I am a storyteller, poet and crafter, and I can offer your school or group storytelling, story-making, poetry-writing and nature crafts. Whatever best suits your school’s or group’s needs and interests, I can tailor a programme to fit. I welcome one day visits or longer term residencies.
I tell traditional tales from many cultures, including funny tales, action tales, wisdom tales, and can include some biographical stories too. I encourage others to help keep stories alive, to find and use their voices, and to create new stories to share in a variety of ways. I nurture the arts of listening, of conversation, of writing poetry, and of creating sound with the voice. Sometimes I will bring my spinning wheel, or interesting things from nature with me, depending on the time of year… I craft with wool, and with found and foraged natural materials such as leaves, seeds, sticks, shells and stones.
As a creative facilitator and storyteller, I have worked with all ages – from preschool children to retired older people’s groups, and have told tales in schools, libraries, and museums; in log cabins and castles; at festivals, in forests, and yurts in fields; on boats and on the islands they sail to. I love to nurture and encourage creativity and self-expression. I believe that using our voices in story and poetry, and using our hands to craft something beautiful from natural materials, promote wellbeing, and help us to stay grounded and present – an antidote to all the tech we have around us these days.
I write poetry and non-fiction, and I am the author of three books: Celebrating Irish Festivals (Hawthorn Press, 2003); Clare Folk Tales (The History Press, 2013); Limerick Folk Tales (The History Press, 2016). My poetry has been published in anthologies and journals in Ireland and UK, including The Stony Thursday Book; Kindred Spirit; The Art of Place (2021); Not the Time to be Silent, 2022;The Hive Poetry Journal 2023. I received a Munster Literature Centre poetry mentoring award in 2021. I was winner of Glasgow Women’s Library’s “Open the Door” Calm Slam 2020. I am a featured storyteller in the 2023 “Dial-a-seanachai” project.
I grew up in a Scottish new town, and moved to rural East Clare in 1986. I teach adults creative writing through LCETB, and I visit schools as a storyteller through Heritage in Schools and Poetry Ireland’s Writers in Schools. I am a regular contributor to The Clare Museum’s education programme, where I tell stories and talk about seasonal traditions and folklore to school groups.
My background includes a B Sc (Archaeology, Botany, Drama); training in sound healing with the voice; poetry as soul-medicine; storytelling as a healing art; biographical storytelling; natural mindfulness; transpersonal facilitation; life coaching; sacred circle dance; Steiner pedagogy; plant medicine; and train the trainer.