I am a writer and poet who has lived in Northumberland for twenty-five years. I believe it’s the perfect place to find solitude when desired, but also to join a strong artistic community and to collaborate with others in making and promoting the arts in this area.
Why do you believe in the Northumberland Festival of the Arts?
The Northumberland Festival of the Arts is the child of two successful festivals promoted by Spirit of the Hills in 2017 and 2019. This year the festival has extended its reach and become more independent; becoming a registered non-profit and planning a festival in still uncertain times as we recover from Covid-19. We envision collaboration and partnerships with artists, organizations and residents from all over Northumberland and beyond in developing a flexible, exciting and interactive programme, reflecting the innovation and resilience of Northumberland’s artistic community. Work on the 2022 festival is already well underway.
Any passions and talents you want to share?
Our confined life in much of the past year has reignited my passion for making bread, which I did on a regular basis while my children were growing up. I have also found more time to write, knowing how deeply satisfying it is to create a poem, a short story or a chapter in a novel—even a short blog or a book review! Beyond these activities, I love people in general, but especially my family and friends, animals both wild and tame, particularly my constant companions—Danny, my golden doodle, and Lucy, my cat—and the beautiful county and country we are so fortunate to live in and must do our best to protect.
What are your roots or groups – connections in the community?
My roots lie in my family, as they do for most of us if we’re lucky; keeping in touch with them and friends scattered across the globe has been important. Zoom has been the key to this. It has also allowed me and my colleagues on Word on the Hills, the literary series now in its eighth year that we broadcast weekly on 89-7 FM in Cobourg, to continue recording all through the past year and has helped our writers’ group to set up small critique and discussion groups for poets and fiction writers, keeping people connected and supported. Another project which encouraged community and connection was the blog, A Journal in Time of Pandemic and Lockdown, edited by Kim Aubrey and me. The blog material is the core of an e-book to be released by Blue Denim Press in May.
What does “art” mean to you.
For me “art” and making things is the foundation of a fulfilled life.