Stevie Smith entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
Works By
Stevie Smith, publishing in the mid twentieth century, was a poet who is hard to categorise. All of her works—poetry, novels, stories, essays, reviews, a radio play, and her inimitable drawings— have a quirkiness, a pretence of naivete which masks an unyielding and uncomforting view of life. All of them, too, are based on her own life and the lives of her friends: the last characteristic brought a number of difficulties like resentment and threats of libel actions.
20 September 1902 SS was born as Florence Margaret Smith at Hull in Yorkshire. Bibliographic Citation link.
14 December 1955 SS wrote to cancel her contract with André Deutsch Limited, who had accepted the book which became Not Waving but Drowning, but had refused the accompanying drawings. Bibliographic Citation link.
1957 SS published, with André Deutsch Limited, her poetry volume Not Waving but Drowning. This book not only brought her back into the public eye after a long hiatus, but made her famous. Bibliographic Citation link.
16 January 1971 From hospital SS wrote to John Guest (her editor at her final publishers, Longman) about the typescript of new poems including "Come, Death". Bibliographic Citation link.
7 March 1971 SS died of a brain tumour in hospital in Ashburton, Devon, where she had been trying to help her sister. Bibliographic Citation link.
January 1972 SS's last collection of new poems, Scorpion, was posthumously published. Bibliographic Citation link.
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