Poet, professor, author, and first Poet Laureate of New Zealand. His numerous poetry collections include How to Take Off Your Clothes at the Picnic, Milky Way Bar, and What to Call Your Child.
He attended the University of Otago and University College, London.
He traveled to Antarctica and wrote a poetry collection, Antarctic Field Notes, documenting the experience.
He grew up primarily in hotels in Southland and Otago, and he describes this unusual childhood in his memoir Under the Influence.
He is a literary contemporary of Australian writer John Flanagan.