John Newton is a poet and literary historian. Formerly a lecturer in the English Department at the University of Canterbury (and before that at the University of Melbourne, where he did his PhD), since 2010 he has been a fulltime writer. His non-fiction books are The Double Rainbow (2009), a study of James K. Baxter’s Jerusalem commune, Hard Frost: Structures of Feeling in New Zealand Literature 1908-1945 (2017) and Llew Summers: Body and Soul (2020). He has also published three volumes of poetry, and most recently a verse novel, Escape Path Lighting (2020). He moonlights as a song-writer and musician, and can occasionally be heard performing with his alt-country band, The Overdogs. Photo credit Robert Cross.