Available to come to book groups? Yes
Available to give talks? Yes
Available for school visits? Yes
I am a poet-anthropologist and like to say I’ve locked up the two most highly paid professions! Words have always fascinated me. I was reading by age 3, and by 5 had exhausted the meagre supply in the children’s section of the local library and so read adult non-fic shortly after that. Perhaps early exposure to adult topics such as Nazism, war; the Titanic; and biographies of people like Harriet Tubman and Edison shaped my political awareness. I remember my parents glued to the TV when Ruby shot Oswald.
As a writer, I focus on poetry, and non-fiction too one might say, even surrealist work; the best poetry is a tiny short story: a slice of life, an observation, an opinion. I returned to writing after a very long break, mostly in response to a small family tragedy. This small death informed my writing and in the space of a year I wrote about 80 poems. I have written a novella and a few short stories, but my other interest is in expressing my enthusiasm for human skeletal remains, and what they might tell us about life in the past.
As part of my scientific interests, I enjoy talking to groups about Caribbean history, the Tudor warship Mary Rose (and its luckless crew), and how activity, nutrition and trauma affect our bones. I created a 6 week course in human osteology for York College A level students, which was well attended and have taught science at all levels: Primary (Key Stage 2) through Masters level. I really love teaching and seeing that ‘Aha!’ moment in a student’s eyes. I also give classes on performance: whether reading poems as a ‘slam’ performer, or to improve one’s ease and confidence in front of an audience.
In early 2005, Alan and I moved Stairwell Books from a minor vehicle to print out our pamphlets for events, to a small press focusing on poetry. By 2007, we’d also entered the glorious world of prose, and now have a small but profitable business publishing 10-15 books a year, both in print and e-formats. Our most successful authors are the most forward, confident ones who delight in sharing their words. Stairwell publishes Dream Catcher Magazine, which originated in York. Finally, for over 10 years, my husband Alan Gillott and I have run a poetry open mic on the first Tuesday of a month: here in York (since January 2006) and before that, at a Borders Books near our Connecticut house. I have grown quite fond of hearing work in all sorts of styles and at all levels of experience; we both adore watching authors find their ‘voice’ (to use that all-too-accurate cliché) and become ever more comfortable in their writerly skin. I look forward to enhancing my connection with other York writers as part of this group, and hope to keep the art of reading, and sharing our words with others, alive and well in this new world of austerity and pitiless budgets.
Fighting Cock Press. May 2011. Paperback
Set in York? Partially
Description: Poems that comment on marriage, motherhood, politics, death and above all, life.
Reviews: ‘Rose Drew has developed her own powerful poetic style, mixing American and British Influences.’ Paul Sutherland
‘I loved it! I felt honoured to have been mentioned, and touched by images of the poet’s daughter.’ Ann Tyler, on “Morgan’s Daughters” from The Machineries of Love.
Awards: No. 9 on the Top 20 Individual Collections: Purple Patch 2011
Find out more and buy from: Author’s website l Publisher’s website