C.K. Stead was Professor of English at the University of Auckland until 1986. He is known among students of literature as the author of The New Poetic, a study of Yeats, Eliot and the Georgian poets. He is the only New Zealand writer to have won the New Zealand Book Award for both poetry and fiction, winning twice for the novels All Visitors Ashore and The Singing Whakapapa. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and in 1984 he was awarded the C.B.E. for services to New Zealand Literature.