Bryony was born near Manchester in England and brought up in London with English (her father was an English teacher who inspired two Booker Prize winners)and Welsh heritage (Welsh-speaking grandparents). She studied music and philosophy at Cambridge University. She came to New Zealand in 1975 when her husband got a lectureship at Auckland University. She took NZ citizenship in 1983, after falling in love with Auckland, and stayed when her husband left her.
She has two daughters and two grandsons. She is a composer and writer.(Besides poetry she has nine novels sitting in her filing cabinet!)
She has been a bookworm of world literature throughout her life and has been most influenced in her poetry by Sappho & Aristophanes (in Greek), Catullus and Horace (in Latin), Verlaine and Pierre Louys(in French), Basho and Shiki (in Japanese and translation),Donne, Dylan Thomas and Rabindranath Tagore(In English). She has been most influenced creatively in both music and literature