Deborah Mason was born in Kendal but brought up in Barnard Castle, in Teesdale. She studied English Language and Literature at Leeds University, where she also qualified as a teacher, and later went on to do a Master’s at Manchester University. Her first post as a teacher was in the north of Finland, followed by teaching experience in England and the Netherlands. She then went to work near Tokyo in Japan, and returned to Europe overland on the trans-Siberian railway. She worked at Helsinki University for over fifteen years before becoming the Assistant Director of Oxford University Language Centre, where, from 1998 to 2018, she provided English courses for international students.
Deborah Mason’s poems travel far and wide – geographically, to begin with. But gradually you realise that you are entering different metaphorical worlds too, and that her linguistic wit is waiting to pounce – as on to the tall man who is ‘all angles and no poise’. What is so satisfying about these poems is the way they build up a strange, truthful world. - Bernard O'Donoghue