Brian Turner is a poet, essayist, biographer and editor. As one of New Zealand's most significant writers on landscape, environmentalism and sport, Turner brings a fresh perspective to nature poetry, and at once aims to be personal but unsentimental in his approach. Brian Turner was appointed as the fourth Te Mata Estate New Zealand Poet Laureate in 2003. His work is frequently anthologized in collections of poetry and literary sports writing. He has published numerous collections of poetry, as well as works of non-fiction.
Brian Turner was the 1984 Robert Burns Fellow at the University of Otago in Dunedin.
Beyond won the 1993 New Zealand Book Award for Poetry.
He co-wrote Lifting the Covers (1997) with his brother and former New Zealand representative cricketer Glenn Turner.
Turner was the 1997 Canterbury Writer in Residence. The residency is designed to foster New Zealand writing by providing a full-time opportunity for a writer to work in an academic environment, and is open to writers in the fields of creative writing: fiction, drama, and poetry.
On the Loose (1998) is his authorised biography of rugby star Josh Kronfeld. In 2002, he published a biography of the All Black legend, Meads.
Turner's essays include one for the prize-winning book of paintings The Art of Grahame Sydney (2001), and a long introductory piece on New Zealanders increasingly tenuous relationships with nature for Scott Freeman's New Zealand Photographs (2001).
Brian Turner's latest book Taking Off (2001) is his first in almost 10 years and was shortlisted in the 2002 Montana New Zealand Book Awards. The poems are of separation, the relationship with his ageing father, departed friends and of living life in Central Otago.
Somebodies and Nobodies (2002) is the story of Brian Turner- as well as the story of the unusually talented, sports-mad family to which he belongs.
Brian Turner was appointed as the fourth Te Mata Estate New Zealand Poet Laureate in 2003. Administered by the National Library of New Zealand and funded by the New Zealand Government, the Poet Laureate is selected biennially and receives an award of $50,000 per year.
The fruits of Brian Turner's two-year tenure as the Te Mata Estate Poet Laureate were published in Footfall (Random House, 2005). He writes frankly and perceptively of the delicate relationships between people, and his work evokes the nature and depth of the attachment of people to places. It was nominated in the 2006 shortlist for the Montana New Zealand Book Awards.
Somebodies and Nobodies (2002) was longlisted for the Montana Medal for Non-Fiction Biography Category in the 2003 Montana New Zealand Book Awards.
He recently completed Meads, the biography of rugby legend, Colin Meads (Hodder Moa Beckett, 2006). His poem, 'The Great Where are We' appeared in The Six Pack, the sampler of New Zealand writing from New Zealands inaugral Book Month publication (2006).
Turner's ongoing love affair with his Central Otago home is at the heart of his new collection of rich and compelling poems, Just This, published by Victoria University Press in 2009. Just This won the Poetry Award at the 2010 New Zealand Post Book Awards.
He was also awarded the 2009 Lauris Edmond Award for Distinguished Contribution to Poetry. Also in 2009, he received the Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement in Poetry, worth $60,000, in recognition of significant contribution to New Zealand literature.
Brian Turner's collaboration Timeless Land (Random House, 2010) also features work from two of New Zealand's most steadfast and individual talents: painter Grahame Sydney and writer Owen Marshall. The work has grown out of their appreciation for the landscapes of the Central South Island. It is the fourth edition of a much-loved and distinguished book, first published in 1995.
In 2011, Victoria University Press released Turner's collection Inside, Outside. Love poems and elegies keep company with poems of satire, protest and metaphysical speculation. The book concludes with 'Post-operative', a raw and risky sequence written in the wake of major surgery.
Turner's latest book is a collection of poems about Central Otago: Elemental. Turner's poems are accompanied by evocative images from well-known Central Otago photographer Gilbert Van Reenan.