Biography

General

Born in Sussex, with an English father and Irish mother. She has a B.A.Hons from Trinity College, Dublin (1970) and a Masters in Modernism in English Literature and Fine Art at Kent University (1978). In 2004 she  graduated with an M.Phil in Creative Writing from Glasgow University.

Her novel for teenagers 'The Triple Spiral' was published by Walker Books, 1989. She has had a number of drama-documentary scripts broadcast on BBC Schools Radio. Her first poetry pamphlet, 'Glass Works' (Cat's Pyjamas Publications, 2005) was short-listed for the Callum McDonald Award and her latest pamphlet 'Flout' published by HappenStance launched at StAnza, 2015.

She has read at many poetry festivals, including Strokestown (2009), Poetry on the Lake (2010, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018), StAnza, Scotland's Poetry Festival (2015) and at the Soundwaves Festival in Skerries, Ireland (2015) and with others at the Edinburgh Fringe as part of 'Loose Tongues'.

A former English and Drama teacher, she has taught at all levels from primary to undergraduate, lecturing on Modernism at Aberystwyth University briefly, and was a tutor of Creative Writing in Adult Education for many years in Wales and most recently at the Office of Lifelong Learning, University of Edinburgh. 

Trained as a puppeteer, she has worked at the Little Angel Theatre, Islington and at the In the Heart of the Beast Theatre, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A. and has written about puppets and alternative theatre,  travelling the world to see traditional puppetry, masks and dance drama.  She now works as a Dance reviewer on a freelance basis.

She has enjoyed collaborating with artists of various media: a composer, painters, a light artist, a choreographer and a sound artist. Details of Collaborations here.

After 13 years living in Mid-Wales, she moved to Edinburgh in late 1999 where she lives with her husband.  They have one grown-up son.

RANDOM FACTS

Stephanie's Yorkshire paternal grand-father (Green) owned a company making fake Tudor panelling, still to be seen around Britain in pubs, clubs and the R.A.F. Officers' mess at Uxbridge where, co-incidentally, her father was a member. Whether this is a tasteful contribution to the history of Britain's interior decoration is a matter of opinion.  

Her Irish forbears on her mother's side include Percy French, the Edwardian singer/songwriter, famed for 'The Mountains of Mourne', 'Phil the Fluter's Ball' and Abdul the Bulbul Ameer' amongst many other well-known songs. 

Stephanie learnt Welsh whilst living in Wales, fluent enough to teach in primary schools through the medium of Welsh. 

She has alternated many jobs with writing spells: apart from teaching, freelance journalism and editing which include:                                                                                                    a  strawberry picker in Sussex;                                                                                              a  secretary to a paleontologist whose office overlooked the dinosaurs at                                the Natural History Museum, London;                                                                                a photocopier for British Rail in the then semi-derelict Midland Hotel,                                     near Kings Cross;                                                                                                                a  pub worker (memorably at the King's Head Theatre pub, Islington);                                  a chamber maid, cook and hotel manageress                                                                            at the Old School Hotel, Port Isaac, Cornwall (well-known to                                                TV viewers as the primary school in the  sitcom 'Morgan.') 

She had her 15 mins of fame on Urals TV in 2000 when she was interviewed as  Guest Reviewer of the puppetry festival in Cheliabinsk, Russia, on a scholarship awarded by BrUNIMA. (British Union Internationale des Marionettes.) To get there she travelled from Moscow  for 2 nights and one day on the Southern Urals train half way across Russia.

She has interviewed many of the world's most famous alternative/puppet theatre directors including Phillipe Genty, (Paris), Peter Schuman of Bread and Puppets (Vermont, U.S.A.), Josef Krofta of Drak (Hradis Kralova, Czech Republic) , Wayan Wija, dahlang puppet master in Bali and not least, many Professor Punches in the U.K.

2012 and 2013  she was invited to be the Guest Blogger at StAnza (Scotland's poetry festival)  and in 2012 organized a mini-Poetry Fest: 'Poetry in the Persian Tent', a charity fund-raising series  as part of the Edinburgh Festival of Spirituality and Peace, involving a fantastic line-up of 15 poets, including Liz Lochhead, Marie Howe and Jackie Kay.  

She has worked as a volunteer for many charities. Whilst in Cornwall, she worked as a volunteer Drama therapist, assistant to the actress,  Jill La Mede at the Tavistock National School for Autistic Children.She has also been part of the Scottish Poetry Library and Edinburgh City Libraries' Read Aloud team who visit care homes to read poems and sing songs to stimulate reminiscences. As a member of (S) PEN she has worked with refugees for the Scottish Refugee Council.

Her hobby is dancing (having studied Martha Graham technique at the Place, London in her 20s and later Merce Cunningham) then after years of non-dancing, she started again as a member of Golden, a community group of over 60s at Dancebase, Edinburgh, who occasionally  perform with professional companies, notably Barrowland Ballet and Oceanallover.