I’ve known Maggie for seven years during which time she has become a trusted friend and colleague.

I have always admired Maggie’s work, particularly her poetry which has a real flair for capturing people and places. It has humour, warmth and pathos. Her style has a simplicity that manages not to underestimate or patronise the reader, whilst at the same time expressing a depth of feeling.

Initially I saw this in a series of personalised poems Maggie had composed on behalf of women who had found support and friendship as part of a Mental Health support group. Maggie worked along side the group giving them a voice through her poems that expressed their fears, hopes, and appreciation of one another.

As part of Shoestring Theatre (SST) I worked with Maggie when she was invited to read some of her autobiographical pieces at The Arts in Mental Health festival organised by SST, Leeds Mental Health Trust and the mental health charity Community Links at the Carriageworks Theatre Leeds in Oct 2006. She has an individual style of performance which was very warmly received by the audience and SST hopes to be able to invite her back for our next performance project in Jan 2009.

There are also plans to submit a joint Arts Council application with Maggie for a collaborative poetry and performance project in the devising of personal narratives.

Most recently Maggie read some of her poems at her 60th birthday party where she brought the house down with her ribald humour and dry wit.

Theresa Smith
Artistic Director
Shoestring Theatre
The Cellar Project
Farfield Road
BD18 4QP