Marcelle Freiman was born and grew up in South Africa. Her family originated in Lithuania and Latvia, immigrating to South Africa in the 1930s. Growing up in South Africa during the years of apartheid, she left the country of her birth in 1977, settling in Sydney in 1981. She has two grown sons who live in Hong Kong and London.
Her poetry writing coincided with her immigration – as if displacement coupled with memory created an impulse for words and voice. Since 1986 she has published poetry in literary magazines in Australia and overseas, and her poems have been read on radio and in performance.
* Photo by Effy Alexakis, used with Marcelle's permission
White Lines (Vertical) is her most recent book. Her first book Monkey’s Wedding (1995) was highly commended for the Mary Gilmore Prize. The visual arts inspire her writing, particularly her work with the Sydney poetry group DiVerse who write and perform in response to art works in Australian art galleries.
She is currently Senior Lecturer in creative writing and literature in the Department of English, Macquarie University and President of the Australian Association of Writing Programs (AAWP). Her scholarly writings include essays on creativity and writing in the journal TEXT , and essays on poetry, literature and migration.
Marcelle is also a writing educator, working in Macquarie University's English department. For links to her critical work on Australian poetry, see here.