Meg Peacocke grew up in South Devon in a musical family. Her brother was Richard Rodney Bennett (1936–2012), and she collaborated with him on a number of vocal and choral works from the 1980s onwards.
She read English at Oxford, but spent more time on a capella singing and playing the oboe than on literary studies. After years of teaching, travel, marriage, bringing up four children, training in counselling and working 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.
Together with artist Pip Hall she was involved in the Poetry Path, a series of twelve poems based on a year in the life of a hill farmer. These were carved onto stone blocks and placed along a walking route either side of the River Eden, near Kirkby Stephen.
Her hill-farming days now behind her, she currently lives in County Durham.
Although she had written poems since childhood, it was only in her fifties that she began seriously publishing her work. Peterloo Poets brought out four collections, which found many loyal readers. More recently Shoestring Press published two further books of poetry, including a New & Selected volume, Finding the Planes, (see below), as well as an illustrated memoir about her hill farm days. These were followed by a pamphlet from HappenStance in 2018, following by a new full collection in 2021.
Several of her poems have won major prizes, and in 2005 she was the proud recipient of a Cholmondeley Award.
- The Long Habit of Living, HappenStance Press, 2021
- Honeycomb, HappenStance Press, 2018
- Broken Ground, Shoestring Press, 2018
- Finding the Planes, Shoestring Press, 2015
- Caliban Dancing, Shoestring Press, 2013
- In Praise of Aunts, Peterloo Poets, 2011
- Speaking of the Dead, Peterloo Poets, 2003
- Selves, Peterloo Poets, 1995
- Marginal Land, Peterloo Poets, 1988
Photo credit: Douglas May