For the last 25 years, I've worked with writing and writing groups in community, adult literacy, school and therapeutic settings through organisations such as Survivors Poetry Scotland, the Workers Education Association and Artlink, as well as with colleges and local authorities. I was writer in residence at Glenochil Prison in 2006. I have experience producing and editing magazines and books and in community publishing.
Working with people who for one reason or another - economic, social or educational disadvantage, emotional distress, dementia, disability or simply being young - may find themselves at the mercy of other people's notions of their identity has allowed me to properly appreciate the power the act of writing has as a liberating force.
One of Paulo Freire's students once said, "I want to learn to write to stop being the shadow of others." In my own work and in my work with others I've found writing to be a means towards understanding past and present experience, a richly rewarding adventure and a useful tool in shaping futures. As well as all that, I also find working with other folk sharing stories, words and worlds to be a great deal of fun.
(Works in Scots)