Born in 1897, Ruth Pitter had her first collection (First Poems) published in 1920. Over a dozen books followed, including A Mad Lady's Garland, A Trophy of Arms, and Still by Choice. The Enitharmon Press published her Collected Poems in 1996 and her long poem, Persephone in Hades, originally printed in a limited edition of 100 copies, was reprinted by HappenStance in 2007. Pitter reveived the Hawthornden Prize in 1937, the Heinemann Award for Literature in 1954, and in 1955 was the first woman to receive the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry. She was created a Companion of Literature in 1974 and a Commander of the British Empire in 1979. She died on 29 February, 1992.
Thomas McKean was a personal friend. In 1985 and 1987 he recorded conversations with Pitter during his visits to England. This pamphlet is drawn from those exchanges. McKean works in New York as an author, illustrator, artist and editor.