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Johnson, Louis Albert (1924 - 1988)

Identifier: johl-MSS J67


  • Creation: c. 1955

Access and use

Access is freely available in the J.C.Beaglehole Room for research and private study. For any use beyond this, please contact the J.C.Beaglehole Room ( in the first instance.

Biographical / Historical

Johnson, Louis Albert (1924 - 1988)

Louis Albert Johnson was born in Wellington on 27 September 1924, the son of Albert George Johnson, a police constable, and his wife, Louisa Murray Betts.

In 1947 he joined the New Zealand Labour Party’s daily newspaper the Southern Cross as a feature writer and critic, and became the paper’s education specialist. In 1950 he entered the Wellington Teachers’ College, where he trained as a primary school teacher, and then taught in schools in the Wellington region until 1955. Johnson began writing poetry some time before 1945, when his first book, Stanza and scene, was published by the Handcraft Press.

In the post-war literary scene Johnson became a prominent figure as a prolific poet and a sometimes controversial editor, as well as a respected critic, writer and broadcaster on literature. He was associated with the so-called Wellington school of poets in the 1950s and 1960s, where his name was often linked with that of his friend James K. Baxter and with a circle of younger writers who were thought to be opposed to the perceived poetic nationalism of the anthologist Allen Curnow and the editor of Landfall, Charles Brasch.

The full form of this biography of Johnson can be found in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, reference URL:


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Repository Details

Part of the Tapuaka Heritage & Archive Collections - JC Beaglehole Reading Room, Victoria University of Wellington Library Repository

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