the short version
I write (and read) poetry and all types of prose, often putting pen to paper or fingers to keypad because I'm in need of a still moment. And I stitch in all sorts of ways, fabric with thread by machine or hand, on knitting needles with yarn, and most recently, I've stitched freshly picked leaves -watch this space!!!
I practice yoga and play social bridge ... how much of each
depends on whether I'm in my English or French home. The choice means I'm blessed with a varied life - hens in France, the Thames Path to walk along in
On this site you may find book reviews, comment on the craft and politics of poetry and sometimes I remember to list the poetry books I'm presently reading.
I also post photos and chat about my current interest in playing with fabric and thread, including the possibilities offered by the tea bag paper and the surprising shapes and colours that appear when you wrap fabric around rusting metal.
now a little more
A decision in 2014 to retire from my academic activities allowed me more time for writing and stitching. I'm a fan of online Poetry School courses and have just finished one called Secrets and Lies.
My interest in the work of sending poems to magazine editors has wained rather in recent months. The admin needed to keep track of poems all become too much. Now I just write and in that way more poems will find their way on here.
Since October 2016 I've been on a wonderful course called Inspiration to Stitch run by the talented team at Institches Creative Textile Courses and I post progress with the sketchbook work we are doing when I remember. For more details of the course see http://www.institchestextilecourses.co.uk/inspiration-to-stitch.html.
Finished stitching projects are posted infrequently, works in progress are more likely to appear!
the really long version
My poems and prose evolves from geographical and emotional journeys across
bumpy and blessed borders. So words that form unstructured prose and
become poems or proper sentacnes and paragraphs over time, have drawn on my emotional reactions to the
landscapes and people of South America, bereavement and some extended,
solitary travel to New Zealand and Australia.
In January 2014, as in previous years, I wrote a small stone each day and kept my promise to myself to continue until the end of the year, Looking back at 2014 through the lens of these very short paying attention pieces has been fascinating and I'm yet to decide whether to leave them as blessings of each day last year or to 'collect' them somewhere.
Unless something gets me up and out first thing in the morning, perhaps the need to walk the dogs before the sun heats up the day, or a session at the gym - quite unbelievingly I've become someone who regularly trains early in the day - then I write in disciplined (well, fairly disciplined) early
morning sessions with a cup of green tea or coffee from fair trade beans, brewed for
These morning pages lines are an untidy scrawl, un-judged, often rather rubbishy, often
enough worth to continue working on. Now I can give more time to writing I
also take my notebook to the local lake or cafe ... it all depends on
writing as a practice
I aim for words and shape that translates the ordinary into wider meanings. I often find writing about what I see looking out of the window, or hear listening to street conversations leads to a draft poem. I'm often busy transferring and transforming poems written during workshops to the computer, ready for the processes of revision, workshopping and sending to publishers.
In 2013 I started to use Duotropeto organise and help with submissions - so far its been very useful.
poems and prose out in the world
My poems have had success in local poetry competitions and this year I achieved a joint third place in The Carer's UK Poetry Competition.
You'll find my poetry in the Eunoia Review, the Interpreters House, the Linnet's Wings, Red River Review. The Glasgow Review, Prole, The Poetry Space, When Women Waken, In Gilded Frame, and in the 2013 anthologies Foreign and Far Away and The Dance is New. Poems are forthcoming in Obsessed with Pipework. The Glass Coin published one of my essays in 2013.
Thanks for reading this far, please take a look at at the rest of this blog and please, please add your comments.