James K Baxter (left) and John Weir. Photo taken in 1967 at St Bede's College, Christchurch, by John Hogan S.M.
John Weir still grieves for his mate, the poet James K Baxter who died in 1972. It began when John sent one of his poems to James and asked if he could dedicate it to him. James replied that John’s poem came to him “like water from a dry ground”. And so the friendship which John describes “deep, profound and special” began. Victoria University Press has just published Complete Prose of James K. Baxter – edited by Dr John Weir. It is an enormous undertaking – four hardback volumes in a box set that John began working on 40 years ago. The volumes take in Baxter’s journals, reviews, letters, stories, an unpublished novel, letters to the editor, interviews, and meditations.