Keith Westwater began writing poetry in 2003 while attending the International Institute of Modern Letters' Writing the Landscape course at Victoria University of Wellington. Since then his work has appeared in a number of literary publications and has received or been short-listed for awards in New Zealand, Australia, and Ireland.
Prizes for his poetry include an equal first place in the 2006 Yellow Moon Spirit of Place competition, first place in the International Tertiary Student Poetry section of the 2009 Bauhinia Literary Awards, and Best First Book in the 2011 IP Picks competition. In 2009 he completed a Master of Letters in creative writing through Central Queensland University.
Keith currently lives in Lower Hutt, New Zealand. Before joining the New Zealand Army as a Regular Force Cadet in 1964, he went to school in Northland and Auckland. During his time in the Army and after leaving it in 1985, he has lived in many places in New Zealand and travelled extensively throughout the country and overseas. His working life has centred on teaching and learning and development in the workplace.
Keith Westwater’s poetry arises from his appreciation and love of the New Zealand landscape. Well-travelled throughout the land, the poet evokes memories as he revisits places invested with emotion, history and spirituality.