Marjorie Pizer, a third-generation Australian, was born into an orthodox Jewish family. She studied literature at the University of Melbourne from 1939 and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts. Pizer began her working life as a clerk in the public service. She met and married the poet Muir Holburn (q.v.) and they left for Sydney, where they became members of the Communist Party (until the invasion of Hungary).
In 1947 they set up Pinchgut Press in a spare room. The Press was designed to publish poetry and novels by authors who had been dismissed by the major publishing houses, and Pizer began editing the work of others, among them Henry Lawson and Victor J. Daley (qq.v.)
In 1960, Holburn died suddenly from a heart-attack, leaving Pizer with two young children, and the Press began a long hiatus. Pizer had taken an interest in her husband's psychotherapy practice, and in order to support her family she took it over and worked as a psychotherapist in Sydney for many years. Her friend and partner in psychotherapy, Anne Spencer Parry (q.v.), persuaded her to reinvigorate Pinchgut Press in 1975 as a vehicle to publish Pizer's poems and Parry's novels.
The Oxford Companion to Australian Literature (1994) says of her: 'Pizer's poems celebrate the simple things and everyday compensations of life in the face of death, war and transience.'