Quick & Quirky Questions with Wendy Webb

Wendy (left) with author Elly Griffiths. Photo by Alison Harvey in 2022

Wendy Webb was born in the Midlands and later found her home and family life in Norfolk.

She edited Star Tips poetry magazine from 2001 to 2021 and has been published in several small press magazines (Reach, Quantum Leap, Envoi, Seventh Quarry). Wendy was placed First in Writing Magazine’s pantoum poetry competition and she enjoys devising new poetry forms (Davidian, Magi, etc).

She wrote her father’s biography, Bevin Boy, shortly before his death. She then wrote her own memoir about being a poet.

Wendy reads extensively – from Chaucer to modern-day poets – and is inspired to write in many traditional forms as well as free verse. Her favourite poets, in no particular order, are Dylan Thomas, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Sophie Hannah, John Burnside, John Betjeman, the Romantic Poets (especially Wordsworth), George Herbert, William Blake, Emily Dickinson, Mary Webb, Norman Bissett, William Shakespeare, the Bible, and the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. Oh, and Bob Dylan, James Blunt, Leonard Cohen and Katie Melua.

She has recently tried online outlets for her work (including Littoral Magazine, and Meek Colin) and has enjoyed the CLANGERS challenges on Autumn Voices. She’s a keen gardener and rides an electric trike – with dodgy knees and dodgy hearing! Isn’t life fun?

Tell us 4 important facts about yourself:

  1. I left my teddy bear on the Norfolk Broads (aged 3).
  2. I found him again in my 30s (his name’s Ed).
  3. I’m a prolific poet, and love form and free.
  4. As a keen gardener, I write lots of nature poems.

What is your favourite age that you’ve been so far in life, and why?

I always thought 25 was the perfect age, until I married rather later; so, although 35 was probably it for me, I shall say 100 (since a good friend achieved that great age, she was amazing).

Who is your favourite fictional character or famous person over 60?

Um, how old is ‘Vera’… in the TV series by Ann Cleeves? (But, which book, which age?) Or I could choose Aslan from the Narnia series (CS Lewis)? Nah, I shall choose the ‘parsimonious Emmet’ from Milton’s Paradise Lost … because they’re still going strong today.

You are alone in your house (no pets). You have three minutes to get out before the house collapses and burns to the ground. What one possession would you grab and take with you?

Laptop – it’s got all the family photos, and won’t burn as fast as paper and pen. But really, if I wasn’t alone, it would be the family. Most other things are replaceable, or new and fun.

What’s your favourite creative pastime?

A glass of prosecco on a sunny day in the garden, preferably with hubby. Failing that, a good book. But I would jump up in 5 minutes to garden …

Tell us something about yourself that’s surprising or unexpected.

My first time in an aeroplane – I jumped out. (My second time, people didn’t understand I was nervous of landing but not of take-off …).

Our monthly flash theme for April was Dance and Neurodivergence

In April we celebrate both International Dance Day and World Autism Awareness Day and we would love to read your flash submissions in honour of either or both of these themes. Would you like to tell us something about your experience of being an older person who loves to dance, learned to dance or teaches dance? Has dance had a positive impact on your life and health? Are you an older person with an experience of neurodivergence? We’d be honoured to hear about your experience of autism or neurodivergence intersects with your creativity, or about getting a diagnosis later in life.

Entries will be accepted until midnight on April 30th and flash submissions can take the form of a poem, short story or flash memoir. The winning entry will be chosen by the Autumn Voices staff team and the winner will receive a book prize.

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