mum in sorrento As a child, though she had never seen hills, Maureen Jeffs drew pictures of houses nestling among hills. She was born in the Fenland town of March in Cambridgeshire and subsequently lived in various other East Anglian towns until 2004, when she moved to Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, almost in touching distance of hills, in an area that she fell in love with at first sight.

Maureen’s poems enjoyed success in some competitions and were included in various anthologies. Some of her work is known in the USA. Her poem, The Solicitor, was reproduced in a magazine in San Diego, California. Another, To My Daughter, My Books, was admired and commented on, both by a book reviewer and critic in Houston, Texas and, to Maureen’s delight, by the senior editor of the Oxford University Press in New York. She published her poetry anthology, Taking Root, in 2010.

Once, when being interviewed by a reporter for a local newspaper, she said that even her thoughts were in iambic pentameter, but he didn’t understand what she meant. Through both her poetry and in her short stories in later years, she always tried to vary the rhythm and make words dance to a different beat.

Married for many years, she had a daughter and step-daughter. After being diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2009, she moved to Nottingham to spend her final days closer to her daughter. She passed away on October 27th 2015.