Grass Roots Open Writers

Jan Hedger

News Update -  25/06/2017

Since ‘Our Friends’ I have moved to pastures new in Shropshire. Took a while to settle in but now things are picking up nicely.

I run my own community writing group Words ‘n’ pics Open Writers have been promoted to Administrator for Forces Poetry (FLOW) and am in the process with Mac McDonald in restructuring the website, attend local Open Mic’s and workshops.

I have put together two anthology books, along the same format as ‘Our Friends’ – one for Forces Poetry on the 100 year anniversary of WW1 and the other just recently for Chirk Writers’ Circle celebrating Cherishing Churchyards week (Caring For God’s Acre).

I am in two more anthologies; ‘Reflections’ promoting the Meres and Mosses (after attending four led workshops) and Diverse 2 - put together by Richard Archer of Walsall Poetry Society, to raise money for Cancer Research.

I continue to do Poetry Performance for various groups and care homes and now have a ‘family’ of animal hand puppets that perform with me.

My next book plans to be ‘Memories of Small Heath’ together with my sister Pauline – where we grew up in Inner City Birmingham. An Autumn/Winter project.

Our Friends & Their Habitat's – Near & Far – my new book!

Animal poetry makes great family poetry – something I am passionate about! The poetry in this book is both imaginative and factual – a fun way for children to learn and for adults to enjoy!

Some poems relate directly to endangered species and the threats they face – here the poems are more honest, as is the hardship of our ‘man’s best friend’ highlighted in three of the poems – opening with a poem ‘For Merlin’.

This book was initially done as an A4 handout style book, for my sister Pauline to have on the Greyhounds in Need stalls at summer fairs.

Having previously self-published two other poetry books (with publishing companies) I decided this time to re-do the book as a proper homespun production, and in support of chosen animal/conservation charities.  The
main and exciting addition would be for illustrations!

Thanks go to Pauline for her continuing support and for suggesting and asking Marilyn Dougan to do the illustrations. My special thanks to Marilyn for interpreting how I saw the pictures and for her delightful illustrations!
The book is dedicated to all our living creatures and to all conservationists and charity workers who strive to protect them and their habitat, so our children and generations to come, can know the joy and wonder each living thing can bring.

Own your copy now – or buy as a Christmas Gift for all animal lovers! This book, for all the family, only costs £5 and is available by e mailing me –
or telephoning 07702 165717

In 2001 the words in my imagination found their way onto paper, starting with children's poetry and growing into what it is today, a diverse mix of dancing trees, to the reality of war, from deep emotion to gentle humour, influenced both by my love of music and the natural world. I believe poetry should be accessible to all and one of my greatest joys is performing my poetry to a wide audience.

As a healthcare worker I share my poetry through my work and many of my poems, designed and illustrated on the computer, adorn many a wall of establishments I have worked in.

Through being a member of Forces Poetry, GROW, Shorelink Writers and The Bexhill Writers Forum I have become aware of a deeper side to my writing, hence the wide range of poetry and prose you can read by clicking on the link on this page.

Born in inner city Birmingham, I was always a daydreamer and from the age of five often took myself off on little adventures, much to the annoyance of my family! As an adult these adventures led me to live in various locations in England and the North East of Scotland. I now live in Bexhill-on-Sea, on the south coast of England.

From humble beginnings writing poetry has expanded my horizons. I now enjoy reading and discovering other poets, from the simplicity of John Clare to the war poetry of Wilfred Owen. It also led me to study for my GCSE English at the age of 46, gaining an A star!

In 2008, at the age of 50 I published my first book "Words in Imagination."  In 2010 I was delighted to anounce publication of my second book of poetry "On Calico Wings". A journey through emotion.


Where & when my writing has been published:

Poems published in several Forward Press anthologies

Poems publshed in GROW anthologies and annual calendars
2010 - Cuppas and Custard Creams - anthology of Shorelink Community Writers
2008 - Words in Imagination - my first book - poems for all the family - no longer available
2010 - On Calico Wings - a journey through emotion - self-published with SilverWood books - ISBN 978-1-906236-27-4

Links: - my website - my publsher - Forces Poetry/Stories (£1 of every copy of OCW
sold goes to this charity)

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