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Judith Kazantzis Biography

(1940– ), Spare Rib, Minefield, The Wicked Queen, Let's Pretend, Flame Tree

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Patrick Kavanagh Biography to Knocknarea Sligo

British poet, born in Oxford, educated at Somerville College, Oxford. She worked as a home tutor with the Inner London Education Authority and was poetry reviewer with Spare Rib magazine for six years during the 1970s. Minefield (1977) was her first collection of poetry; her principal subsequent collections are The Wicked Queen (1980), Let's Pretend (1984), Flame Tree (1988), and The Rabbit Magician Plate (1992). Her earlier work recurrently dealt with injustices inherent in the contemporary situation of women through adaptations of materials from mythology, folklore, and history. Since the mid-1980s the political scope of her verse has expanded to address economic oppression in the Third World, particularly in the countries of Central America, which she has repeatedly visited. Her poetry is notable for combining passionate conviction with exuberant wit and flamboyantly imaginative use of closely observed local detail. The freshness and vitality of her language is equally apparent in poems drawing directly on her personal experience. She edited Women in Revolt: The Fight for Emancipation: A Collection of Contemporary Documents (1968).

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