Kate Myers

Kate Myers


© Kev Ryan


Kate Myers writes short stories and her autobiography, Patchwork: An American Childhood was published in 2006.            

Kate was born in Massachusetts and studied English at university in New Orleans. She came to England in 1969 on the arm of a visiting lecturer returning to his Midlands post. They are still married and have lived in Leicester for forty years. Kate gained her teaching qualification in the United States and has an MA from the University of Nottingham. She has variously taught English as ESOL, as basic literacy to prisoners, and at GCSE level to special needs pupils in an inner city comprehensive school.


Creative Work

From Patchwork: An American Childhood

Pratt’s Junction. Once on the outskirts of Stirling, Massachusetts.

The railroad house was two-storey and of white clapboard. It faced the main road with tracks to its right. The track-side verge was caged in as a run for peacocks and a long driveway paralleled the tracks, leading to a big shed. Inside the house was a temperamental green parrot that took a dislike to Dad when he came courting. It bit him savagely on his leg, leaving vivid bruises on his calf that took ages to heal. I saw him show Mom the wound. He was angry, that’s why I remember it.           

On the left side of the house a screened-in porch faced our neighbours. A driveway ran along this side too, leading to a red garage. Beyond the porch lay a big dark kitchen and a pantry. The living room ran across the entire front of the house. It was a minefield of Very Important Things that I must not touch. Plain shades dimmed the summer sun, lined drapes kept it warm in winter. Windows were ruffled with net curtains. They had as many ornate defensive layers as the women who dressed them. Doilied side-tables displayed an aquamarine fluted candy dish, an old mustard-gold Wedgewood vase, a sea captain’s chins. Every piece had a story to justify its presence.



My maternal grandmother insisted that she was a descendant of Henry Adams, the Puritan dissenter who arrived in the colonies in 1638. His more illustrious descendants were of course the first father and son presidents, John and John Quincy Adams. Growing up near Boston, the seedbed of the Revolution, was to breathe in history. The Redcoats were the enemy. Dumping tea in Boston harbour to protest against British oppression was just the start. My mother married a second generation Irishman who filled our house with rousing rebel songs played at full volume ‘to educate the neighbourhood’.           

The last thing they would have wished for their daughter was that she settle in England. Curtains twitched when I arrived in Nottingham, but no one spoke. When I moved to Leicester I found it easy to be different. Almost every household on my street has a mixed heritage. I arranged history walks around the city for my adult ESOL classes, revelling in the sheer variety of people who have found their way to Leicester. They too were homesick, felt pride in their identities and enriched this city’s life.           

The country I left exists only in my head. So much has changed in the intervening years and I find myself a bittersweet tourist in my own homeland. Equally, I uncomfortably awkward in the UK, a country where I have spent most of my adult life. When interviewed, writers often claim this to be an advantage— standing apart, not quite fitting in. Well, they would, wouldn’t they?




Patchwork: An American Childhood, Seaglass, 2006
Excerpt from Patchwork in Making a Mark, Leicester, Leicester Writers’ Club, 2008

Local History

Faith Built on Love: A History of Sacred Heart Parish, Leicester, Oldham & Manton, 2008

Short Stories

Last Delivery, The Tablet, December 2010
That Day in August, Futures, Writing School Leicester, 2011


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