco she had been to see, and raved about it. Her and I have been trying to get it for me…any details on where we could try please.

  5. Colin Ralph Boswell says:

    Iv’e got that record (sam Hunt and ammal) but no dedck to play it on. My loss. Especially now one of the peoms “Beware the Man in the Big Black hat” has been turned into a Frizzell painting. If anyone wants to buy it and donate it to charity – I will be the charity!

  6. Chris McLean says:

    Indeed, a CD reissue of the album with Mammal would be very welcome!

  7. Sharon Morley says:

    It wasn’t until 20 years ago when I heard Sam read his poems at a pub in Whakatane that I really appreciated his poetry. I had always like them but fell in love with them on that night. The dog running in the waves, the many other stories told through poetry made me a lover of his works. Once I got past some of the stories he told!!! they were a bit shocking but then that’s Sam life ah and we all have stories that are a bit shocking, just don’t know if I want to share ha ha.
    I met Sam once on the beach close to him home down Paramata way – he helped me with the kids getting them off the beach and into the car. I felt silly as I stumbled through my inadequate English, (even though English is my first language – I’m a Kiwi girl) speaking with him, how does one talk with a scholar of words??
    Thanks Sam

  8. cody bell says:

    Your Poems are really good !!

  9. Jan Salas says:

    Dying to see the film but also sad the Mammal Sam Hunt LP missed out. Also the single of Sandshoe Shuffle and Photograph of Robin in Warpaint – who knows where that’s got to?

  10. Tony says:

    The new CD collaboration with David Kilgour prompts me:
    I’d love to see mention in the above CV of the LP record produced by Sam Hunt and the band Mammal in the 1970s. Superb musicians like Tony Backhouse, Rick Bryant (Jubilation Choir, Jive Bombers, etc) and others, plus electronic wizard Ian McDonald and the Alex Lindsay String Quartet produced one of my favourite Kiwi albums of all time. Okay – it’s occasionally a bit portentous, but it is also unique in the annals of both Kiwi music and Kiwi poetry. Then there was the 1983 album of his poetry called “Bottle to Battle to Death” – the title referring to places Sam lived: Bottle Creek, Battle Hill and Death’s Corner.

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