Anna Mendelssohn (1948 – 2009), was a British poet, artist, musician, and political activist. Her publications include Implacable Art (Folio &Equipage 2000), Viola Tricolor (Equipage 1993), Bernache Nonnette (Equipage 1995), and Tondo Aquatique (Equipage 1997). Many of her books were published under the name Grace Lake.
Anna Mendelssohn remains best known for her avant-garde poetry, her abstract visual art, and for her involvement with the Angry Brigade in the early seventies. Mendelssohn was one of the defendants in the Stoke Newington Eight trial in 1972. Although she insisted on her innocence and passionately defended herself in court, she was convicted of conspiracy to cause explosions, and served five years of a ten-year sentence. After her release, she attended the University of Cambridge and started a family. She wrote and drew incessantly, particularly in the last years of her life. Anna Mendelssohn died on November 15, 2009.
On September 15th 2010, the Centre for Poetics Research, Birkbeck & the Centre for Modernist Studies co-sponsored a celebration of the art and life of Anna Mendelssohn / Grace Lake at Birkbeck College. Her daughter, Poppy O’Shaughnessy attended from Australia and numerous poets and friends of the family read some of the poems and/or their own work.
Family & Friends
From Autumn 2015 the University of Sussex will gratefully house the Anna Mendelssohn / Grace Lake archive.