Ultimately I believe using words and paint are spiritual gifts and although I must have faith in my ability to use words in the best possible way that I can, I am thankful for loving the use of words when trying to interpret and convey how I see, hear, smell, taste and feel the world around me, as well as the mystery of that which is unseen."
© Vivien Steels
(extract from article 'Why I Write' - published in Write-Away - Spring 2001)
Vivien Steels, Poet & Painter
I live in Cornwall now after moving from Nottingham and graduated from Reading University in 1974 (with a B.Ed. [Hons] in English Literature and Education). I write (mainly) poetry, but also short stories for adults and children, as well as articles. I am also an illustrator and paint in watercolours/acrylics/pen and ink.
I have been published widely with over 270 poems, plus short stories and articles in poetry presses, magazines, anthologies, and on the Internet sometimes with artwork.
I have occasional local exhibitions of my paintings and illustrated poetry. I was the Poetry Editor with the online poetry magazine WAH during 2005/6. In 2008 I designed my poetry, prose and art website, ‘Talking Paint’, which won The Quill and Parchment Award for Excellence in Poetry and Prose. I am now designing a new website ‘Talking Paint’ @ Wix.com.
I design and print collections of my published poetry illustrated with my artwork. My seventh collection of nature poems is called *Bees, Seas, Birds and Trees*.
I won First Prize in a FAME Writing Competition with Nottingham Castle & Art Gallery linked to an Andy Warhol Exhibition in 2002 & have been a finalist and runner up in various writing competitions.
I gained a Distinction in a Creative and Professional Writing Course at Nottingham University in July 2010.
I adjudicated a poetry competition for people with ME/CFS at the Oxfordshire ME Group (OMEGA) in 2012, which resulted in an anthology of poems called ‘Poetry from the Bed: Life with ME/CFS’ with her original comments about the poems.
My children’s book with my illustrations ‘Ferne and Chocolate and The Rollercoaster Rainbow and Other Stories’ was published in July 2015 by Dayglo Books (now Dyslexia-Smart). Recently I have finished writing my first adult novel and finished writing a second children’s book.