Poetry: Isobel Dixon | clivejames.com
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Isobel Dixon

Born and raised in South Africa and living now in Cambridge, Isobel Dixon works in London as a literary agent, but her poetry is much more than a sideline, and some would rank it amongst the most lyrical written in her generation. Her first collection of poems, Weather Eye, was published in South Africa, and immediately demonstrated a gift for evoking the landscape of her native country with a purity of vision reminiscent of the early poetry of Roy Campbell. But since she came to live in Britain she has widened her range beyond South Africa to include the mentality of self-exile, showing increasingly a sensitive awareness of how displacement and a deepening world view can go together. For any of her readers who themselves write poetry, the quiet ease of some her effects might seem unfair. “Driving through thunder and into the blue,/ my sunglasses bruise the widest of skies...” It sounds effortless, but you see what she means. She is the winner of the Olive Schreiner Prize for 2005: a natural tribute to one of her country’s most accomplished representatives on the international stage. Published in 2007, her latest collection A Fold in the Map (Salt) immediately attracted praise, especially for the poems about her father, which, if they were not so personal, would sound like unusually intense chapters in the testimony of an empire.

Isobel Dixon website

British Council page on Isobel Dixon