(The author spent five years working and living along-side...)
The author spent five years working and living along-side the fishermen in the Northumberland village of Beadnell, listening to their dialect, learning their ways. In a dialogue between her own voice and the fishermen's dialect, The Lost Music traces the identity of this fishing community, revealing loss of spiritual direction with the passing of the old ways of life. Her poems suggest the way forward is neither to cling to the past nor to abandon it, but to change and remember. One critic has said: There are poems here to take to heart and to have by heart.
Bachelor with 1st-class honors, Cambridge University, England, 1982. Master of Arts, Cambridge University, England, 1986.
Her particular interests include the inshore fishing community of the Northumberland coast, and the cultural and natural history of that area. Many of the poems in her first collection, The Lost Music (Bloodaxe Books, 1996), focus on the Northumbrian fishing community. Her prose books on the subject include The Bonny Fisher Lad (People's History, 2003) and Limekilns and Lobster Pots (Jardine Press, 2013).\r\nShe also writes in Northumbrian dialect, as in The Wund an’ the Wetter, recorded on Civil Defense with piper Chris Ormston (Iron Press, 1999).
She is President of the Northumbrian Language Society, and an ambassador for New Networks for Nature. Since 2000 she has specialised in radio poetry, much of it with British Broadcasting Corporation producer Julian May.\r\nWorks include Longshore Drift, Dunstanburgh and The Refuge Box. Her second full-length collection from Bloodaxe Books, Two Countries (2014), includes some of these poems.
She has been involved in many collaborations with other artists and musicians.\r\nIn 2000 she worked with composer Alistair Anderson on the musical Tam Lin. Most recently she has collaborated with digital composer Peter Zinovieff on Horse (2011, about the 3,000-year-old Uffington White Horse), and Edge (2013, a poem in four moons for the Centre for Life planetarium, Newcastle).