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I started writing poetry on an Open University creative writing course in 2016, which makes me a “new phase” poet: someone who started writing poetry later in life.

I was brought up in a weird religious cult called the “Plymouth Brethren”. A shemozzle of traumatic experiences and inherited genetic traits led to me having complex post-traumatic stress disorder, an autoimmune disease (Lupus), and bipolar affective disorder. For many years I worked as a registered mental health nurse with adults with “severe and enduring mental illness” both on acute psychiatric wards and as a community psychiatric nurse. I had to give up my career when Lupus said, ‘No more’. These experiences have led me to so far write mainly about mental health and madness. And poetry is perfect for communicating the extremes and nuances of human emotion.

I passed my Open Uni writing course with distinction. I have also passed a Level 2 Open Uni psychology course with distinction. I have my nursing diploma, of course. I tell you this because there’s an opinion that it’s important for a poet to have academic qualifications, and also an opinion that it’s important not to have them, so now you know where I’m at qualifications-wise. I also have a Certificate in Running Writing Workshops with the Professional Writing Academy.

I live in Kent with my longsuffering husband, my clever and creative demiboy teenager, and a rescued Romanian street dog whose breath smells of stagnant ponds.

I’m excited that my first full poetry collection has just been published (see “Books” tab).

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