Wright was born May 31, 1915, and raised outside Armidale in Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales. She grew up in the rural Australian landscape, the oldest child of three in a well-off and literate family. Wright was fortunate enough to spend her childhood reading a great deal, especially poetry, which her mother had read to her since Wright was very young. Wright’s first formal education was through correspondence courses furnished by the New South Wales government to those in rural areas. This afforded the young Wright the advantage of lessened regimentation, a trait often advantageous to a career in poetry. At twelve, the year her mother died, Wright attended the New South Wales Girls’ School and there met a teacher who encouraged her to write poetry.
In 1933, Wright, now a teenager, left school. However, she did take one class at the University of Sydney. The light schedule enabled her to read heavily and widely outside class requirements. At twentytwo, Wright traveled through Europe and later, Sri Lanka. The next few years saw her at an array of office jobs, the last as an assistant to a geography professor. With the onset of World War II, she returned home to help out on the family property. In 1943, Wright, now twenty-eight, joined the administrative staff of the University of Queensland. Here, she helped the editor of Meanjin produce what would become Australia’s most influential literary magazine. In 1946, the editor...
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