Sylvia Kantaris

Scope and Content

Consists of letters and proofs relating to the published poetry works of Sylvia Kantaris.

Administrative / Biographical History

Sylvia Kantaris was born in 1936 in Derbyshire Peak District. She studied French at Bristol University, taught in Bristol and London, and then spent ten years in Australia, where she taught French at Queensland University, had two children, and wrote her M.A. and Ph.D. theses on French surrealism. Her articles on surrealism and poems were published widely in Australia and England in major periodicals and anthologies, including The Penguin Book of Modern Australian Verse. She was the joint winner of the Poetry Magazine Award in 1969.

In 1974 she settled in Helston, Cornwall, and from 1976 to 1984 tutored Twentieth Century Poetry for the Open University. In 1986 she was appointed Cornwall’s first Writer in the Community, and in 1989 received an honorary D.Litt. from Exeter University.

Her first two books of poems, Time & Motion (Prism/Poetry Society of Australia, 1975) and the Tenth Muse (Peterloo Poets, 1983), were both reissued by Menhir Press in 1986. Her third collection, The Sea at the Door (Secker & Warburg, 1985), is no longer available.

She has published two joint collections with other poets, News from the Front with D.M. Thomas (Arc, 1983), and The Air Mines of Mistila with Philip Gross (Bloodaxe Books, 1988), a poetry Book Society Choice.

Her latest titles are Dirty Washing: New & Selected Poems (Bloodaxe Books, 1989), including work from all her previous books except The Air Mines of Mistila, and a new collection, Lad's Love (Bloodaxe Books, 1993).

Related Material



Other archival material for Sylvia Kantaris can be found at the University of Exeter Library (Special Collections).