Elizabeth Bartlett

Scope and Content

Consists of letters and proofs relating to the published poetry works of Elizabeth Bartlett.

Administrative / Biographical History

Elizabeth Bartlett (1924-2008) was born in Deal, in the mining region of Kent. She left school at 15 shortly before the start of the Second World War, to start work in a factory making hypodermic needles. Married during the War, she helped support her family with various jobs, working for 16 years as a medical secretary, and later in the home help service and as a tutor. She lived in Burgess Hill, West Sussex.

Despite early success at the age of 19, in Tambimuttu’s Poetry London, she did not publish again until her mid-50s. Her first retrospective volume, A Lifetime of Dying: Poems 1942-1979 (Peterloo Poets, 1979), covered mainly work written in the latter two decades. She went on to publish four collections in the 1980s and early 90s: Strange Territory (Peterloo Poets, 1983), The Czar Is Dead (Rivelin Grapheme, 1986), Instead of a Mass (Headland, 1991) and Look, No Face (Redbeck Press, 1991). In 1995 Bloodaxe published Two Women Dancing: New & Selected Poems, edited by Carol Rumens, which was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. This was followed by two later collections of poems written in her late 70s, Appetites of Love (2001) and Mrs Perkins and Oedipus (2004), both from Bloodaxe. In 2005 the Poetry Archive issued her CD, Elizabeth Bartlett Reading from her poems. Elizabeth Bartlett died in 2008, age 84.