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Jeni Couzyn Biography

(1942– ), Flying, Christmas in Africa, A Time to be Born, Life by Drowning: Selected Poems

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: (Rupert) John Cornford Biography to Cwmaman (pr. Cŏomăˈman) Glamorgan

Canadian poet, born in South Africa, educated at the University of Natal. In 1966 she emigrated to Britain and established herself as a freelance writer. She became a Canadian citizen in 1975 and was appointed writer-in-residence at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, in 1976. Flying, her first collection of poetry, was published in 1970; subsequent volumes include Christmas in Africa (1975), A Time to be Born (1981), Life by Drowning: Selected Poems (1985), and That's It (1993). Couzyn's poetry repeatedly engages the social, political, and imaginative implications of womanhood. Her desire for a poetry of broad social accessibility and her conception of the art as pre-eminently oral are reflected in the clarity and immediacy of much of her writing. Many of her most richly textured poems deal with her childhood in Africa. As an editor, she has produced two widely read anthologies of writing by women poets, The Bloodaxe Book of Contemporary Women Poets (1985) and Singing Down the Bones (1989).

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