Margaret Atwood's Poetry
Support for studying English GCSE and A Level
Margaret Atwood was born on 18 November 1939, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. She was the second of three children. Her father, Carl Edmund Atwood, was an entomologist, and her mother, Margaret Dorothy Killam, was a former dietician and nutritionist. She is a Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, inventor, teacher, and environmental activist. Atwood began writing at the age of 5 and has published 18 books of poetry since 1961.
Atwood did her undergraduate studies at Victoria College at the University of Toronto, graduating in 1961 with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She began graduate studies at Radcliffe College of Harvard University. She obtained a master's degree (MA) in 1962. Afterwards she pursued doctoral studies for two years, but did not finish her dissertation.
Atwood has taught English literature at several Canadian and American universities. She won the PEN Pinter Prize in 2016.
Margaret Atwood - 'The City Planners' - Annotation
Annotation prompts for Margaret Atwood’s ‘The City Planners’.
‘The City Planners’ is a criticism of uniform structure and conformity. “Planners” are people who make plans for development. Margaret Atwood (18.11.1939) is a Canadian poet and novelist. She spent her childhood in the backwoods of northern Quebec as well as in Ottowa and Toronto. She is known for writing speculative fiction / social science fiction. Atwood is a supporter of the Green Party of Canada and has strong views on environmental issues.
As poem progresses, stanzas decrease in length. What effect does this create? Does it imply claustrophobia created by this environment or one’s repression within it? Or the speed and size of redevelopment?
The annotation prompts are a supportive tool, intended to encourage further analysis and interpretation.