James K. Baxter – 1966-67
'When I applied for the Fellowship I was tired of pounding the Wellington streets on a postman's round, and a bit of leisure seemed a good idea.' So wrote James K. Baxter reflecting back on the two years that he spent as a Burns Fellow in 1966 and 1967. It was far from a leisurely term. In the first year Baxter wrote some 90 poems (most published in the posthumous Runes), three radio plays, and lectures that formed his The Man on the Horse (1967). The second year he wrote six dramatic works, completed more essays that formed The Flowering Cross (1969), finished Aspects of Poetry in New Zealand, and wrote more poems, including the notorious A Small Ode on Mixed Flatting, and those that formed The Lion Skin, printed by Dr Keith Maslen in the Bibliography Room. Baxter profited much from the Fellowship. His worry about the Muse not smiling on Fellowship holders was needless, and despite his own misgivings, there was little internal damage. He wrote: 'The Fellowship hadn't exactly done me in. But my asbestos suit had worn through in a few places.'
James K. Baxter, 'The Lion Skin'. Typescript. 1967. Bibliography Room/Otakou Press Archive; Basil Dowling, James K. Baxter, Charles Brasch. Photograph, c.1966-67. MS 996-12/169. Brasch Papers, Hocken Collections; James K. Baxter, The Man on the Horse. Dunedin: University of Otago Press, 1967. Brasch PR 9641 B3 M3; ___, A Small Ode On Mixed Flatting. Christchurch: The Caxton Press, . Brasch PR 9641 B3 S5.