Barbara Townsend

Barbara Townsend has always loved writing and storytelling. At school, two extraordinary language teachers spent time helping her to improve her creative writing and introduced her to poets whose work was not represented on the shelves of the school library.  At home, her father, who was a great storyteller, instilled in her a love of family history and lesser known people and places from the past, and this has had a direct bearing on the two novels she has published recently – Ida’s Line in 2020, and Out of Mind – a story of Robben Island in 2022.

During her working life Barbara Townsend was a librarian, a teacher, an educational researcher and a text book writer. In the spaces between deadlines she has written poetry, short stories, children’s stories and a history of the village of Botrivier, her hometown. She has also facilitated the recording of stories by primary school children, farm workers and teachers from forest villages in Gabon.

These days, the deadlines for writing are entirely her own. She has the good fortune to have a quiet study overlooking fields and mountains in the distance, and here she is currently working on a series of short pieces which have the flavour of a memoir – her own lesser known history.