Post People: Barking poet goes from page to stage
PUBLISHED: 13:00 07 November 2016
Scottish writer Anne Macauley, 60, tells Sebastian Murphy-Bates how she brought her love of English to the borough and became a published poet
“I’ve always liked poetry – my mother wrote poems and I used to teach English so I’ve always been a lover of language.
“I arrived in Barking in 1977. I’d come to see some friends and while I was here I met my future husband, Richard, who was born and bred here. It was a holiday match that lasted a lifetime.
“My first teaching job was at Eastbury Community School, which my children attended. It was very nice and friendly and when I was there in 1990 it was a lot less diverse.
“Young people all face challenges in different ways, you have to treat them as individuals and not lump them into categories. I still occasionally bump into my old pupils in the borough and it’s usually a nice experience.
“When I retired three years ago I started doing open mic nights. Since then I’ve had my work published in several anthologies, including by the Poetry Society.
“I really like a lot of war poetry, especially Wilfred Owen but since I’ve been doing open mic nights and attending poetry classes I’ve discovered a lot of modern poets such as Helen Mort and John Cooper Clarke.
“A couple of years ago I saw him [Cooper Clarke] at the Poetry Society. I hadn’t seen him live for years and he hasn’t lost it, his sharpness and sense of rhythm really drives his poems forward.
“I’ve started to appreciate spoken word poetry a lot more, though I mainly stick to writing. It’s a very popular way of getting young people into poetry because it’s similar to rap and encourages self-expression.
“I helped host a poetry night for young people at Studio 3 Arts in Barking last month. It’s always amazing to see young people reading poetry and it was lovely to hear it from local guys.
“We’re trying to make it a regular thing, which I think would be great for Barking. I’m also a contributor at the Boathouse and I think we, along with Studio 3 Arts, are moving the arts on in the borough.”
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Barking and Dagenham Post. Click the link in the orange box below for details.