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Libby Houston Biography

(1941– ), A Stained Glass Raree Show, Plain Clothes, At the Mercy, Necessity, All Change

British poet, born in North London, educated at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. During the 1960s she became a popular performer of her work. A Stained Glass Raree Show (1967), her first collection of poetry, was followed by Plain Clothes (1971), At the Mercy (1981), and Necessity (1988). Many of her poems succeed in combining an intention to entertain with an understated moral or philosophical seriousness. The title poem of her widely acclaimed collection, At the Mercy, formed an extended meditation on the death in 1974 of her first husband, the artist Mal Dean. While she is frequently concerned with aspects of fable and legend, anecdotal treatments drawn from everyday experience are equally characteristic of her work. All Change (1993) is a substantial collection containing mainly children's verse. Since the early 1970s, she has contributed poetry programmes to BBC broadcasts for schools.

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Honest Ulsterman to Douglas Hyde Biography