A. R. D. Fairburn, 1904–1957


  • Stephen Hamilton




A. R. D. (Rex) Fairburn was one of the most influential poets and independent thinkers of 1930s, 40s and 50s New Zealand. He engaged fiercely with the political, social and economic issues of his day, often using sharply rendered parody and satire to attack points of view with which he disagreed. He was a central part of the group of writers sometimes referred to as the ‘Phoenix generation’. He contributed to all of the significant literary and cultural magazines of his day, from Phoenix (Auckland) to the New Zealand Listener, often taking his place among their editorial staff. While his political beliefs were sometimes at odds with those of his collaborators, and his overtly physical masculinity and unconventional lifestyle tended to alienate the more conventional sectors of society, his delight in argument for argument’s sake and his capacities as a poet overrode any reservations which might have arisen about his place in the literary and cultural life of the nation.


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Author Biography

Stephen Hamilton