Patricia Beer, 79, the British poet lauded by her American contemporary Robert Lowell for her wry handling of eternal themes, died Aug. 15 at his home in Honiton, in southwest England. She had suffered a stroke.
Ms. Beer was born in Exmouth, in southern England, into a family of strict Plymouth Brethren -- a religious link she later severed, but which profoundly marked her. She studied at Exeter and Oxford universities and lectured at universities in Italy before returning to Britain and taking up poetry in 1953.
She published her first collection, "The Loss of the Magyar and Other Poems," in 1959 and continued to produce a small volume of new poems every four or five years for the rest of her life. Her work ranges widely through personal, anecdotal and historical subject matter.
Othmar Winkler, 92, the official sculptor for Italian dictator Benito Mussolini who went on to become an anti-fascist, anti-clerical artist, died Aug. 21 at a hospital in the northern Italian city of Trento. The cause of death was not reported.
In the early 1930s, Mr. Winkler sculpted busts for Mussolini and for Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi propaganda minister, but then fled Italy and became a fierce opponent of the regime. After the war, he started working on religious themes, with a provocative and anti-clerical style. His sculptures of a Christ with a hammer and sickle engraved on his face and that of a cardinal riding a pig sparked Catholic protests.