The Tightrope Walker: Autobiographical Writings of Anne Wilkinson
Anne Wilkinson (1910-61) was one of the most celebrated Canadian writers of her time. Her success as a poet came against all odds: nothing in her background, from geography to genealogy, would have suggested a literary career. She lived her life and practiced her art in Toronto at a time when the nerve centre of Canadian poetry was unquestionably Montreal. She was born into the highest levels of Toronto society, a daughter of the very distinguished Osler family. And yet she wrote poetry, and was published to great acclaim, through decades of marriage, child-rearing, divorce, and illness.
From December 1947 to July 1956, the years during which she wrote her most successful poetry, Wilkinson kept journals; in due course she also wrote an autobiography, part of which appeared in a literary magazine shortly after she died. Joan Coldwell brings together the complete text of the autobiography with the poet’s journals, some samples of her poetry, and a moving exchange of letters between Wilkinson and her mother.
The journals vividly reveal the inner workings of the writer’s mind and her struggles to create in a difficult environment. With an immediacy and power that only journals can achieve, these writings explore the nature of the creative process in a context of daily realities that are often harsh and sometimes heart-breaking. The autobiography tells the story in a different way, rearranged to fit the forms of a 'legitimate' genre.
Together with Coldwell’s introduction, these writings present a unique and moving self-portrait of a poet who died too young, at the peak of her career. This volume celebrates Wilkinson’s life and work, and the spirit that informed them.
- Series: Heritage
- World Rights
- Page Count: 275 pages
- Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
Anne Wilkinson (1910-1961) was a Canadian poet who was part of the modernist movement in Canadian poetry in the 1940s and 1950s, one of only a few prominent women poets of the time, along with Dorothy Livesay and P.K. Page. Wilkinson published two books of poetry, Counterpoint to Sleep (1951) and The Hangman Ties the Holly (1955).
A former professor of English and Women's Studies, Joan Coldwell is the founder and publisher of Hedgerow Press.
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