Kathleen Jones

Kathleen Jones: Featured Poet

On Leaving Children

You always imagined they
would be the ones to leave
with tears and suitcases.
Not you, packing the car at night
taking only what you know
they won’t need.

Not good at leaving are you?
Tripped by that long cord
you thought was cut at birth
still pulsing with maternal blood.

Clumsy with failure
star of your own tragedy
you step out into childless silence
bereaved by your own exit.


Kathleen Jones has been described by Carol Ann Duffy as ‘a powerful female voice’. She performed in Bristol with Pat VT West and Liz Loxley as part of the ‘Invisible Lipstick’ poetry group and they published two pamphlets Invisible Lipstick and Rumours of Another Sky. Her first solo pamphlet of poetry, Unwritten Lives, won the Redbeck Press pamphlet award and her first full collection, Not Saying Goodbye at Gate 21, was joint winner of the Straid Collection award, and published by Templar Poetry in November 2011. Kathleen is also a biographer and short fiction writer, author of a life of Christina Rossetti, Learning not to be First [OUP] and A Passionate Sisterhood [Virago], a group biography of the sisters, wives and daughters of Wordsworth, Coleridge and Southey. Her most recent biography, Katherine Mansfield: The Story-Teller, was published by Penguin and EUP in 2011.

Kathleen’s home is in Cumbria, but as her partner is a sculptor working in Italy she spends a lot of time flying between the two on budget airlines! She has taught creative writing in a number of universities and is currently a Royal Literary Fund Fellow.

Visit her website here
Kathleen blogs here.

Kathleen in reading at The Green Pub, Clerkenwell Green, London on the 11th April at 7.30pm