Marie E. J. PittMarie E. J. Pitti(A15086 works by)(birth name: Marie Elizabeth JosephineMcKeown)
M. E. J. Pitt)
Also writes as: Magnet; Mooroopna Born:Established:6 Aug 1869Bulumwaal,Bairnsdale,Bairnsdale area,East Gippsland,Gippsland,Victoria,;Died:Ceased:20 May 1948Kew,Camberwell - Kew area,Melbourne - Inner South,Melbourne,Victoria,
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Marie McKeown was born into extreme poverty in a small mining town in Gippsland. She grew up in the farming district of Wy Yung near Bairnsdale, receiving little formal education. In 1893 she married William Pitt, a Tasmanian farmer and later gold miner. They lived in mining towns on the west coast of Tasmania, moved to Bairnsdale in 1905 and finally to Melbourne after William Pitt contracted miners' phthisis. Pitt died in 1912, and Marie Pitt supported her three children by writing for newspapers and clerical work.
Pitt's verse first began to appear in the Bulletin in 1900, and subsequently appeared in the Clarion, Birth and the Socialist. She was a member of the Victorian Socialist party and, with Frederick Sinclaire, editor for a time of the Socialist. Friendly with such writers as Vance and Nettie Palmer, Mary Gilmore and Louis Esson (qq.v.), she was particularly influenced by Bernard O'Dowd (q.v.), many of whose ideals she shared. She lived with him for the latter part of her life, from 1920.
Pitt's writings often appear strikingly modern as she was an early advocate of women's rights, environmentalism and Australian nationalism.
(Source : Wilde, Hooton and Andrews Oxford Companion to Australian Literature (1985) )