Freda Downie was born in 1929 in London, and educated in Britain and Australia. She worked for music publishers and art agents for many years, and only began publishing her poems in the 1970s, in limited editions. Two full collections, A Stranger Here (1977) and Plainsong (1981) followed from Secker. She completed a further collection, Forty Poems, which was not published. She lived in Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire, and died in 1993.