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Fables from the Women's Quarters

Fables from the Women's Quarters

61 pages
Published:   June 1, 1995
Paperback:   9780864921796    $12.95

Fables from the Women's Quarters marked Claire Harris's blazing 1984 entry into the literary world, winning a Commonwealth Prize for poetry in its year of publication. A tribute to the women who create the fabric of life, this book contains poems that have become classics.


Claire Harris (1937-2018) was a Canadian poet of Trinidadian background who produced eight collections of poems. Her first volume, Fables from the Women's Quarters (1984), won the Commonwealth Award for Poetry for the Americas Region. First released in 1992, Drawing Down a Daughter was nominated for the Governor General's Award for Poetry. Her work has been included in more than 70 anthologies and has been translated into German and Hindi.

Claire Harris was born in Trinidad, West Indies, studied at University College, Dublin, where she earned a BA Honours in English. She came to Canada in 1966 and settled in Calgary. In 1975, during a study leave in Nigeria, she first wrote for publication and was encouraged by Nigerian poet, J.P. Clark. She also earned a diploma in communications from the University of Lagos, Nigeria (1975). After returning to Canada, Harris became active in the literary community in Calgary working as poetry editor at Dandelion from 1981-1989 and helping to found the all-Alberta magazine, blue buffalo, in 1983. She taught grade nine English in Calgary's Separate School system for 28 years, influencing generations of young people.


"Claire Harris has to be one of the best poets writing in Canada today." — Ottawa Citizen

"Harris's hand dips into a line like a fish into water, silvery and determined to regain the current." — Poetry Canada Review