Margaret Diesendorf spent her early childhood in Vienna with German as her first language. She then lived in Hungary speaking Hungarian and French until the age of seven. She resumed speaking German on returning to Vienna. She later learned English and Latin at high school from which she graduated with distinction. From 1930 to 1938 she gained a Masters and PhD at Vienna University, earning her living by preparing students for examinations. Her thesis : 'Die Dichtungssprache des Expressionismus' was not printed because of her emigration to Australia. In Australia she worked in education, as a translator and with radio and television. She wrote widely for newspapers and educational and literary journals and lectured on poetry at Sydney and Macquarie Universities, among others. She received the Pacific Books Publishers 'Best Poems' Awards for 1972 and 1973, and the Borestone Mountain Poetry Award (California) for 1974 and 1976. She was very active in the Poetry Society, and read her work at many public forums including the Sydney Arts Festivals, the Ensemble Theatre, the NSW Art Gallery and PEN International.