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Mackay, Jessie (1864–1938)

Mackay, Jessie (1864–1938)

New Zealand poet. Born Dec 15, 1864, in Rakaia Gorge, Canterbury, New Zealand; died Aug 23, 1938, in Christchurch, New Zealand; dau. of Robert Mackay (manager of a sheep station) and Elizabeth Ormiston Mackay (c. 1845–1897); sister of Georgina Mackay; never married; no children.

The 1st significant native-born poet of New Zealand, worked as a journalist and was active in the suffrage movement in Christchurch; campaigned for prohibition, penal reform, and women's rights; writings, which were well known during her lifetime but later dismissed by critics, include The Spirit of the Rangatira and Other Ballads (1889), The Sitter on the Rail and Other Poems (1891), From the Maori Sea (1908), Land of the Morning (1909), The Bride of the Rivers and Other Verses (1926), The Girl of the Drift (1928), and Vigil (1935).

See also Dictionary of New Zealand Biography (Vol. 2).

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