I am Londoner, a poet, puppeteer, artist and therapist who moved to the South Coast seven years ago with my partner soon after my mother died in very sad circumstances. It’s been a bit of a roller coaster, but there’s plenty to do, walks on the beach and the Downs, theatres, cinemas, writing groups, courses in just about everything.
I studied singing and art at Evolution, drawing at the Friends Centre and creative writing at Sussex Uni etc. I did a short course in stand up comedy with Jill Edwards, writing my own material and appearing in New Acts at the Komedia, followed by various gigs for two years.
Writing – I have always been a compulsive writer. I wrote plays for Pelham Puppets and our own marionettes when I was 14. Also sketches, articles and a play about travellers performed at the Young Vic when I was in my forties. I’ve written education courses, copy for an Adult Education Institute and two dissertations for my degrees. I became a freelance journalist and a member of the The Society of Woman Writers and Journalists. (SWWJ).
I changed course later in life and did some courses at the Poetry School and at Arvon. I have had a poem – ‘Rite of Passage’ – published in Compact and others in Writer’s News, Poets Corner and Rottingdean Writer’s Anthologies.
I have always enjoyed poetry but writing it is a different matter, however a course at Sussex University seven years ago with John McCullough was particularly inspiring!
John McCollough is a well known poet who lives in Hove and is the author of several poetry collections including an award winning one called ‘Frost Fairs’.
John’s course provided sufficient encouragement for me to publish my first book of poetry about life, death and ageing as well as poems about my life in puppetry.
To buy on Amazon by click on the links at end of page
2012 Joint winner of competition judged by New Writing South competition at the Hatchery Poems in a local anthology.
2013 One of my poems was short-listed in The Bridport Poetry comp. I was also on the long list for a poetry pamphlet with Cinnamon Press but gave up trying to get this one published.
2015 Was lucky enough to get a mini residency in Postman’s Park courtesy of the Poetry School (see post) and London Open Squares. I have been invited twice to read poems at Troubadour’s theme nights, courtesy of Anne-Marie Fyfe. I’ve just completed my new pamphlet ‘The Puppeteer’s Daughter’ – any publishers out there interested?
Blogging is brilliant – It’s been loads of fun and I’ve made contact with people all over the world. It has provided a focus, something to write on a regular basis.
I decided to include news, reviews, events, things that I find interesting, photography, home spun philosophy, visits to interesting places around Brighton and also London. Gradually a readership came out of nowhere. I think I am up to 50,000 hits.
My partner and I put our names down for an allotment and three years later we got one. We have also re-designed the garden. My partner went back to playing music. He was already proficient on the flute and the violin but has extended his range of instruments.
Marionettes I launched into conserving our collection of 200 marionettes made by my parents including those performed on the West Pier in the feature film ‘Oh What a Lovely War’ in the 60s. I made films and also tried to de-clutter my life.
Latest posts click on this link for the latest post.
My podcast I add a different poem from my book at intervals
To buy the first collection
Black and white edition
John McCullough says – ‘Ann’s poetry covers the big topics of love and death with originality and satisfies the reader’s heart as well as their head. Take for instance the title poem which is full of surprises yet also wonderfully poignant. The energy of her work leaves you feeling revitalized and seeing the world afresh’.
Kiersty Boon says – ‘This collection of poems, fully illustrated by the author, is a wonderful journey from a magical childhood of puppets and seaside towns. The delicacy of the difficult stages of life and memories experienced are offset with humorous anecdotes and magical tales for young and old alike’ – Kiersty Boon, poet and author.
The illustrations – some were oil paintings, prints or pastels I had done over the years that seemed appropriate to a particular poem – others were sketches in pen designed especially for the book.
Illustrations from colour version
The West Pier – pen and ink – Robin – oil on heavy paper.
Colour print done at a course at City Lit. ‘Weaving Spells’ in the colour edition
Short films – Many films have been made since moving to the South East seven years ago. Burning the clocks, Virginia Woolf’s garden etc. Some have 9.000 hits others 20 so take you pic. Or click on the link below.
Or to see my films associated with our marionettes please click on.
Alice in Wonderland – The following film was the first and hardest one to make it is my favourite made a couple of years before and mother died She had climbed up into my loft in South London to operate some of the characters in her late 70s.
The boat scene in the garden took forever. It was a labour of love and took me forever to edit! It is a tiny extract from the story that we had performed all over the country. The White Rabbit had performed for Her Majesty the Queen at Buckingham Place, so he is a right royal rabbit!
One of the most popular films is Virginia Wolf’s garden.
There is also a film of a picture book I made. It jumped through several hoops with Oxford University Press, but in the end they did not publish it.
Click on http://www.puppethouse.co.uk/ for the dedicated website developed with my youngest son Paul Perrin, 15 years ago. My stage name was Ann Field and I was a puppeteer in my own right.
2014 I started a new online puppet museum site which compliments our puppethouse.uk. It may not be continued. http://puppethousemuseum.wordpress.com/
Our links with Brighton
Our marionettes were directed by the great Lord Attenborough, no less.
Brighton 2013 The making of ‘Oh What a Lovely War’ was made by the BBC South East for their coverage of the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the Great War. They filmed the recent conservation of the marionettes and my family’s role in performing with them in the film in the 60’s. We all went to the Duke of York’s Cinema for a special showing the original film.
The Weald ‘for love or our allotment’ please click on the link
I waited for three years to get an allotment I just love it. A starter plot on the Weald, but I call it a finishing plot. I don’t aspire to anything larger.
SAD/Winter Blues – ideas for coping – I am not good in the winter. Many creative people have periods of self doubt and/or depression. I think it goes with the territory but I am particularly vulnerble in the winter.
This subject also has a blog and one of its own.
‘Relaxation and Self-hypnosis for Positive Health’ It can also be useful for controlling pain so I am told. There are two options -you can close your eyes and just listen, or watch the images – which were added later.
I am a trained therapist and life coach so it really is fine to try it out.
Qualifications – I was born with speech problems and am discalcous. I am also the daughter of puppeteers so formal schooling was often disrupted so all my qualifications were gained in later life!
Teaching Certificate, BA with the OU, MSc in Life Course Development from Birkbeck -London University – Counselling qualifications and Master Practitioner in NLP – Neuro Linguistic Programming.
End of story
IT and technical support Paul Perrin – firstname.lastname@example.org
Poetry Courses with tutors John McCullough, Ian Duhig, Jacob Polley, Jean Sprackland, Tim Dooley, Ann-Marie Fyfe, Jackie Wills and others.
Encouragement with poetry and support – Kiersty Boon who also downloaded my first book for Lulu, Jane Maker, Janet Cameron, John Davies and Simon Wrigley.
Film making Orpington Film and Video Makers, Spring Park Film Makers, Tom Hardwick for lessons and support with film making.
General family support. Alan my long suffering partner who prove reads my posts – Robin my eldest son who has a sports massage practice in Biggin Hill and is a racquetball coach and regularly gives sensible advice.. Paul my youngest son has an IT company in Brighton and gives me all technical support I need for all my websites.
Three grandchildren, two who are at Uni the third is planning to go next year.
However I seldom mention any of my family on blogs as I like to respect their privacy.