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Dorothy Livesay Biography

(1909– ), Green Pitcher, Signpost, Selected Poems, The Colour of God's Face

poems life selected feminist

Canadian poet, born in Winnipeg, educated at the University of Toronto and at the Sorbonne, Paris. She subsequently worked in France, the USA, and Zambia, before holding various posts at Canadian universities from 1966. From early and predominantly lyrical collections such as Green Pitcher (1928) and Signpost (1932) her work increasingly reflects social and political issues. Selected Poems (1956) confirmed her abiding concern with capturing the interplay of idealism and passion. The Colour of God's Face (1965) contained poems shaped by her experience in Africa. Collected Poems: The Two Seasons (1972), which demonstrated the range and consistency of her work, explored tensions between individual aspirations and the pressures and demands of communal life. Her autobiographical volume of short stories, A Winnipeg Childhood (1973), contained work from 1953 onwards; Right Hand Left Hand (1977), which was ‘A True Life of the Thirties’, was subtitled ‘Paris, Toronto, Montreal, The West and Vancouver. Love, politics, the depression and feminism’, and covered the period 192839. Always politically highly aware, Livesay worked for the Communist Party during the 1930s and was a feminist in her broad commitments long before the feminist revival of the 1960s. Her later poetry includes The Phases of Love (1983) and Selected Poems: The Self-Completing Tree (1986).

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almost 4 years ago