CAMPBELL, Meg (1937 - 2007) is a poet whose work is noted for its fearless emotional honesty. She has published four collections: The Way Back (1981), A Durable Fire (1982), Orpheus and Other Poems (1990), and The Better Part (2000). Her poems have appeared in journals including NZ Listener and Landfall, and she was one of four poets published in How Things Are (1998).
The poems often traverse the difficult territory of family, illness, and religion, but critics have noted an increasing lightness of touch in Campbell's recent work. In The Dominion, Vivienne Jepsen writes of the poems in How Things Are: "Meg Campbell is a more playful poet than she has seemed before. The image of suffering is precisely poised between the momentous and the everyday."
Meg Campbell has also written an unpublished autobiographical novel. Many of her poems are strongly rooted in the Kapiti Coast region, where she lived with her husband Alistair Te Ariki Campbell from the early 1960s, until her death there in 2007. (credit = NZ Book Council)