Guide to the Papers of Constance Frazer


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Manuscript Name Papers of Constance Frazer
Manuscript Number MSS 316
Last Updated March 2007
Extent 2 cm (1 folder, 1 box)
Location Academy Library, UNSW Canberra
Abstract This collection comprises correspondence and poetry drafts by Constance Frazer.

Organization

The collection has been arranged in box then folder order.

Biographical Note

Constance (Connie) Frazer was born in England. Her education was interrupted by WW2, during which time she served as a postal clerk in the women's section of the British Army.

After her marriage she lived in Scotland for a decade, in a cottage on the east coast, coming to Australia with her husband and small son in 1957.

Frazer's first poetry consisted of small humorous verses to amuse her son. At that time, when nuclear testing was being carried out at Maralinga, there was much concern about the atomic bomb. Consequently, Frazer began to express her emotional response in verse. In this way she found that she could write serious poetry, and that this was a release and an outlet. Frazer had been put off poetry at school because there was more rote-learning than appreciation, but now she began borrowing anthologies and reading poetry for pleasure. In the years she spent at home as a housewife, many of her poems related to domestic themes.

Soon after her divorce, Frazer joined the protest against the Vietnam war, and this brought her involvement with issues outside the home. She joined the Adelaide Women's Liberation Movement in 1972 and remained involved in this for the rest of her life. She was co-convener of Women's Studies at Flinders University in 1976, and later assisted in the setting up of a Women's Shelter at Christies' Beach. Frazer was in the Women's Art Movement, an offshoot of Women's Liberation which produced the Women's Show in 1977, celebrating all kinds of women's artistic expression. Reading her poem 'Think of Gold' in this show gave her encouragement to continue writing and reading verse.

Frazer read on the ABC and radio 5UV and had poems broadcast on 'Women Poets in Adelaide', 1978. She was involved in Friendly Street Poets from its inception and was published in 23 of its 26 readers to 2001. In 1987 she took part in a poetry performance, The company of women, organized by Tantrum Press, at the Unley Town Hall. Two of her poems, 'Mirrors'and 'Death of a goddess' were performed in Mirrors : a performance anthology of SA women's poetry (Flinders University Drama Centre, 1996).

Frazer was a founding sponsor of the Green Left Weekly alternative newspaper and a contributor to it, and she was an active member of the Democratic Socialist Party.

Frazer's literary works include:
Other ways of looking (1988)
Friendly Street poetry reader no. 13, edited by Frazer and Barry Westburg, Barry (1989)
Poetry published in newspapers, journals and anthologies.

References:
AustLit : the resource for Australian literature, January 2005
'Connie Frazer : poet, feminist and revolutionary', by Melanie Sjobert and John McGill, published in Green Left weekly, May 15, 2002
Women's Art Movement http://www.womenaustralia.info/biogs/AWE1034b.htm

Administrative Information


Access

The collection is available for research.


Restrictions on Use

No copying is permitted without the permission of the copyright owners.


Preferred Citation

Papers of Constance Frazer, Academy Library, UNSW Canberra, Australian Defence Force Academy, MS 316, Box [Number], Folder [Number].


Provenance

This collection was purchased by the Academy Library, UNSW Canberra from Constance Frazer in 1989.

Access Terms


Personal Names

Frazer, Constance, 1925-2002 -- Archives.


Topical Subjects

Poets, Australian -- 20th century -- Archives.


Occupations

Poets

Container List


Box 1

Folder 1
Manuscript and annotated typescript poetry drafts for Other ways of looking (1988) and correspondence to Mrs Lorimer from Adrian Mitchell and The Poetry Society of Australia, 1967-1988