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Vera Newsom Vera Newsom i(A20748 works by)
Born: Established: 29 Sep 1912 Manchester,
United Kingdom (UK),
Western Europe, Europe,
; Died: Ceased: 10 Jul 2006 Sydney, New South Wales,
Gender: Female
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Vera Newsom emigrated from England to New Zealand at the age of seven, and was educated at Auckland Girls Grammar School. She moved to Australia in her adolescence, and attended Sydney University. She was raised in a family that was fiercely supportive of the women's suffrage movement and she was encouraged by her father to pursue academic goals. As a young woman, Newsom began a career as a teacher, eventually working for over 40 years in state and private schools. (She was retrenched from the state system in 1934 when she married.) After retiring, Newsom began to pay serious attention to her writing. (She had suspended her interest in poetry writing for approximately 40 years while she focused on family responsibilities.) In the late 1970s she co-founded the Round Table Poets and her first published selection, Midnight Snow, appeared in 1988.

Her manuscript collection contains notebooks of unpublished poetry, one titled 'Scroll Painter', one titled 'Tapestry', and others untitled. While on a Fellowship at Varuna in 1991, she wrote the first part of her autobiography, entitled 'The First Seven Years'.

Newsom has undertaken fellowships at the Hawthornden International Writers' Retreat Centre, Scotland and at the Varuna Writers' Centre, Katoomba. She has twice received two-year fellowships from the Australia Council to foster her writing.

The Young Street Poets held a special event to celebrate Newsom's 90th birthday in 2002. On this occasion, Judith Beveridge (q.v.) delivered an address in which she described Newsom's poetry as being 'characterised by a meticulous attention to craft, to clarity, to directness, to rhythm, to a sparse lyrical elegance, and by a deft tonal and formal control.'

Newsom has discussed her creative influences as being, "Yeats (whose influence I often try to avoid!), [the] whole field of English literature (keen on the sense of form and texture), modern Americans for ease of flow, [and] sense of voice speaking." She was also an avid reader of Australian literary magazines, having once admitted to subscribing to "about ten." (Source: The Book of Poets on the Heath (1993).)

Most Referenced Works

Personal Awards

2003 Order of Australia Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) For service to literature as a poet and through support for the emerging talent of other writers.
2001 Australia Council Grants, Awards and Fellowships Literature Board Fellowship Two-year fellowship
1996 recipient Varuna Fellowships Open Fellowship

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon Emily Bronte Re-Collects and Other Poems Pymble : Angus and Robertson , 1995 Z467677 1995 selected work poetry
1995 winner Society of Women Writers, New South Wales, Awards Book Award for Poetry

Known archival holdings

University of New South Wales Australian Defence Force Academy Australian Defence Force Academy Library (ACT)
Last amended 9 Aug 2019 13:09:53
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