by Anne McMaster
Anne McMaster, former NWRC Performing Arts Lecturer and now tutor for The Waterside Theatre’s City Voices creative writers, is about to make her private passion very public. On 21st June Walking Off the Land, her debut collection of poetry, will be officially launched online.
Published by Hedgehog Poetry Press, this is a collection of work which focuses on a subject very close to Anne’s heart; the old farm where she lived and worked for many years and where she returned to settle after spending a number of years in California. Previously known in the north-west as a playwright and theatre director - there are many teenagers in the city who will remember enjoying Anne’s work in The Whacky World of Wanda Whizz, A Hallowe’en Whodunnit and many other Hallowe’en pantomimes that filled The Waterside Theatre - Anne now works as a professional writer, voice-over actor, project designer and creative writing mentor. Her work has been published in Ireland, the UK, US and Canada and, during lockdown, she’s her work at events and spoken word festivals in Ireland, the UK and the US. She remains happiest, however, spending her time around the old farm that is the source of her inspiration.
‘It still feels strange to see my once-scribbled notes now shaped into a full poetry collection,’ she admits. ‘The first day the books arrived with me, I carried one around for a while, afraid if I placed it down somewhere that it would disappear.’ It seems as though Anne’s words aren’t set to vanish any time soon; in December 2021 she’ll be releasing Yairns Frae the Brae - a collection of new Ulster Scots writing and in 2022 Unexpected Item in the Bagging Area (Collected Poems) is due to be published.
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