Born in Kent in 1929, U. A. Fanthorpe was Head of English at Cheltenham Ladies' College, and then 'became a middle-aged drop-out in order to write', publishing her first collection, Side Effects, in 1978. After working as a hospital clerk in Bristol, she was the Arts Council Literary Fellow at Lancaster, and in 1994 she was the first woman to be nominated for the post of Professor of Poetry at Oxford. Her seven volumes of poetry are all published by Peterloo Poets, and her Selected Poems was published by Penguin in 1986. She has also written children's poetry for The Crystal Zoo. U. A. Fanthorpe was awarded the C.B.E. in 2001. Her Collected Poems (Peterloo) appeared in 2003. R. V. Bailey was born in Northumberland and has worked as cafeteria assistant, librarian, information officer, teacher, counsellor, and latterly as director of undergraduate courses in Humanities at the University of the West of England, Bristol. She is the other voice in poetry recordings by U. A. Fanthorpe (Awkward Subject, Double Act, Poetry Quartets 5), and has published a pamphlet, Course Work (Culverhay Press, 1997) and a full collection with Peterloo, Marking Time (2004).
'U. A. Fanthorpe is a national treasure. A new book from her is always a unique pleasure to be savoured for its truth, disconcerting obliqueness and even more disconcerting directness.' Liz Lochhead, Poetry Book Society Bulletin