Julia Casterton was born in Nottingham in 1952 and graduated from the University of Essex with a first-class degree in comparative literature in 1975. In the early 1980s, she joined the editorial board of the London-based journal Red Letters and from 1986 to 1996, she published poetry and reviewed for Ambit poetry magazine. As a teacher, she had a long association with London's City Lit where, beginning in the 1980s, she taught creative writing to students of varying abilities. She published two books on creative writing: Creative Writing (1986) and Writing Poems - A Practical Guide (2005) and was much in demand as a reader and workshop leader.
In 2004, her first full-length collection of poems, The Doves of Finisterre, won the Jerwood Aldeburgh First Collection prize and in 2006, she received an Arts Council award to support the preparation of next collection of poems and, despite increasing ill-health, finished a first novel.
Julia Casterton died in February 2007.