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Anne Evans obituary


Anne Evans, who wrote poetry under the pen name Ellie Evans, has died of pancreatic cancer aged 70. After a life mostly dedicated to others, this vivid, sharp, funny woman had just over a decade in which to develop her literary talents. Once her poems had appeared in magazines, she was approached directly in 2009 by the independent publisher Seren, where I am poetry editor, to put together a collection of her work. This was published last year under the title The Ivy Hides the Fig-Ripe Duchess. Having first come across her striking poems when they were submitted for a competition, I was delighted when I finally met Anne to discover a character as lively as her work.

Daughter of Betty and Percy Bray, Anne grew up in Cardiff with a younger brother, Rob. She went to Howell's school there and in 1960 went on to St Hugh's College, Oxford, to study English. After university, Anne worked briefly in publishing and, in 1966, married Huw Evans, an economist, whom she had known in Cardiff. Because of his work, they had spells living in Hong Kong, Brussels and Washington DC. Anne and Huw had two sons, Richard and Lewis.

While in Britain, Anne worked as an English teacher, including at James Allen's girls school in Dulwich, London, where she was head of the English department. The many tributes from former pupils emphasise her energy and inspiration, kindness and humour. Anne had a strong social conscience – she was a justice of the peace and a Samaritan and undertook charity work, including helping Powys Young Carers and the Red Cross.

After her marriage ended in 2000, Anne made a new start, moving to Llangattock in Powys, south Wales. She took a master's degree in creative writing at Bath Spa University, and followed it up with a PhD. At a writing workshop in Greece in 2006 she happened to meet an old boyfriend from her Oxford days, the writer Roger Green, and they rekindled their romance. She is survived by Roger and her sons.

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