It was in teaching poetry that I became fascinated by its actual inception. How does a poem get written? But in teaching English full time there is no creative energy for writing too.
After my first child we had a house move. Then a second child, a second move. There were several years of immersion in being a Ã¢â‚¬Ëœuniversal wiperÃ¢â‚¬â„¢, as I used to call myself. All mothers will know what I mean.
My first attempts at poems were my mental salvation. Even if I had to get the first gist down locked in the loo! My very first published poem was in the prestigious Poetry Review. This was the start of thirty years of writing poems and the hard slog of submissions and rejections, with far more rejections than acceptances. I attended many Arvon Foundation poetry courses, and over the years published over a hundred and fifty poems in magazines and journals.
After a brief return to teaching, mostly Ã¢â‚¬ËœAÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ level work, I found there was no time to write. I decided to concentrate on the poetry after moving to Long Crendon, in Buckinghamshire, where we had a glade-like garden leading down to a stream which proved seminal for poems and my growing love of gardening.
I published two collections with Rockingham Press in 1997 and 2003 and won two prestigious first prizes, The Bridport, and The Kent and Sussex Open. I enjoyed giving readings. But about ten years ago the poems dried up and I decided to concentrate on my other passion, gardening, despite various physical ailments.
The idea for a genre-defying book gradually took shape in my head and I began making extended notes about the different gardens I had made and considering which of my poems would enhance the narrative. I enjoyed writing it enormously.
I am married, have two grown up children and four grandchildren, and live in Wiltshire.