A Wellington poet and a mentor for emerging writers, Louis Johnson published 17 volumes of poetry over a period of 45 years. He established the New Zealand Poetry Yearbook in 1951 and edited it until 1964.
Johnson’s writing is discursive, strongly moral, angry about injustice and critical of the self-satisfied. His later poems display a more distanced perspective, acceptance of human frailty and wry humour. He and his wife, Cecilia, set up Antipodes Press in 1987 and published Antipodes New Writing, featuring a mix of new and established writers.