, (29 January 1909 – 25 February 2005), was an English
poet from Lancashire notable for her poems depicting nature.
Life and writing
Hesketh was born in Preston
. Her father was the pioneer radiologist Arthur E. Rayner
; her mother was a violinist
in the Hallé Orchestra
. Among her aunts was the suffragette Edith Rigby
. She was educated at Cheltenham Ladies' College
, but left at the age of 17 to care for her ill mother. She married Aubrey Hesketh, the director of a mill, in 1931 at the age of 22 and they then lived in Rivington
, Lancashire. Her first collection, Poems
, was published in 1939 by Sherratt & Hughes, Manchester, although she would later disown this work to some extent.
During World War II
Hesketh worked as woman's page editor of the Bolton Evening News
. In 1948 she published her second volume, Lean Forward, Spring!
, (London: Sidgwick and Jackson), a book that earned her widespread acclaim amongst the literary community, including from Siegfried Sassoon
. Throughout her career she would produce sixteen books and, although she never achieved popular success, was championed by several well-known figures including Sassoon, Roy Campbell
, and Al Alvarez
After the War she was a freelance lecturer, poetry teacher and journalist, producing many articles for journals and scripts for the BBC. Her collected poems were gathered together in Netting the Sun: new and collected poems
(Petersfield: Enitharmon Press, 1989). Her poetry for younger... Read More