Also writes as: M. M. L. Bliss
Born: Established: 8 Oct 1951 Warwickshire,
Jenny Boult migrated to Western Australia from England with her parents in 1967. She attended Applecross Senior High School, matriculating in 1968. She was awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship and attended the University of WA in 1969. More interested in struggle than study, she said, she worked as a clerk in the Postmaster General's Department and read revolutionary poetry and C. J. Dennis. She lived for a time in Sydney and in Melbourne, working as a housemaid and in the fashion industry. In 1974 she re-enrolled at the University of WA. She co-ordinated the Information and Resource Centre for two years and campaigned against foreign military bases in Australia at North West Cape.
During 1975-76 she edited, with Zoe Sofoulis, the Whole Perth Catalogue, a community resource directory. Attracted by the Dunstan era, Jenny travelled to Adelaide with her son, via the Kimberleys, Darwin, Cooktown and Zen Colony. She enrolled at the University of Adelaide in 1978 while working at the Media Resource Centre and Women's Art Movement. 1978 saw the short films 'Streets' and 'Landshark' screened at festivals Australia-wide.
By 1980 Jenny was involved in the Adelaide poetry scene and became a regular reader at Friendly Steet and Poets Union venues. She was both State and National Secretary of the Poets Union until 1983. She was awarded a General Writing Grant in 1981, after her first book of poems, the Hotel Anonymous, won the Anne Elder Award. She worked with Kate Veitch to produce the anthology Pearls (1980), and with poet Chris Barnett, performance artist Gwenda Wiseman and printmaker Kate Millington on various multi-media performances. 1982 saw Jenny collaborating with Nick Tsoutas' All Out Ensemble, in the production of a play Can't Help Dreaming. In 1983 she completed her Bachelor's degree. She then joined Eric Beach and Cliff Smyth in Melbourne for the Mobile Poetry Workshop, performing and conducting workshops at theatres, schools, prisons, libraries etc throughout Victoria.
In 1984 she was Poet in Residence at Alice Springs High School and edited the student anthology ASHE, and collaborated with muralist Malcolm Black on 2 wall-works. She was poetry editor of an inner suburban Adelaide newspaper Streetlight in 1979-80. In 1986 the Mobile Poetry Workshop re-formed with Geoff Goodfellow replacing Cliff Smyth. As well as touring schools etc, the Workshop performed regularly at the Cathedral Hotel, North Adelaide. Later in 1986 Jenny was Writer in Residence at the Adelaide Festival Centre and was awarded a Senior Writer's Fellowship by the Literature Board of the Australia Council.
Boult travelled extensively in Europe and the UK. On her return she was a regular performer at Club Foote and other club-style venues. She was an original tenant of the SA Writers' Centre, where she wrote her (unpublished) novel, 'Burn'. Following the publication of About Auntie Rose in 1988, Jenny worked in schools around Australia, toured Tasmania with Geoff Goodfellow for the Tasmanian Arts Council, and the Northern Territory on the MAD Poets Tour. She appeared in 'Mixing it up' as part of the 1988 Adelaide Festival Writers' Week. In 1990-91 she assisted in the fund-raising for an Everest climb, which provides the background for her play, Ascent. Jenny moved to NE Tasmania in 1994. She won the Salamanca Fringe Festival prizes for poetry and fiction in 1995, and appeared at the Tasmanian Writers' Festival, Montsalvat (Victoria) Hard Times Cafe and Tasmanian Poetry Festival, Launceston. In 1995 her poems were set for public examinations in New South Wales. In 1997 she was awarded a General Writing Grant by Arts Tasmania.
In 1999 Jenny Boult changed her name to Magenta Bliss and wrote as MML Bliss.