I have an MA with Distinction in Creative Writing (University of Lincoln, 2012/2013); I have a first class honours degree from the Open University (1982), and I have raised 3 children, owned and run a Cactus Nursery since 1977, and worked as a photographer until 2010.
Recently I have rediscovered my love of creative writing and I feel that I am entering an exciting phase in my imaginative life. My poetry has been in recent editions of The Rialto and The North. As a mandatory part of my MA I published a pamphlet in 2013, behind the glass, wrote Poetry of Hospitals and Waiting Rooms, about my husband’s heart bypass and sold in aid of The British Heart Foundation, and also compiled Black Path 1, an anthology of the MA students’ writing (sadly Black Path 2 was shelved for lack of support) all published by Lulu for my own redplantpress.
In the 1980s/early 1990s substantial selections of my poetry were published by Faber and Faber in Poetry Introduction 6, in Six the Versewagon Poetry manual, Anvil New Poets and Outside The Chain of Hands and I was published in magazines including Ambit, Poetry Review, The London Magazine, The Spectator and many others. I also had a small pamphlet published by the Wide Skirt. I read my poetry all over the country at venues including the Arvon Centres and The Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room at the Southbank Centre. It was also broadcast on Radio 3. I worked as a Writer-in-Residence at many venues; I was a Literature Consultant for Lincolnshire and South Humberside Arts and edited their literary magazine
In the 1990s/2000s I wrote magazine non-fiction and 4 gardening books for GMC Publications, all as Shirley-Anne Bell. Over the last ten years I have also worked in mixed media incorporating text and poetry into my pieces.