F Mary Callan

Frances Mary Callan grew up in North Shields in NE England. She studied French and Latin at the university of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and in Toulouse. Poetry filled the family bookshelves, and Mary revelled in the work of G.K.Chesterton, Tennyson, Housman, Shakespeare, Yeats, Keats, Donne and Hopkins, as well as Verlaine, Baudelaire and Ronsard. Mary started writing in her late 40s, and evolved into poetry. She attended the first residential weekend of the Second Light women poets’ network, 1996. In July 1998 tutor Rommi Smith boosted Mary’s poetry to another level at the poetry summer school at Leeds university School of Continuing Education. Mary attended summer school 1999, then Rommi Smith’s full year of ‘Writing Poetry Today’, accumulating modules towards a degree, to complete when finance permits. Mary published her first collection CHRISTMAS PATCHWORK for Christmas’99. Her scripts are used increasingly by schools, parishes and drama groups. Since 2013 Mary performs her one-woman shows at the Edinburgh Fringe. Mary is widowed with four grown-up children. Joy Simpson is her middle daughter.