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Gloria Reid-Smith Gloria Reid-Smith i(A14372 works by) (birth name: Gloria Sanders)
Also writes as: Gloria Smith
Born: Established: 9 Feb 1943 Hereford, Herefordshire,
United Kingdom (UK),
Western Europe, Europe,
; Died: Ceased: 18 Jan 2008 Wagga Wagga, Wagga Wagga area, Riverina - Murray area, New South Wales,
Gender: Female
Arrived in Australia: 16 Apr 1974
Heritage: English ; Welsh ; Cornish
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Gloria Sanders was an only child, born to a middle-aged father of Cheshire ancestry (who in her formative years was the gardener to a mill-owner in Lancashire) and a much younger mother of Cornish descent. Her childhood was spent in idyllic but somewhat isolated rural surroundings, on the outskirts of the small township of Littleborough near Rochdale. Leaving school at 16, Gloria worked in a mill for a short time before becoming a library assistant. She began writing poetry as a teenager, one poem being published in a local newspaper in 1962. She married Edward Reid-Smith in 1963 and had two children - a boy and a girl - and was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. A novel remained unfinished. The family lived in Afghanistan October 1969-December 1971, and migrated to Wagga Wagga in 1974. It was here that she wrote most of her poetry and short stories (some of which have appeared locally during the 1980s in the Wagga Wagga Daily Advertiser), and painted.

Over the years Gloria attended various TAFE courses such as word processing and Art, and also graduated with a Diploma of Teaching (Riverina College of Advanced Education) in 1980, and a Bachelor of Arts degree (Charles Sturt University) in 2008. Religion was an important part of her life - as a child experiencing her father's Methodism and her mother's Christian Science; as an adult she attended Anglican then Roman Catholic churches before returning to Anglicanism.

Gloria was diagnosed with Myelodysplasia in 2005, and died of leukaemia in January 2008. Much of her writing was influenced by her childhood rural background, her religious searching and her psychosis - but she also retained an independence of thinking as well as a subtle sense of humour. David Gilbey's foreword to A Collection of Poems by Gloria Reid-Smith (2011) may be seen as a short seminal essay on her work. Her surviving personal and literary papers are deposited with Charles Sturt University Regional Archives in Wagga Wagga (ref: RW1666).

(Biography supplied by Edward Reid-Smith.)

Most Referenced Works

Known archival holdings

Charles Sturt University - Charles Sturt University Regional Archives (NSW)
Last amended 29 Oct 2013 09:56:09
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