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Flown Away: Eva Bezwoda’s Life, Death and Poetry

Eva Kowalska


Eva Bezwoda was a prominent poet in the 1960s and 1970s, who contributed to several South African journals, as well as  publishing One Hundred and  Three Poems in 1973. Her death by suicide three years later seems congruent  with the  themes and preoccupations of her work, and was a loss to South  Africa’s literary culture at the time. Despite critical  attention to her work, after  her death her legacy seems to have been forgotten, and her poetry neglected.  In this  article, I outline what is known of her biography, with a focus on her  most productive years as a writer, and the  development of her career in relation  to recurrent motifs, prominent themes, and relevant details from her poems. I  consider the critical reception of her work and engage with archival material,  including correspondence from the year  before her death with Ad Donker and  personal responses to her death by Sheila Fugard and Lionel Abrahams.   

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2071-7474
print ISSN: 0376-8902