About Me

Hi, I am a freelance writer/editor with experience in magazine, newspaper, blogs and poetry anthologies. I write non-fiction in the form of personal essays and poetry. I started blogging in 2008 - the links to those blogs are listed to the right.  In this new blog, the theme is writing; I will be sharing excerpts from my published works, my writing process, writing tips I have found useful, my views on self publishing plus book and play reviews and the occasional poem. 

I am the editor and independent publisher of three anthologies of poems and personal essays; two of which were funded by a Grants for the Arts award from Arts Council England. You will find links to all my books on the right just below my photo.  What I love about editing books is the journey that evolves through readings and discussions. As a result of publishing my third anthology Hair Power Skin Revolution, I was invited to BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour to participate in a discussion about the history and politics of black women and hair.   
L-R Fashion Historian Caroline Fox, Vidal Sassoon's
Hair Colour Director Edward Darley, Presenter Jane Garvey (seated),
me and music journalist Jacqueline Springer, August 2010.
(Photo courtesy of BBC Radio 4)
I am passionate about living entrepreneurially, especially when it comes to writing, empowering and supporting writers in their journey, so they get a platform in order to move forward. Between 2006 and 2008, I hosted a vibrant monthly Shangwe Poetry Night at the Poetry Cafe, Covent Garden, London, featuring over 50 artists and over 30 open mic performers. These activities developed and represented nationally and internationally diverse performers.
Hair Power Skin Revolution Contributors & Me
at a Reading Event, Poetry Cafe, Covent Garden, London
. 2010
I am also a published poet with over 20 years' experience of being involved in literary arts, studying as much as I can by reading about the movers and shakers in the world of literature. This involved attending writing courses/workshops and a range of arts events, which have inspired me in my journey. As a result, I have performed at numerous book readings and poetry evenings, in theatres, libraries, literary festivals, small publishers' fairs, mainstream and community radio. My literary projects have also involved travelling to the US and the Caribbean.
 Hair Power Skin Revolution contributor Brenda White & Me 
at a 'Hair Celebration' Book Reading/Discussion 
 - an International Women's Day Event, March 2011
I have taught creative writing as a writer in residence at Islington primary schools in North London, at the Centerprise Black Literature Development Agency in East London and as an Associate Lecturer for Open University.  

I am a qualified TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) teacher and English Tutor with a wide experience of working with students from diverse backgrounds ranging from young learners to adults. 

Individual Awards:

  • Grants for the Arts (September 2009) Awarded grant to develop, edit and publish Hair Power Skin Revolution: an anthology of poems and personal essays by black and mixed race women.
  • Community Champions Fund (September 2004) Awarded grant to design and deliver a Creative Writing Workshop for adults (8 sessions).
  • Grants for the Arts (August 2004) Awarded grant to develop, edit and publish Brown Eyes: an anthology of poems and personal essays by black and mixed race women.
  • Millennium Award (May 1999) Awarded grant to design and deliver a 'Leaders for London' (Peabody Trust) Creative Writing Workshop for adults (8 sessions).


Brighton & Hove Black History Month 2010
Writing Our Legacy Literary Showcase
Literary Events from 2005 to date include:
  • Mr Wrong Book Launch, Brixton, London (Reading/Panel Member)
  • BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour (Politics of Black Women's Hair)
  • Hair Celebration - International Women's Day 2011 (Book Reading/Interview)
  • Waterstones Enfield Literature Event (Book Reading/Interview)
  • Brighton & Hove Black History Month 2010 (Writing Our Legacy Literary Showcase)
  • University of Northampton (Equality & Diversity Week: Poetry & Music)
  • Goodenough College, London Bookfair, International Conference on Diaspora Literature & the Subversion of Borders (Book signing/Publisher Surgeries)
  • Newham Word Festival, East London ('Race and Representation' Book Reading)
  • Columbia University, New York (Panel Member at a Why We Write? conference)
  • California State University Dominguez Hills, Los Angeles, (Writing Seminar)
  • BBC Radio Northampton, Monthly Book Club & Inspiration Show (Book Reading/Interview)
Education:

2013 - TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) 120 hours
2000 - 2001 Institute of Education, Training for Artists in Schools
1996 - 1999 Middlesex University, MA Community Development Management (Merit)
1995 - 1996 Birkbeck College, Motherland to 'Motherland': Black Women's History (Distinction)
1995 - 1996 Birkbeck College, Black Women's Writing (Merit)
1983 - 1986 University of Westminster, BA (Hons) Social Sciences (2ii)

Personal:

I was born in London of Guyanese and English heritage. I am a mother and grandmother. I have travelled extensively and enjoy meeting new people and experiencing different cultures. I play the piano (certificates awarded up to grade 3 exam).

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