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Rae Sexton Rae Sexton i(A3992 works by) (birth name: Rae Shanks) (a.k.a. Shirley Rae Sexton)
Born: Established: 10 Aug 1936
New Zealand,
Pacific Region,
; Died: Ceased: 12 Jan 2006 Adelaide, South Australia,
Gender: Female
Arrived in Australia: 1961
Heritage: New Zealander
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Born and educated in New Zealand, Rae Sexton's education was a broad one. She obtained her School Certificate in Drawing and Design, and passed Trinity College examinations in music. She gained a BA (majoring in English and French) and BSc in New Zealand before moving to Adelaide in 1961 and doing a MSc at the University of Adelaide. She worked as a tutor/researcher at the University of Adelaide, then taught at the Wilderness School. She married Robert Thomas Sexton in 1963.

Sexton published various historical works, including Before the Wind (1982) and The Deserters (1983), both published by the Australian Maritime Historical Society, and Discovering Some of Adelaide's Trees with the National Trust (1975). She visited France in 1973 and 1977, and translated a number of poems by Alain Bosquet and other French writers. She was Secretary/President of the SA Poets' Union 1986-88. A serious illness in the early 1990s did not stop her writing. She read work on Radio 5UV's Writer's Radio, and was Secretary in 1996-97 of Friendly Street Poets. Her poem 'Night Face' was commended for the FAW Award, North Queensland (1997). Music, drawing and gardening were lifelong interests, and her art was exhibited widely in Adelaide. She died after a long battle with cancer.

Most Referenced Works


  • Sexton had 3 or 4 poems published under another name once, but preferred not to identify them.

Affiliation Notes

  • Born elsewhere; moved to SA

Awards for Works

The Mo(u)rning Face in the Bathroom Mirror i "You could bushwalk all over her face,", 1998 single work poetry
— Appears in: Friendly Street Poets : Twenty-Two 1998; (p. 78)
1997 commended Grenfell Henry Lawson Festival of Arts Awards Award for Verse
Cooking the Tongue i "It lies curled in its pot like a grey monster", 1994- single work poetry
— Appears in: Mattoid , no. 48 (p. 164)
1989 winner Grenfell Henry Lawson Festival of Arts Awards Award for Verse Contemporary
Last amended 28 Aug 2007 10:45:49
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