Biography

Brenda was born in Woolwich, London, England, in 1952. Her early years were spent in Bexleyheath; her family moved, when she was nine, to the Wirral, Cheshire.

 

She attended Ellesmere Port County Grammar School for Girls (now Whitby Comprehensive), and took a degree in Psychology at University College London. She achieved First Class Honours.

Soon after graduating, Brenda started work at United Biscuits as a computer programmer. During the next twenty years or so she progressed through the biscuit ranks to become a Systems Consultant, working on computer-controlled warehouse management systems. Her division within United Biscuits became a separate company, Process Computing Ltd. and later Kewill Systems. She enjoyed her work a great deal, particularly as a specialist in handling complex problems, and in the opportunities to use her language skills with the company’s French customers.

When the company was taken over, Brenda left to join GCHQ. Ssh! She was there for about two years – her last proper job.

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Brenda had written poetry on and off since she was a child, and in 1997, started getting serious about it. She entered her first poetry slam later that year, and never looked back. By 2001, she knew that she wanted to spend the rest of her life as a writer, so she left behind the high salary and secure pension, and became a fulltime freelance poet and writer. It seemed like a good career move at the time… and so it turned out to be. Brenda has found huge rewards in what she does. “Almost every week, I make a small change to someone’s life. It’s a real privilege.”

 

Brenda has maintained her interest in project management, with spells of work with The Reading Agency and Herefordshire Libraries. Since 2008, she has been Co-ordinator for Poetry on Loan, an Arts Council funded organisation whose purpose is to promote contemporary poetry through public libraries in the West Midlands.

 

Brenda lives in Worcestershire. Usually she has a cat or dog, but at the moment she is petless. She has two grown-up children. She runs every day, struggles with her huge garden, and directs plays with the local amateur drama group

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