‘A Peepshow with Views of the Interior of a Dutch House’ by Samuel van Hoogstraten, c1655 – 60, National Gallery London

I treasure this thank you card from Keele Poets at Silverdale because if sharing poetry isn’t wandering through doors into the magic spaces of each other’s imaginations, then I don’t know what is.

  • “A reflective serious atmosphere which managed to be warm, welcoming and fun. Excellent rapport with the group.” Grade 1 in observed session, Sir John Deane’s College, 2001
  • “Passionate about her subject, well-prepared, good flow to the lesson, excellent rapport with the group.” Grade 1 in observed session, Sir John Deane’s College, 2014
  • “To combine a relaxed, informal and interactive approach with relevant and extremely useful work is quite an art – which you clearly possess.” Observed Open University tutorial, U205

At present, I work with 2 groups:

1) The talented and enthusiastic Keele Poets at Silverdale. This group originated in the ‘Writing Poetry’ adult education course at Keele University before I started working with them there in 2009.

We meet every Thursday morning from October-March for workshops at Silverdale LibraryWe also have fun getting involved in projects (see Gallery), including the adventure of bartering Simon Armitage’s special charity reading in October 2012 as part of Keele University’s 50th Anniversary Charter Year. For this, Carol Ann Duffy also very kindly donated a bottle of Poet Laureate sherry (part of her traditional payment by the Crown) to help raise funds. The sell-out event raised £1720 to support women with breast cancer!

We have vacancies from time to time, so please get in touch if you are interested in joining us.

2) With Karen Wheatley’s classes at Sir John Deane’s College, Northwich 

I do regular guest sessions on poetry and article-writing for the Creative Writing adult education courses at Sir John Deane’s College, Northwich, led by Karen Wheatley. Before this I taught several health courses for the Open University and led training courses in the NHS.

Over a decade ago when I needed a change from writing non-fiction, I attended Karen’s inspiring creative writing classes myself. This led to the fun of joining Vale Royal Writers’ Group (created by her students) and my application to do the M.A. in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU). Thank you Karen!

Another thank you card: the homemade ‘robes of paper’ have been woven as carefully as words in a poem.