new zealand electronic poetry centre

Peter Olds

 Capital of the minimal  


Peter Olds was born in Christchurch in 1944. His father was a bee-keeper and Methodist minister. Educated at Seddon Memorial Tech in Auckland, at fifteen he left school for a variety of odd jobs. In the mid-60s he settled in Dunedin, where his interest in guitars led him to attempt song writing. After meeting James K. Baxter, he concentrated on literature. While employed building stage-sets for the Globe Theatre he wrote a one-act play, which was subsequently directed by Patric Carey. In 1968 Olds suffered a breakdown, and underwent ECT treatment at a mental hospital. Upon his release he joined Baxter at the Jerusalem commune, returning to Dunedin in 1971 in order to write his first book Lady Moss Revived (1972). Active on the reading circuit, he was awarded the Robert Burns Fellowship in 1978. His work has been represented in The Penguin Book of New Zealand Verse (Penguin); An Anthology of New Zealand Poetry in English (Oxford); Big Smoke (AUP) and Best New Zealand Poems 2001 (IIML).



  • Lady Moss Revived (Caveman Press, 1972)
  • The Snow & the Glass Window (Caveman Press, 1973)
  • Freeway (Caveman Press, 1974)
  • Doctorís Rock (Caveman Press, 1976)
  • Beethovenís Guitar (Caveman Press, 1980)
  • After Looking For Broadway (One Eyed Press, 1985)
  • Music Therapy (Earl of Seacliff Art Workshop, 2001)
  • Oh, Baxter Is Everywhere (Square One Press, 2003)
  • It Was a Tuesday Morning: Selected Poems 1972-2001 (Hazard Press, 2004)

NZ Literature File at AU



© Peter Olds 2004


Last updated 11 July, 2004