Northern Wanderer: Contributors

Born in Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne, where he has worked as a community development worker, poet, librarian and publisher, Keith Armstrong, now residing in the seaside town of Whitley Bay, is coordinator of the Northern Voices creative writing and community publishing project which specialises in recording the experiences of people in the North East of England. He has organised several community arts festivals in the region and many literary events featuring the likes of Linton Kwesi Johnson, Sean O’Brien, Brendan Cleary, Ivor Cutler, Julia Darling, Jackie Kay, Linda France, Benjamin Zephaniah, and Liz Lochhead. He was founder of Ostrich poetry magazine, Poetry North East, Tyneside Writers’ Workshop, Tyneside Poets, East Durham Writers’ Workshop, Tyneside Trade Unionists for Socialist Arts, Tyneside Street Press and the Strong Words and Durham Voices community publishing series. He has recently compiled and edited books on the Durham Miners’ Gala and on the former mining communities of County Durham and the market town of Hexham. His blog can be found here.

Born, raised and still living in Middlesbrough, Bob Beagrie is a poet, community playwright and a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Teesside University. His publications include: Gothic Horror (Mudfog 1996), Masque: The Art of the Vampyre (Mudfog 2000), Huginn & Munnin (Biscuit 2002), Endeavour: Newfound Notes (Biscuit 2004), The Isle of St Hild (Hartlepool Borough Council 2004), Perkele (Ek Zuban 2006) and Yoik (Cinnamon 2008), The Seer Sung Husband, (Smokestack Books 2010). Glass Characters was published by Red Squirrel Press in November 2011. His poems have also appeared in many magazines and anthologies. He was short listed for the Forward Poetry Prize 2009 and has performed his work across the U.K. and Europe.

Dagoon was the author of the 1876 publication The Night Side of Sunderland. His true identity is unknown, although he is believed to be the Sunderland Echo journalist who wrote the “Weekly Echoes” column whose pen name was Asmodeus.

Ian Davidson has published four full length collections of poetry and a number of shorter chapbooks and pamphlets. His work has appeared in magazines and journals in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia and in translation in Italy, Latvia and Slovakia. He co-edited the magazine Skald for some years, and now co-edits the pamphlet series Gratton Street Irregulars. He is the poetry editor for the journal English and is a member of the English staff at Northumbria University.

Amy Ekins is a writer based in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. She writes prose poems, poetry, flash fiction, short fiction, and non-fiction. She dabbles in short film, and is currently working on a novel. Her passions are public art, local communities, and her Kindle. Amy currently works as a project manager for a publishing company, and is finishing up her MRes in Creative Writing at Northumbria University – for which she was awarded a fee-waiver scholarship. Her project for the MRes is to create a collection of prose poems for users of the Tyne and Wear metro network, based around locations on said network. Her work has been published in a variety of fiction and non-fiction publications.  Amy’s website can be found here.

Norman Kirtlan is a retired forensic artist and local historian. He reprinted Dagoon’s The Night Side of Sunderland (1876) for the Sunderland Antiquarian Society.

Ira Lightman makes public art in the North East (the Spennymoor Letters, the Prudhoe Glade, the Gatesheads) and lately Willenhall and Southampton. He devises visual poetry forms and then asks local communities to supply words that will bring them alive. He is a regular on BBC Radio 3′s The Verb, celebrating Bob Dylan as poet by singing extracts and accompanying himself on the ukulele, or the anniversary of John Milton by writing iambic pentameter blindfold for a week. His books are Duetcetera (Shearsman, 2008) and Mustard Tart as Lemon and a whole raft of out of print chapbooks.”

Barry MacSweeney was born in Newcastle upon Tyne and educated at Rutherford Grammar School. As a journalist, he worked for the Newcastle Evening Chronicle, the Kentish Times and as deputy editor of the Shields Gazette. He also ran Blacksuede Boot Press with his first wife, the poet Elaine Randell. During his lifetime he had over two dozen collections of poetry published, including: The Last Bud (1969), Brother Wolf (1972), Odes (1978), Pearl (1995), and The Book Of Demons (Bloodaxe, 1997). He died on May 9th 2000. The poet’s papers including draft and published works, correspondence, literature reviews, poetry publications, photographs and newspaper articles are housed in the MacSweeney Library, in the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistic Studies at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Keith Parker lives in the North East of England mid way between the urban conurbations of Newcastle, Sunderland and Middlesbrough. A former teacher of history and economics he is now a student of creative writing at Newcastle University. A founder member of Caedmon Poets in Durham City, he has read at poetry events on numerous occasions and has published work with ‘Northern Lines’.

Stevie Ronnie is a freelance writer, postdigital artist and creative researcher based in the North East of England. Pamphlet length collections include: The Thing To Do When You Are Not In Love (SAND/Red Squirrel, 2008) and Another Voice (Hatton Gallery / Tyne and Wear Museums, 2011). Further information on Stevie and his work can be found here.

Andy Siddens is a photographer living in the North East of England. His photography has featured on the cover and sleeve notes of Midge Ure’s Sampled Looped and Trigger Happy album, and also in the North East creative magazine, Novel.  He recently achieved an ‘A’ Grade in ‘The Art of Photography’ course with The Open College of the Arts / New Bucks University and is working towards a Degree in Photography. He is currently avaiable for commissioned work. His portfolio can be viewed here.

Lizzie Whyman‘s has been published in anthologies and magazines including The Reader, Mslexia, Iota, Other Poetry, and Little Pear Press. She has received a Northern Promise Award from New Writing North, was shortlisted for an Eric Gregory Award and her first pamphlet was launched at The Bristol Poetry Festival in 2007 after winning a poetry competition run by Poetry Can and judged by Jean Sprackland.