Jane Sherwin

Born in 1934 to a Church of England Clergyman and a Primary School Teacher, Jane Sherwin's poetic imagination was nourished early by weekly readings of the King James’ edition of the Bible and singing hymns from the various poets who have enhanced the liturgy; Charles Wesley, Mrs Alexander, Christina Rossetti, Percy Dearmer, John Elerton, Reginald Heber, Isaac Watts, William Cowper, George Herbert et al. Whilst doing the washing up together, she and her mother sang Folk Songs and Ballads. Later, at a Clergy Daughters Boarding School, those infusions were administered daily. A voracious reader, Jane was much more interested in the Trojan War than World War 2. At 9 and a half she discovered there had never been a female Poet Laureate and was determined to be the first. Instead, she became an actress followed by volunteer work for various good causes, including Amnesty International, Refugees and the Homeless.

Poetry was a common thread running through all of these endeavours. At Amnesty she collected poems written by prisoners or about Human Rights abuses and published a book called ‘Poetry as Witness’. She also sought out Latin American Liberation Theology in translation and used it alongside her own prayers in Annual Human Rights Day Vigil and other services. At St. Michael and All Angels, Barnes, the church she has attended for over 50 years, Jane runs occasional poetry sessions, such as ‘Poetry as Meditation’ and ‘Healing the Planet’. In her early 70s, having been pipped to the laureate post by Carol Ann Duffy, she decided to give up all ‘good works’, including housework, and just concentrate on the poetry. A decade or so later, she is still writing and performing poetry...

In November 2019, Palewell Press launched Jane's first full poetry collection - Grandmother's Patchwork

Contact Information

Camilla Reeve, Senior Editor


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