Jenny Joseph portrait (Norman McBeath).jpg

Jenny Joseph (7 May 1932 – 8 January 2018) was one of Britain’s best-loved poets, and the author of numerous poetry collections, books for children and volumes of prose. She was born in Birmingham and studied English at St. Hilda’s College, Oxford, and subsequently worked as a newspaper reporter, a pub landlady and a freelance lecturer.

Her first collection of poetry, called The Unlooked-for Season, was awarded a Gregory Award, and she won a Cholmondeley Award for her second, Rose in the Afternoon. She later won the James Tait Black Prize for fiction for Persephone, a work of prose and verse. Since then she has written collections of prose and poetry, and a garden book for the literary-minded called Led by the Nose, which describes a year in her garden through the different smells of each month's plants. Her final volume Nothing Like Love was published in 2009.

Her most famous poem is ‘Warning’, written in 1961 and twice voted Britain’s favourite poem of the 20th Century. It has been reproduced throughout the world and translated into many languages. Jenny was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1999, and died in January 2018 following a short illness.