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. 

She has worked as a volunteer in varied situations including drama therapist at the national School for Autistic Children, as a story-teller in care homes in Edinburgh and with refugees in Glasgow as part of a S(PEN) project.

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 sat next to a dahlang priest behind the screen of a wayang kulit (shadow puppetry) screen during a performance in a Balanese temple.

Apart from teaching and journalism, she has worked as:                                                                          strawberry picker in Sussex;                                                                                                  secretary to a paleontologist whose office overlooked the dinosaurs at                                the Natural History Museum, London;                                                                                    photocopier for British Rail in the then semi-derelict  Midland Hotel,                                    near Kings Cross (Betjeman's favourite building);

                     pub worker (memorably at the King's Head Theatre pub, Islington);                                     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.') 

                    15 mins of fame on Urals TV in 2000  interviewed as Guest Reviewer of the                         puppetry festival in Cheliabinsk, Russia, 

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.