Pat Sutherland

Though always a lover of the genre, Pat Sutherland came late to writing poetry. Now at the age of 81 she has been busy for ten years, trying to make up for lost time. An advanced cancer diagnosis back then and an introduction to expressive writing at the Maggie’s Centre galvanised her into writing her first poems, encouraged and emboldened by facilitator Sukhema Butler’s axiom, Whatever you write is right. In her lifetime, Pat has covered most of the bases as wife, mother, grandmother, teacher, finding in old age increasing joy in family and the sense of continuity they bring. In times of stress she cooks; as Nigel Slater affirms, There is something calm-inducing about a risotto. The gentle stirring, the warm, soft grains and the idea that you have made dinner so effortlessly from so few ingredients are deeply pleasing.Food having played an important part in her life, Pat and her husband Andrew have travelled to enjoy sampling the cuisine in various countries, France forever at the top of the list.In recent months Pat’s prognosis has become terminal. She hopes that the love she’s tried to transmit in her poems will touch a few hearts.May 2023