S.J. Litherland, born and bred in Warwickshire, has lived in Durham City since 1965. Her seventh collection, Composition in White, was published by Smokestack Books in October 2017. A lifelong socialist, she looks back from the start of her ninth decade to her love of England and cricket, her working-class roots in the heart of the Midlands in the war and the enduring lure of Bohemianism.
Flambard Press published her three previous collections: The Absolute Bonus of Rain (2010) which began her state-of-the-nation inquiry into a forgotten England; The Work of the Wind (2006) which charts her turbulent relationship with fellow poet and partner Barry MacSweeney who died in 2000; and her feminist view of love, The Apple Exchange (1999). In 2006 Iron Press published The Homage, a poetry-cricket sequence about the last season of former England captain Nasser Hussain which was nominated for Cricket Book of the Year. Earlier publications include: Flowers of Fever (Iron, 1992), and The Long Interval (Bloodaxe, 1986).
Bad Light from The Homage was selected for sports anthology Not Just a Game (Five Leaves Press, 2006) and broadcast on Radio 3 in the Words and Music series. Her poems have been commended twice in the National Poetry Competition: ‘Songster’ (from the sonnet sequence in The Work of the Wind) in 2003 and Springtime of the Nations (about the survival of revolutionary spirit) in 2012.
In 2011 a poem from The Apple Exchange was selected for The Forward Book of Poetry. She won a Northern Arts Award in 1994 for a month at Annaghmakkerig, the Irish residential Centre for Artists and Writers.
Her enthusiasm for cricket has taken her on England Test tours to the West Indies, Australia and Sri Lanka. She is a member of Durham CCC and a founding member of the Vane Women writers’ collective.
Her poetry has been translated into Russian, French, Spanish and Mallorquin.
Composition in White (Smokestack, 2017)
The Absolute Bonus of Rain (Flambard, 2010)
The Homage (Iron, 2006)
The Work of the Wind (Flambard, 2006)