I am a former French teacher turned poet and novelist living in Bristol. Back in 2008 My Father won the Sunday Telegraph Poetry for Performance competition, judged by Ben Okri and Andrew Motion. Since then my poetry has won or been placed in various competitions, for example the Wells Festival of Literature (2ndplace), the Teignmouth Poetry Festival (2nd place), the Wells People’s Prize (1stplace), and has appeared in magazines, journals and anthologies such as The Interpreter’s House, Butcher’s Dog, The French Literary Review, and Acumen. Last year my poem Love Letter won the Wirral Open Poetry Competition and I came third in The Grey Hen competition. My two poetry collections are published by Indigo Dreams: The Last Green Field and Sticks and Stones, both exploring the inevitability of change in human relationships and the natural environment. As well as poetry, I also have a few short stories in print and a novel, Time out of Mind, which is published by Thornbury Publications.
I’ve been involved with Bath writers on and off for a number of years, attending Sue Boyle’s various workshops and, most closely, during the magnificent five-year project to commemorate in verse the centennial years of the 1914-18 war. I also belong to various poetry groups in Bristol, particularly ‘Random Women’, a group that meets monthly in The Folkhouse on Park Street. In 2019 my daughter and I collaborated on a poetry book, Nine Lives, to raise money for the Brent Knoll RSPCA animal welfare centre. I wrote the poems and Caroline provided the illustrations. So far we have raised over £600, despite Covid’s attempts to frustrate our efforts.
Rosie Jackson’s wrote of Sticks and Stones :
Our own lives, with their geology of suffering, move off-centre in these carefully wrought eco-poems – textured, witty, diverse, rich with metaphor – as they lament an echo of vanishings, a diminishing green, but also honour the strength of a nature that will outlive us all. Rock proclaims itself, the rest provisional, ephemeral as mist on moor.
Sticks and Stones puts everything into perspective, not only gently questioning our abuse of the non-human world, but celebrating wild places and beauty in a language that is specific and inventive, an alphabet of wind and leaves. I found it expansive and inspiring.
SHIRLEY WRIGHT writes :