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An early figure in the birth of poetry in industrial Manchester, Ann Hawkshaw published three collections and another was circulated privately. Her first collection. published in Manchester and London in 1842, begins with an epic poem, Dionysius the Areopagite. Based on the New Testament story of the conversion of Dionysius by St Paul, much of the poem centres on the consequences of Dionysius' conversion for his betrothed, Myra, and her sister, Corrina. The collection also includes two of Hawkshaw's most important works, The Past and The Future, and a number of shorter poems on themes of history, loss and faith.