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Anne Carson, 'one of the most celebrated poets and translators in the English-speaking world,' was born on June 21, 1950, in Toronto, the second child of Robert and Margaret Carson. During her childhood, the family moved from bank to bank in small Ontario towns like Stoney Creek, Port Hope and Timmins. They came to Port Hope in 1966, her father was manager of the Toronto Dominion Bank.

from the Wikipedia article on Anne Carson
Life and work
In high school, a Latin instructor introduced Carson to the world and language of Ancient Greece and tutored her privately. Enrolling at St. Michael's College at the University of Toronto, she left twice—at the end of her first and second years. Carson, disconcerted by curricular constraints (particularly by a required course on Milton), retired to the world of graphic arts for a short time. She did eventually return to the University of Toronto where she completed her B.A. in 1974, her M.A. in 1975 and her Ph.D. in 1981. She also spent a year studying Greek metrics and Greek textual criticism at the University of St Andrews.

A professor of the classics, with background in classical languages, comparative literature, anthropology, history, and commercial art, Carson blends ideas and themes from many fields in her writing. She frequently references, modernizes, and translates Ancient Greek literature. She has published twenty books as of 2016, most of which blend the forms of poetry, essay, prose, criticism, translation, dramatic dialogue, fiction, and non-fiction.

Carson was an Anna-Maria Kellen Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin, Germany, for Fall 2007. The Classic Stage Company, a New York–based theatre company, produced three of Carson's translations: Aeschylus' Agamemnon; Sophocles' Electra; and Euripides' Orestes (as An Oresteia), in repertory, in the 2008/2009 season. She is Distinguished Poet-in-Residence at New York University and was a judge for the 2010 Griffin Poetry Prize.

She also participated in the Bush Theatre's project Sixty Six Books (October 2011), for which she had written a piece entitled Jude: The Goat at Midnight based upon the Epistle of Jude from the King James Bible. Once every year, Carson and her husband, Robert Currie, teach a class called Egocircus about the art of collaboration at New York University. On November 16, 2012, Carson received an honorary degree from the University of Toronto. Carson delivered a series of 'short talks', or short-format poems on various subjects, as the address to the Ph.D. graduating class of 2012.

A more recent photo of Anne Carson, and what may be meant as a poem from the '68 yearbook. The first line is a book title, the second is from Goethe, the third and fourth lines are from Sheridan plays, the fifth and sixth are a sentence from Louisa May Alcott, the seventh is from Lewis Carroll. Zamboanga is a city in the Philippines.

Mrs Cowan photo by David Manley

Most of the Cowans in Delhi, Ontario c1955
Picture from the dustcover of 'The Permanent Nature of Everything: A Memoir' by Judith Cowan
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I bought the book hoping to find out more about Alice Cowan's connection to Port Hope. I enjoyed reading it, but I found no mention of Port Hope, or the fact that Mrs Cowan was a school teacher. I recently learned that the Cowans once lived just around the corner from me, at 51 Bramley Street North. I knew nothing of them. My brother Mark, eleven years younger than I, remembers Hector and Paul.

Alice Cowan taught at PHHS from 1964 to 1974. I missed a lot not having her as my Latin teacher. The timing was right for Anne Carson, but I missed Mrs Cowan by about ten years.

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