Frances Horovitz

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Frances Horovitz (1938–1983) was an English poet, broadcaster and performer of poetry.


Born in London on 13 February 1938, Frances Horovitz was educated at Bristol University and at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, where the development of her reading skills gained much from her uncommon sensitivity to the tones and rhythms of verse.

Later, as a reader and presenter for the BBC, she acquired a formidable reputation for care of preparation and quality of delivery. She was one of the finest poetry readers the UK has produced, raising the art of reading poetry to a new level and possessing a rare ability to hear a poem and become its voice.

To the writing of her own poetry she brought - if this is possible - an even greater attentiveness. Exquisitely crafted, brilliantly pared down to the exact curve of a given experience or image (she greatly admired the Haiku masters), Frances Horovitz’s poems bear witness to the high seriousness of her art and to her determination to do full justice to her perceptions of the natural world, history and human relationships. Her tragically early death at the age of forty-five has not prevented the continuing growth of her reputation.


  • Poems (St. Albert’s, 1967)
  • Dream: A Poem (Sceptre, 1969)
  • The High Tower (New Departures, 1970)
  • Letter to Be Sent by Air (Sceptre, 1974)
  • Elegy (Sceptre, 1976)
  • Water Over Stone (Enitharmon, 1980)
  • Wall (a collaboration (L.Y.C.) 1981)
  • Rowlstone Haiku (with Roger Garfitt, Five Seasons, 1982)
  • Snow Light, Water Light (Bloodaxe, 1983)
  • Collected Poems (Bloodaxe/Enitharmon 1984, edited by her husband, the poet and critic Roger Garfitt)
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