Rachel SutcliffeRachel Sutcliffe

(6 November 1977 – 23 January 2019)

English poet and linguist Rachel Marie Sutcliffe was born in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. Rachel's love of language is reflected in her educational qualifications: a BA in Modern Languages, a Postgraduate Certificate in Education and an MA in English. Her studies and work meant Rachel spent some time abroad, first as an English language assistant in Spain, then as a technical English lecturer in France. After her return to England, she worked as an EFL and Spanish lecturer and a language tutor in her home town of Huddersfield.

During her early twenties Rachel was diagnosed with an incurable, immune disorder and her writing, which had once been a pastime, became a form of therapy. Informed by Rachel's keen observations of both nature and people, her haiku and senryu resonated with readers all over the world.

A valuable member of the British Haiku Society, Rachel's work has appeared in numerous print and online journals including A Hundred Gourds, A New Ulster, Autumn Moon Haiku Journal, Bamboo Hut, Blithe Spirit, Brass Bell, cattails, Failed Haiku, Frogpond, Haiku Commentary, Haikuniverse, hedgerow, Lynx, Lyrical Passion Poetry E-Zine, Memori de una Geisha, Never Ending Story, Notes from the Gean, Prune Juice, Shamrock, Per Diem (The Haiku Foundation), Scryptic, Stardust, The Heron's Nest, The Living Senryu Anthology, The World Haiku Review, The Zen Space and tinywords.

Write-up by Marion Clarke



  • Runner-up in the BHS Museum of Haiku Literature Awards February 2018;
  • Selected for the 9th Yamadera Bashō 2017 Memorial Museum;
  • Work featured on NHK Haiku Masters;
  • Honourable Mention in the Wild Plum Haiku Contest 2017;
  • Shortlisted for the BHS Museum of Haiku Literature Awards 2015;
  • Runner-up in the Shamrock Readers' Choice Awards (2014);
  • Short listed for Desmond O'Grady Poetry Competition 2012, White House Limerick Poetry.

Books Published:

Rachel Sutcliffe, Flying Free: A Poetic Response to Illness (Misfit Books Press 2018).
(free download at: https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/396b91_08d917b2c53747b59c06d71ec277ee71.pdf)

Selected work:


dripping tap
I begin to think
you’re right

(Frogpond, Volume 36:3, Autumn 2013)

we talk
about survival rates
winter sky

(cattails, January 2014 Premier Issue)

lost in the valley
listening for the river
to guide us home

(A Hundred Gourds 4:1 (December 2014)


morning stroll
returning home with me
a ladybug

(cattails, January 2015)


inner city building
a canvas of honeysuckle
climbs the graffiti

(tinywords, ISSUE 15.1 | 13 MARCH 2015)


the leaf’s descent
leaving my best years
behind me

(cattails, September 2015)


the last trawler
leaves the harbour
moonlight quivers

(tinywords, ISSUE 16.1 | 13 JULY 2016)


streets of childhood
all the faces
strangers now

(Beginning, BHS Members’ Anthology 2016)


birds in flight
the child asks
how to grow wings

(The Heron's Nest, Volume XIX, Number 2: June 2017)


all the life
I once had

(cattails, October 2017)


cold rain
darkness trickles
off the tiles

(Lyrical Passion Poetry E-zine 2018)


spring outside
your hand in mine
in the hospice

пролет навън
     твоята ръка в моята
     в хосписа

shorter days
autumn deepens

дните се скъсяват
     есента все по-дълбока
     под стъпките ми

the snow


(Beyond Words/Отвъд думите, haiku anthology, Farrago, Sofia 2018)


mountain hut
the solitude
I seek

(Wild, BHS Members’ Anthology 2018)


deep woods happy to just be

(Per Diem, The Haiku Foundation, October 2018)


evening cool
the beachcomber's
cloudy eyes

(The Heron's Nest, Vol. XX Number 4 (December 2018)


funeral over
my shadow
walks alone

(Runner-up in the BHS Museum of Haiku Literature Awards - February 2018)