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Mike Doyle Biography

(1928– ), A Splinter of Glass: Poems 1951–55, Recent Poetry in New Zealand, Stonedancer, Steady Hand

poet, an Irishman born in Birmingham, and educated at Victoria University College, British Columbia, the University of New Zealand, and Auckland University; he served in the Royal Navy in 194554. For many years he was Associate Professor of English at the University of Victoria, British Columbia (and, prior to 1970, published under his original name, Charles Doyle). His first poetry collection, A Splinter of Glass: Poems 1951–55 (1956), was published in New Zealand, where Doyle also worked with leading poets. He edited Recent Poetry in New Zealand (1965), which he intended as a ‘work in progress’ from younger writers rather than as an authoritative canon; to some extent the volume offered a deliberate alternative to the 1960 anthology by Allen Curnow. Doyle's own approach to poetry is deceptively open, with his technical skills often concealed by an engagingly laconic familiarity and irreverence: ‘A poet, if he can, should avoid too much literature. Like the verse of habit, it impedes observation.’ Stonedancer (1976) is an impressive collection which also includes poems from previous volumes. Later works include Steady Hand (1982), The Urge to Raise Hats (1989), Separate Fidelities (1991), and Intimate Absences: Selected Poems (1993). He has also written studies of New Zealand poets R. A. K. Mason (1970) and James K. Baxter (1976), of William Carlos Williams (1982), and a biography of Richard Aldington (1989).

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Hilda Doolittle (H. D.) Biography to Dutch