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Jenny Hockey Poetry



I am a poet and until 2013 an active academic. Then I gave up the day job to find more time for poetry. I wanted to feel, think and hear through poetic language, as well as the academic words I had written in their many thousands. Memory, loss and the objects that survive us have been longstanding research interests  and they remain an important inspiration for writing poetry.


I grew up on Robert Louis Stevenson's Child's Garden of Verses and Kenneth Graham's Wind in the Willows - always grateful to my mother for giving me them in illustrated hardback when money was tight. Later I read her copies of Palgrave's The Golden Treasury and Collins' Treasury of English Verse New and Old - out loud to myself in bed on summer evenings. If I'd overheard my daughter and son doing the same thing, would I have been concerned?


As a young parent I wrote little, but kept the faith. Two of the four poems I eventually produced in the early 1980s were included in The Raving Beauties' No Holds Barred (The Women's Press, 1985). That set me off, with regular Arvon courses and The Mutiny Poets group in Hull. In 2013 I received a New Poets Bursary Award from New Writing North ( and, after magazine and anthology publications, my debut collection, Going to Bed with the Moon, is now available from Oversteps Books.

I'm now living in Sheffield with Bob, my partner, in a house sandwiched between two parks. Our son's family lives nearby and our daughter's family are in Edinburgh. I continue to write about loss, but also the tree- and bird-filled landscape that surrounds me. And along with my leaning towards the downbeat, I am always inspired by the quirky, surreal and laugh-out-loud hilarious nature of everyday life.

Prose has not been entirely purged from my life.  I recently completed a co-authored  family memoir with Carol Komaromy, a longstanding friend from the Open University. Published in 2018 by Palgrave Macmillan, it explores the impact of two world wars upon the families we grew up in (see And in recent years I have been reviewing poetry for the WriteOutLoud website and Orbis, the poetry magazine. 

For further information about my academic writing:

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