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Ricketts, Harry - Literary papers of Harry Ricketts

Identifier: rich


  • Creation: 1970 -

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.

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Biographical / Historical

Born in 1950, Harry Ricketts is an academic, poet, reviewer and editor who has published over 30 books including literary biographies ‒ The Unforgiving Minute: A Life of Rudyard Kipling (1999) and Strange Meetings: The Poets of the Great War (2010), numerous articles on Kipling, personal essays and ten collections of poems.

He obtained a MA and MLitt from the University of Oxford, in 1975. His research interests include literary biography, New Zealand poetry, sports writing, children's literature, creative non-fiction, Kipling, eighteenth-and nineteenth-century literature, the poets of the Great War, Katherine Mansfield, and literary journalism.

Ricketts has co-edited several anthologies of New Zealand poetry, a collection of new essays about World War I, How We Remember: New Zealanders and the First World War (VUP, 2014) and, with Gavin McLean, The Penguin Book of New Zealand War Writing (2015). Spirit in a Strange Land: A Selection of New Zealand Spiritual Verse (co-edited with Paul Morris and Mike Grimshaw), was the 2003 winner of the Montana Book Awards. His book 99 Ways into New Zealand Poetry (co-written with Paula Green), was shortlisted for the Montana Book Awards (2011), and Spirit Abroad: A Second Selection of New Zealand Spiritual Verse (co-edited with Paul Morris and Mike Grimshaw), was shortlisted for the Montana Book Awards (2005).

Ricketts has performed or chaired at a multitude of festivals both nationally and internationally, with discussion involving both well-known New Zealand and international figures. He studied English at Oxford University and lectured in Hong Kong and Leicester. He currently teaches English Literature and creative nonfiction at Victoria University of Wellington.

Ricketts’ most recent collection is Selected Poems (Victoria University Press, 2021). Currently he is working on Kipling’s Indian journalism and Kipling and the effects of childhood trauma. His other current project is a study of MacSpaunday, the derogatory composite name the poet Roy Campbell gave to the 1930s poets Louis MacNeice, W.H. Auden, Stephen Spender and C. Day Lewis.


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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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