Died 1948 90


Thomas Curnow as a celebrated New Zealand poet, notable perhaps in New Zealand society that has had a traditional suspicion of intellectuals and those of a creative inclination. Thomas Curnow’s intellectual abilities were recognizable from his achievements during his training at St John’s College in preparation for his ordination. Despite graduating as the top student of his cohort he eventually decided not to enter the Church.


While studying for a B.A. at Auckland University College he began to publish his poetry in the University magazine and later in the New Zealand Herald and the Christchurch Press. He became a lecturer and associate professor at Auckland while continuing his writing.

Curnow received several awards, including the CBE in 1980. In 1988/89 Curnow was judged the overall winner of the Dillon’s Commonwealth Poetry competition. This award is judged by an international panel and brings together the best of the commonwealth poets. He also received the Queen’s Gold Medal for poetry in 1989, the first New Zealander to be so recognised.

Curnow, Dr Thomas Allen
Died 08 June 1948
aged 90 Years
Block B Row 2 Plot 30D

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