Peter Olds – 1978
When Peter Olds received his one term 'mini-Burns' in 1978, he felt somewhat of an interloper, an outsider mixing with the 'gentry' in the English Department. This sneaker-wearing, long-haired poet was a little different, with his cultural heroes of Jack Kerouac, Bob Dylan, Bukowski, and the Beatles, and local influences such as Baxter, Tuwhare, and Frame. He had a growing literary record: five published poetry books, and he had been 'anthologised' in The Young New Zealand Poets in 1973. Beethoven's Guitar, his fifth collection, was written while a Burns Fellow. A draft of the title poem is on display, as is 'A Cold August Night in the Captain Cook Tavern', perhaps written on a warmer 13th March 1978.
Peter Olds, 'First draft worksheet of Beethoven's Guitar.' Holograph. 1977-78; ___, Beethoven's Guitar. Dunedin: Caveman Press, 1980; ___, 'A Cold August Night in the Captain Cook Tavern'. Typescript. 13 March 1978. Private Collection.