Living Published Women Poets in the UK
Sylvia Kantaris
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Sylvia Kantaris poet

Sylvia Kantaris was born in the Peak District in Derbyshire, spent a decade in Australia before returning to Cornwall where she still lives.


Lad’s Love (Bloodaxe, 1993)

Dirty Washing: New and Selected Poems (Bloodaxe, 1989)

The Air Mines of Mistila with Philip Gross (Bloodaxe, 1988)

News from the Front with D M Thomas (Arc, 1983)

The Sea at the Door (Secker and Warburg, 1985; as Il Mare Alla Porta Italian translation by Simonetta Zappala, Forli/Quinta Generazione 1991)

Tenth Muse (Peterloo Poets, 1983, Menhir 1986)

Time and Motion (Prism/Poetry Society of Australia, 1975, Menhir 1986)

Sylvia Kantaris studied French at Bristol University and taught in Bristol and London before moving to Australia where she taught French at Queensland University and wrote her MA and PhD theses on French surrealism. Sylvia Kantaris moved back to the UK where she settled in Helston, Cornwall and taught for the Open University and later received an honorary DLitt from Exeter  University. She was appointed Cornwall’s first Writer in the Community in 1986.

Her collaboration with D M Thomas, News from the Front, deals with failures of communication in a relationship between lovers, however, both poets have contributed poems from both the female and male viewpoint to avoid restricting themselves to a gendered voice. Sylvia Kantaris’s collaboration with Philip Gross, The Air Mines of Mistila, is a parable of man’s greed for natural resources set in a fictitious South American territory.

Sylvia Kantaris’s poems have been translated into Finnish, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean and Spanish and widely published in magazines and anthologies. Some have been set to music and added to the schools’ curriculum.

“Kantaris writes clearly, frankly, movingly and humorously about a wide variety of human relationships,” Peter Reading (Sunday Times)

Official Website: http://www.kantaris.com/sylvia/


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