Hesketh, Phoebe

(1909-2005)
   Phoebe Rayner was born in Preston, Lancashire. Her father was pioneer radiologist A.E. Rayner; her mother was a violinist in the Hallé Orchestra. Educated at Cheltenham Ladies' College, Gloucestershire, she left at the age of 17 to care for her ill mother. She married Aubrey Hesketh in 1931. During World War II she worked as a reporter for the Bolton Evening News, then was a freelance lecturer, poetry teacher and journalist, producing many articles for journals and scripts for the BBC. The Royal Society of Literature elected her a fellow in 1956. She describes the Lancashire countryside in many of her poems and in her prose books Rivington (1972) and Village of the Mountain Ash (1990). She died in a nursing home in Lancashire. Some of her other poetry publications: Lean Forward Spring, 1948. A Song of Sunlight, 1974 (children). Sundowner, 1989. Collected Poems, 1989. Netting the Sun, 1989. Six of the Best, 1989 (children). A Box of Silver Birch, 1997. Some of her poems: "After Verlaine," "Academic," "Analyst," "Winter Daffodils," "Wordsworth's Old Age," "Yew Tree Guest House."
   Sources: Guardian Unlimited Obituary, Phoebe Hesketh (http://www.guardian.co.uk/obituaries/). The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). The Leave Train: New and Selected Poems of Phoebe Hesketh. Enitharmon Press, 1994. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia).

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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