I was born in Aberdeen and then had a nomadic childhood, ranging from Aberdeenshire to Dar-es-Salaam. Eventually, the wandering settled and I went to Aberdeen Academy for six years, followed by a degree in History at Aberdeen University. A thirty year career in secondary teaching followed, based in West Lothian and Edinburgh. I had written poetry and fiction as a teenager, but never thought this could be a career, so it wasn't until early retirement from teaching that I began to write professionally. The last ten years have been a revelation, in that I have not only had many poems published, won poetry prizes, had poems read on BBC Scotland, but also regularly give poetry readings, both solo and with The Makars, an Ayrshire poetry perfo! rmance group. I am currently living in Ayrshire and working in the Harbour Arts Centre,Irvine as their Poet in Residence, doing a poetry project with parents and children.
About writer's work
My main ! area of interest in writing is poetry, in both Scots [often Doric] and English, but I have also had some short stories published. I have won several awards for poetry and fiction, including: Killie Writing Competition 2nd prize for 'Going Home' 2001 and 2nd equal prize 2002 for 'Bringing Grunnie up to Date'. Ottakers Ayr Poetry Competition 2003 for 'Indigo Nightmare'. Scottish Association of Writers Poetry Award 2002 'Like a Visitor' Scottish Association of Writers Childrens Novel Award 2003 for 'Stane World' James McCash Poetry Competition in Scots Language 3rd prize 2004 with 'Hairst Meen' James McCash Poetry Comp 2nd prize 2005 with 'A Bonnie Fechter' James McCash Poetry Comp 3rd prize 2006 with 'Nae Answer' James McCash Poetry Comp 1st prize 2007 with 'My Land' [Judges for the McCash include Edwin Morgan as chief judge, Liz Lochhead and Lesley Duncan Poetry Ed of The herald] Robert McLellan Poetry Award, Arran, 2007 with 'Ripening'. [Judge Janet Paisley] Currently, I am very interested in the themes of parenting, with all the attendant issues and emotions from child birth to teenage years, as I am working with parents, as Poet in Residence at the Harbour Arts Centre, Irvine, in an innovative project enabling parents to write poems about their children. I also write about the experience of being a woman, relationships, growing older, nature, landscape, a sense of place.
Websites featuring the authorwww.makarpress.co.ukwww.scottishcorpus.ac.uk
I poem Lost in Burma in The Herald2008
1 poem Totality in New Writing Scotland 2009
Work completed at the Harbour Arts Centre Irvine as Poet in Residence:
Exhibition of Poems in Scots and Illustrations by pupils of St Johns Primary Stevenston Dec 2008, also on Itchy Cool Website
Mindin' the WeansAnthology of work written by parents about their children pub March 2009.
New Writing Scotland2004 'Milking the Haggis' Ed Valerie Thornton, Hamish Whyte 0-948877-57-X Adult Poetry and Fiction
New Writing Scotland 2005 'Queen of the Sheep'Ed Valerie Thornton and Hamish Whyte 0-948877-69-3 Adult Poetry and Fiction
'Running Threads'Poetry Anthology 2006 0-9547084-4-X Makar Press
''Cleave' Poetry Anthology 2008 978-1906120283 Two Ravens Press __________________________________________________ Radio Scotland broadcasts of poems on the Reel Blend 2002- 2007 'Coming Home' 'Hairst Meen' 'A Bonnie Fechter' 'Nae Answer' 'Ripening' 'My Land'.
Radio Scotland broadcast by Richard Holloway on readings by the Makar Poets
Poetry Scotland 2002-2007 p! oems 'Wolfman' 'Like a Visitor' 'I Hate' and several haiku poems
The Herald 2001-2007 'When Will You Come' 'Summertime' 'Hot Chick' 'Love in the Underground' 'Hairst Meen' 'A Bonnie Fechter' 'Nae Answer' 'Ripening' 'My Land'.
Cutting Teeth magazine 05 'Breast Screening'
Poetry Monthly 04 'Communion'
Markings Magazine 08 'Ripening'
Lallans 08 'Lairnin aboot Love'