photo by Andrew Bell 1999


(a biography of sorts)

Arthur Amon currently abides in the inner city Auckland suburb of Grey Lynn.  He was born in Raglan and grew up in Atiamuri (a small township in central North Island).  In 1977, his family moved north to the sunnier climes of Whangaparaoa, where Arthur attended the local secondary school, then on to the University of Auckland, where he gained Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees.

A trained secondary school teacher, Arthur is currently working as a part-time writer/editor/researcher for Auckland University of Technology and as a part-time sculptor.    His sculptures have been exhibited at the annual Cityside Baptist ‘Stations of the Cross’ exhibition  (see and are also hanging in a West Auckland church building and an office in Waitakere City, and lurking in a Mount Albert garden.

Safety Matches is Arthur’s second book of poetry.  He describes his style as conversational, seeking to capture speech patterns, and looking for the sublime or illuminating moments in everyday life.  The poems range across the spectrum from funny to weird, serious to romantic.  

Some of the wide-ranging factors influencing his poetry are: poets such as e. e. cummings, William Carlos Williams, Laurie Anderson, and T.S. Elliot; 20th Century American poets generally; Hone Tuwhare, Ian Wedde, ‘The Front Lawn’ (Harry Sinclair and Don McGlashan); the kiwi vernacular; his family’s sense of humor; the Bible – particularly books like Ecclesiastes, Isaiah, Ezekiel and the gospels.

“I started writing regularly in 1989”, says Arthur; “I normally write between 40 –100 poems a year (although that’s just a guess)”.   When describing his inspiration to write he explains, “Mostly I write because I have a strange compulsion to.  Something happens or a situation exists that strikes me in a particular way.  I am an idealist, and would like the world to be a better place; to me, though, that doesn’t mean imposing things on others or doing something ‘for their own good’.  Rather, I like to draw attention to the human condition, to the weird things we do to ourselves and/or each other, or the things that make life funny, difficult, beautiful, or interesting in some way.”

Arthur has extensive live performance experience, including readings in secondary schools, various pubs and cafes, churches, folk groups, TEAR Fund gigs and with local bands or musicians. Arthur is also a regular performer at the Parachute Music Festival, an annual event held in Matamata, attended by over 20,000 people.

In October 2002, Arthur embarks on his first national tour of poetry readings, seminars, and related happenings, possibly in conjunction with local musicians.

Contact Details:

Ph/Fax +64-9-378 8886

He Said It To Himself (1997)
Safety Matches (2002)

Both are published by Small Print
+64-9-570 3958