Scoop Review of Books

John Newton a Stout Fellow


Poet and academic John Newton new JD Stout Fellow

Victoria University’s 2010 JD Stout Fellow will explore the contribution of Jewish refugees from Hitler’s Germany, among other war-time immigrants, to New Zealand’s national identity and culture.

Dr John Newton is a poet, critic and academic as well as the author of the highly‐acclaimed book, The Double Rainbow: James K. Baxter, Ngati Hau and the Jerusalem Commune published last year by Victoria University Press.

As the JD Stout Fellow, Dr Newton will be based at Victoria’s Stout Research Centre for New Zealand Studies where he will conduct research for a new book about immigration to New Zealand at the time of World War Two.

He plans to explore the contribution made by such immigration to the development of New Zealand culture.

“War‐time immigrants, including Jewish refugees from Hitler’s Germany, played a key role in the growth of national culture from the mid‐1930s to the late‐1960s,” says Dr Newton.

Until this year Dr Newton has been based in the English Department at the University of Canterbury, where he has taught New Zealand and American Literature, Poetry and Reading Culture.

His best-known work is The Double Rainbow, an account of life at the Jerusalem commune from the point of view of James K. Baxter’s followers and the local Ngati Hau community.

His new project furthers his ongoing interest in cultural nationalism and its narratives. Dr Newton has published numerous articles on mid-20th century New Zealand writing.

A new volume of Dr Newton’s poetry will be published by Victoria University Press this year.

The JD Stout Fellowship was created to foster research in New Zealand society, history and culture by providing the Fellow with an opportunity to work within an academic environment for the year of tenure. It is funded by the Stout Trust, which is managed by the Guardian Trust and administered by the Victoria University Foundation.