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Mary j Oliver - Turrell Sky Space_edited.jpg

about Mary

Brought up in Cornwall, she studied Visual Art at Reading and Falmouth Universities. She taught and exhibited while raising her daughters in Scotland. Once they’d left home, she returned to Cornwall to lecture at Falmouth University, where she took part in a series of women's art installations. 


She began to focus on writing in 2008, when a dark revelation in the family triggered a desire to investigate her father’s mysterious past. Jim Neat, The Case of a Young Man Down on His Luck, a hybrid memoir, was published in 2019 by Seren. Containing poetry, dreams, archival documents and photographs, it is told in the voices of those who knew him, and reflects the feminist-collaborative nature of her earlier visual work. 


She lives happily with her husband in the fishing port of Newlyn in Cornwall; loves table tennis, boxes regularly at her local gym and swims in Mounts Bay. Until recently, she edited Piccolina, a newsletter promoting live poetry events in Cornwall and chaired the Penzance Stanza Poetry Group. She enjoys mentoring students and running workshops that explore the relationship between text and image.  

Photograph by Piers Owen

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