I was born in Leicester of Windrush parents from Jamaica. I grew up in Kingston, Jamaica, then returned to Leicester. I have always enjoyed writing but never dreamed I would become a writer. I was honoured to receive an MBE in 2019, as a poet and playwright, and for my contribution to Leicester arts and culture. I was a Cultural Olympian in 2012 and was elected Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts in 2014, and am profiled on WritersMosaic. I have also written various reviews for the WritersMosaic website. In 2022 I performed my poetry at a WritersMosaic event along with other writers including Anthony Joseph, Kerry Young and Farhana Shaikh.
As a self-employed freelancer, I write mainly poetry, choreopoetry, plays for stage, radio and screen, as well as short stories and articles. My choreopoetry is highlighted by Professor Corinne Fowler, Leicester University, in The Cambridge Companion to British Black and Asian Literature 1945–2010 (ed. Deidre Osborne). A recurring feature of my work is to give voice to the voiceless, to untold diverse stories and magic realism in narratives, with compelling, diverse characters with distinctive voices.
My poems feature in several published anthologies. These include ‘Valley Dreamers’ in Out of Bounds (ed. Jackie Kay, Bloodaxe), ‘Some Things that Never Failed Me’ in the anthology Poetry & Covid-19 (ed. Anthony Caleshu and Rory Waterman, Shearsman Books), ‘Song for Guests’ (poem translated into ten languages) in Welcome to Leicester (ed. Emma Lee, Dahlia Books); and in Over Land, Over Sea (ed. Kathleen Bell, Emma Lee and Siobhan Logan, Five Leaves Publications).
Currently, I am guest visiting lecturer for MA Creative Writing at Nottingham Trent University, and guest visiting lecturer MA Writing for Performance at Derby University. I mentored the poets Lesley Clary Sage and Cathi Rae, for publication with Soulful Group, and prisoners for NO BARS II, an anthology launched in 2021. I am patron of East Midlands Women’s awards.
My debut poetry chapbook The Declamations of Cool Eye was published by Dare Diva productions; one of the chapbook poems, ‘Drawing’, was then featured in a film poem entitled Enchanter. My plays include Reality Check for BBC Radio 3, shortlisted for the Imison award administered by the Society of Authors, Storm and The Twisted Plait at Haymarket Theatre Leicester, and Sista’s Doing it for Themselves at the Y Theatre Leicester.
Others include: The Loneliness of the Long Distance Diva, Curve Theatre Leicester, part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad; Love the Life You Live…Live the Life You Love, a choreopoem play at the Curve Theatre. This latter choreopoem is published in Hidden Stories, an anthology from Leicester University and Phoenix Arts. In 2022 my new play, The Dreadful Dance of Ms Iniquity, was performed at the Stockwell Theatre London, Time to Breathe Festival London, and Curve Theatre’s New Writing Festival Leicester.