The Leave Train

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Every poem in this generously thick book is beautifully achieved. She is undoubtedly one of the finest poets of our age. – Orbis


Phoebe Hesketh (1909-2005), daughter of the pioneer radiologist A.E.Rayner, was born in Preston in 1909 and educated at the Cheltenham Ladies' College. For most of her life she lived in Lancashire, in a landscape frequently described in her poetry and also in her prose books Rivington (1972) and Village of the Mountain Ash (1990). During the Second World War she worked for the Bolton Evening News and was later a freelance lecturer, poetry teacher and journalist, producing many articles for journals and scripts for the BBC. She began writing poetry at an early age, but not until 1948 was her first book published; it was followed by nine further volumes before her Collected Poems were gathered together in 1989. Her poetry for younger readers has been published in A Song of Sunlight (Chatto, 1974) and in Six of the Best (Puffin, 1989). She published fifteen poetry collections, and became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1956.