WRITING & PERFORMING
I host and curate poetry events with Big White Shed and perform around the region. My poetry uses straightforward language and vocabulary to explore complex thoughts and emotions. Memory, family, nature, the landscape, the city all figure in my work.
I also perform as That Welsh Woman - my alter-ego - she has a passion for poetry and poets, hosts Slam Cabaret and interviews poets at book launches and other events.
I am also happy to speak at events or contribute to panel discussions on my experience as founder and editor at Big White Shed.
You can watch me perform on YouTube here.
I've never been one for doing one thing at a time, which is just as well since writing can never be my sole occupation. It's a question of balancing it all. I took the leap into full-time freelance work in March 2015 when I took up the role of Professional Development Manager of Mouthy Poets, performing and writing poetry with the collective as well as teaching in schools and community settings.
I balance my freelance practice as a writer, performer and facilitator with coaching writers and practitioners, as well a developing Big White Shed, an organisation which enables people to take control of their projects and make them a reality and publishes emerging writers.
My experience includes working in primary and secondary schools, taking pupils into a variety of new landscapes and working with different stimuli to promote creativity. I have worked in community groups with readers and writers of varying levels, teen-mothers, after-school groups and retired teachers. I am particularly interested in how creative writing and poetry can be used to improve well-being and mental health.
I believe that everybody has a story to tell and everybody can learn to write that story. I encourage all participants to share some element of their work in order to boost their confidence.
I wrote quite a bit as a child, and my father made-up bedtime stories, which made an impression on me - but I didn't write at all during my twenties.
I grew up in Bath, and later moved to London. My working life included retail, running a snooker club, waitressing, cleaning, cooking, box office at a fringe theatre, selling ad-space and writing transcripts for a news monitoring agency.
I moved to Nottingham in 1996, having spent six years on the island of Crete. Here too I worked at a variety of jobs, including cleaning and bar work, repping for a holiday company, teaching English and running a cafe.
When I returned to the UK from Greece I took up a job at Nottingham Trent University setting up and running an art supplies shop. I was given the opportunity of studying English at degree level on a part time basis. As part of the course, I took a creative writing module and discovered what it was I should have been doing all these years. Then onto an MA in Creative Writing and into a world of writing in earnest.
I now travel between Nottingham, in my role as Creative Director of Nottingham Poetry Festival and the West End of Morecambe where I run a commercial art gallery with my partner.