Margaret Atwood

(18 November 1939 / Ottawa, Ontario)

Margaret Atwood
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a Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, and environmental activist. She is among the most-honoured authors of fiction in recent history; she is a winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award and Prince of Asturias award for Literature, has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize five times, winning once, and has been a finalist for the Governor General's Award seven times, winning twice.

While she is best known for her work as a novelist, she is also a poet, having published 15 books of poetry to date. Many of her poems have been inspired by myths and fairy tales, which have been interests of hers from an early age. Atwood has published short stories in Tamarack Review, ... more »

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Quotations

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  • ''Popular art is the dream of society; it does not examine itself.''
    Margaret Atwood (b. 1939), Canadian novelist, poet, critic. repr. In Conversations, ed. Earl G. Ingersoll (1990). "A Question Of Metamorphosis," no. 4...
  • ''If a stranger taps you on the ass and says, "How's the little lady today!" you will probably cringe. But if he's an American, he's only being friendly.''
    Margaret Atwood (b. 1939), Canadian novelist, poet, critic. repr. In Conversations, ed. Earl G. Ingersoll (1990). "A Question Of Metamorphosis," no. 4...
  • ''I feel that the task of criticizing my poetry is best left to others (i.e. critics) and would much rather have it take place after I am dead. If at all.''
    Margaret Atwood (b. 1939), Canadian poet and novelist. As quoted in Contemporary Poets, 3rd ed., by James Vinson (1980).
  • ''Everyone thinks writers must know more about the inside of the human head, but that is wrong. They know less, that's why they write. Trying to find out what everyone else takes for granted.''
    Margaret Atwood (b. 1939), Canadian novelist, poet, critic. Dancing Girls, "Lives of the Poets," (1977).
  • ''The beginning of Canadian cultural nationalism was not "Am I really that oppressed?" but "Am I really that boring?"''
    Margaret Atwood (b. 1939), Canadian novelist, poet, critic. repr. In Conversations, ed. Earl G. Ingersoll (1990). "Dancing On the Edge of the Precipic...
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  • Wilfred Monteiro (2/17/2014 8:02:00 AM)

    Margaret Atwood's styles so natural....
    it flows from the heart
    to the ink of the pen and
    onto the paper surface

    (that's my attempt at poetry) It encourages wannabe poets like me... to take courage that poetry writing is not so complicated... a view Ms Atwood (a poet with a string of awards) endorses A BIG THANK YOU

  • Indigo Hawkins (2/15/2008 4:51:00 PM)

    She's great with the cleverness and craft, fresh rather than trite. Definitely one of my favs.

  • Jill Paterson (1/16/2007 8:42:00 PM)

    Atwood's poems reveal a raw sense of feminism and wit. She writes freely yet craftily addresses the issues she wishes to broadcast. I really love her cynicism and apparent indifference to appearances and norms. She's radical!

  • Ramanan Piraisoody (11/21/2004 8:21:00 PM)

    In the secular night, seems to be a cynnical poem addressing ones life. It is made apparent there is a sort of deterministic lifestyle, presented to humans 'you took..you say..you start..' almost makes the reader feel as though he has no choice or power over his own actions. Also, the reader feels as though hes all alone, yet since he really has no power over his own actions, his seclusion is inevitable. The poem is a story of life, from start to end and the continuity of life. It starts with the 'secular' which could mean 'from century to century', and ends with the century grinds on... implying an on going cycles of centuries. 'The sensed absence of God and the sensed presence, amount to much the same thing' this poem also addresses Gods role in life, once a person believes he has no power over his own actions, the existence of God is irrelevant. Overall the poem in the secular night, is about life, its assumed ownership over the person, and his inability to do anything about it.

  • Jon Eubank (10/27/2003 1:21:00 AM)

    great poem! ¿

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