Tom Lowenstein

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Tom Lowenstein
Born1941 (age 8081)
Nr. London, United Kingdom
OccupationPoet, ethnographer, teacher, cultural historian
Alma mater Queens' College, Cambridge

Tom Lowenstein (born 1941) [1] is an English poet, ethnographer, teacher, cultural historian and translator. Beginning his working life as a school teacher, he visited Alaska in 1973 and went on to become particularly noted for his work on Inupiaq (north Alaskan Eskimo) ethnography, conducting research in Point Hope, Alaska, between 1973 and 1988. His writing also encompasses several collections of poetry, as well as books related to Buddhism. Since 1986 Lowenstein has lived and continued teaching in London. [2]



Tom Lowenstein was born near London in 1941. He went to Leighton Park School, then studied at Queens' College, Cambridge, and the University of Leicester. After university, he taught in secondary schools in London (1966–71), then for three years taught literature and creative writing in the US at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois. In 1973 he worked for the Alaska State Museum, and went on to live on and off (between 1975 and 1988) in the Alaskan village of Point Hope, recording and translating the local history and legends. [2] [3]

He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1979 in the field of Folklore and Popular Culture. [4] Other awards for his research have come from Northwestern University, the Nuffield Foundation, the Society of Authors, the British Academy, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Leverhulme Trust, the Arctic Institute of North America, The American Philosophical Society, Alaska Humanities Forum, and North Slope Borough, Alaska. [2]

He subsequently (1981–90) followed up an interest in Buddhist literature by studying Sanskrit and Pali at Cambridge University, SOAS and the University of Washington. [2]

Lowenstein has also written texts for music collaborations, including with the composer Ed Hughes Sun, Moon and Women Shouting (1999) [5] and The Sybil of Cumae (2001), [6] and the libretto for Rachel Stott's oratorio Companion of Angels on the lives of William Blake and Catherine Blake. [7]

His poetry collections include The Death of Mrs Owl (1975), Filibustering in Samsara (1987), Ancient Land: Sacred Whale (1993), Ancestors and Species: New & Selected Ethnographic Poetry (2005) and Conversation with Murasaki (2009).

Selected bibliography


Works on North-west Alaska

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