Friday, June 21, 2024


Jane Mann was born in Sevenoaks Kent.  After a chequered experience of schools, she attended Exeter University where she made life long friends and gained a degree in English and a Certificate of Education.  Seeking change and colour, she got a job then as an Education officer in Hong Kong teaching English to Chinese students. While in Hong Kong, she travelled widely, made more life long friends and met her future husband, Ray. She also wrote an adventure story, “Chang Fook and the Viper” published by OUP and used as a reader in schools there.

            Returning to England, she got married to Ray and settled in a rural community in Buckinghamshire where she raised her family – Rachel, Kirsty and Nicholas.  Her work continued as a part time lecturer in further education and later as an examiner for three exam boards.

            As her family grew up and she eventually retired from teaching, she found more time for writing again.  Her novel, “The Cause”, exploring the issue of vivisection and the motivation of those who want to stop it, was published in 2005.  In 2006 she won The Writers’ News Open Poetry Competition for her poem, “Burning the Past.” In 2007 she won The Mail on Sunday and Literary Review’s Grand Poetry Prize for her poem “Staying on.” In 2009 with the award money from this prize, she published “Give us a Chance”, an entertaining collection of poems to encourage readers to look afresh at the creatures we love to hate and do not always appreciate though they are often essential for our ecosystems.

            Concerned for many years about pollution and the way we treat other species, she became a vegetarian and joined a number of environmental groups to give animals a better deal. She wrote poems celebrating the wonders of the natural world as well as ones challenging our damaging affect. Encouraged by Ray, her husband, she collected her poems in a hard back, “Shades of Seeing”. To her grief, he died in 2010 just before it was published. She felt he was there though behind her second collection “Sunlines and Shadow”, which continued the themes of wonder and concern.

            Her third novel, “The Will”, published in 2016, explores the problem of putting right an injustice.

            Jane has continued writing poetry and has enjoyed seeing long known friends and those in the local groups she belongs to and the varied environmental organisations she supports. Her main focus has always been the family and with seven grandchildren now, she feels there are wider concerns for us all in caring more for the planet.