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In 1996, I was a volunteer missionary in Cahors, France. Sometimes, after a long day of proselyting, my companion and I would stop by to visit Anna Livebardon. She was a sweet old lady who lived in a modest upstairs apartment in downtown Cahors. Although we never convinced her to come to church with us, she was always very kind to the missionaries.
What I did not realize at the time was that Anna Livebardon, was, in fact, one of France's literary giants — albeit in her waning years. Earlier in her life, she had authored multiple award-winning volumes of poetry, published songs, and even coached celebrities such as Mike Brant. Over time, however, she had gone from mingling with Europe's cultural elite to living alone and almost forgotten in an obscure village in southwest France.
According to the Lot Département Archives, her real name was Jeanne-Marie Ollier (née Bonnet). Anna Livebardon was simply a pseudonym. She was born in Aubière (Puy-de-Dôme) on 16 December 1910. She passed away on 17 April 2001 in an assisted living center in Cahors. She was 90 years old.
Since original copies of her poetry and music are now extemely rare, this webpage aims to preserve her memory by creating a public archive of her work. If any of her heirs have concerns about my making these materials available online, please contact me. Likewise, if anyone has any additional resources regarding Anna Livebaron, such as photographs or biographical information, please let me know.
Anna Livebardon authored at least two collections of poetry. Please click/tap the book icons to read the books in your browser.
De Tous Les Jours (1980)
De Toutes Les Nuits (1987)
Physical copies of both of these books are available for viewing at the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris, and the Médiathèque du Grand Cahors. They are also sometimes available at amazon.
I have reason to believe that Anna Livebardon authored at least one additional book, beyond the two mentioned above. In September 1996, I borrowed one of her books; I do not recall the title. One poem from this volume particularly impressed me, so upon returning the book to her, I asked her to recite the poem while I tape-recorded her voice. I can no longer find the cassette tape of this recording, but luckily I still have a transcription of the poem that I made in 1998. If anyone has information about the title of the book this poem came from, please let me know.
In 1981, two of Anna Livebardon's poems were set to music and released as singles in vinyl record format. The singer, Jacques Long, is Anna Livebardon's adopted son. I converted these songs to MP3 using a digital phonograph player at the Brigham Young University–Hawaii Library. To my knowledge, these are the only digital copies of these songs in existence.
Listen to La Chanson de Loin
Listen to Au Petit Jour
|Download song: MP3 | OGG||Download song: MP3 | OGG|
Here are pictures of the front and back of the record and its cover. Click the small thumbnails to download a high-resolution image.
In 1982, Anna Livebardon received the prestigious Prix Auguste Capdeville award from the Académie Française in recognition of her book of poetry, De Tous Les Jours.
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