Cree (Mayfly Press, 2018) is set in Stanley, a small town in county Durham. Commissioned by New Writing North and Durham Book Festival, and featured on BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking in 2021 it was a real honour to work on this project that resulted in a beautiful little book. It’s colourful, quirky and an exercise in asymmetry, with a character that walks into the book at the beginning and walks back out at the end. Plus, the centre folds out! Cree is based on fragments of life stories told to me by the women of Stanley. It is the result of a two year project with research, public participation, and events.
Cree is available from my Etsy shop, on Amazon, or direct from Mayfly Press.
Much of County Durham went into decline after the closure of the British Steel plant in Consett in 1980 and the closure of coal mines after the miners strike of 1984-85. However, there is more to this area than the decline of heavy industry; there is a supportive community finding its own way to thrive. One great way to thrive is to Be Creative, the name of the women’s support group that Cree is based on, part of Just For Women: Support for all.
You can watch a video about the history of Stanley and Consett here.
Many thanks to Just For Women Centre, Front Street, Stanley, County Durham, for their enthusiastic participation and support. They’ve gone from strength to strength since we met in their new premises at St Joseph’s House, where they have a cafe, shop and training centre as well as counselling rooms and a garden. Truly, it’s amazing what can be achieved when we pull together.
See a review of Cree on Bookmunch here. It gets a big thumbs up from them.