I have been writing poems since I was eleven, and my first published poem was in a school magazine. Since then, my poems have been published in a wide range of journals and magazines including Artemis, Mslexia and Orbis. My first collection, Bright Morning, was published by Offa’s Press in 2010
Although I now live in Wolverhampton, I was born and brought up in Monmouthshire, South Wales – a starting point for many of my poems. I went to a girls’ school which I loved. Most of my adult life was spent teaching – mostly in Further Education Colleges. I have an MA in English Literature and post-graduate certificates in education and mentoring. I enjoyed teaching but was happy to be able to leave it to give more time to writing and writerly activities, including performing, leading workshops, mentoring other writers.
I have been a regular performer at City Voices, a monthly spoken word event in Wolverhampton, since it began in 2000. I have read at events throughout the West Midlands in libraries, at arts festivals and to a variety of clubs and groups.
Among the writing activities I was a member of ImageTextImage, a co-operative of visual artists and writers. We exhibited and performed in venues from the Eagle Works Gallery in Wolverhampton to the Gateway in Shrewsbury, the Green Wood Centre in Ironbridge and once, at the Rock and Fossil festival in Dudley.
It is always satisfying to make audiences laugh and for ten years, Emma Purshouse, Win Saha and I were collectively Funny Women, performing our poems to audiences across the region.
Following funding cuts to public libraries, I took on the task of running the Poetry Readers’ Group for Wolverhampton libraries. The group meets once a month in Wolverhampton Central Library to read and discuss modern poetry.
Also, as a volunteer, I represent Wolverhampton libraries on the committee of Poetry on Loan – an organisation that promotes poetry through public libraries in the West Midlands. I arrange poetry events for Poetry on Loan in Wolverhampton Libraries, bringing Jo Bell to Bilston Writers’ Group, Jonny Fluffypunk to Warstones Library and Postcard Poets to a range of libraries.
I am a Postcard Poet for Poetry on Loan and as a pop-up poet, have celebrated National Libraries’ Days by writing crowd-sourced poems in libraries.
In co-editing an anthology of environmental verse with Nick Pearson and editing the poems of three poets in the Nailmakers’ Daughters, I have been able to work collaboratively with fellow poets.