M.R.Peacocke grew up in South Devon, where her abiding love and knowledge of the countryside took shape. She read English at Oxford – though much of her time there was spent on music, a cappella singing in particular.
After years of teaching, travel, marriage, bringing up four children, a training in counselling and work in the children’s cancer unit of Addenbrooke’s Hospital, she moved to a small hill farm in Cumbria where she lived for twenty five years. She now lives in County Durham.
Meg had written poems since childhood; now, in her fifties and free of other commitments, poetry became a priority. Peterloo Poets published four collections: Marginal Land (1988), Selves (1995), Speaking of the Dead (2003) and In Praise of Aunts (2007). A fifth collection is due from the Shoestring Press in 2011. Several of her poems have won major prizes, and in 2005 Meg received a Cholmondeley Award.
She was commissioned to write the twelve poems on the hill farmer’s year, carved in stone by Pip Hall along the River Eden and known as the Poetry Path; and she collaborates with her brother, the composer Richard Rodney Bennett.
The following comments may give a flavour of M.R.Peacocke’s work.
“Selves was a revelation, one of those books that make you realise anew that there can never be any substitute for the true voice of poetry, the ways – by means of vowel, plosive, sibilant – it strikes the inner ear.” (Professor John Lucas in Harry Chambers and Peterloo Poets).
“Peacocke shares (this) precision of language with the late American poet Elizabeth Bishop. Both have a bristly perceptive clarity for minutiae, and for the wry double-take on detail that can be deadly as well as funny.” (David Morley reviewing Speaking of the Dead).