Fiona Ritchie Walker, Poet and Writer

Fiona Ritchie Walker is a poet and writer based in Northeast England. She originally hails from Montrose, Scotland, a location that is a source of great inspiration in her work.

Poetry from Fiona Ritchie Walker includes Lip Reading (published by Diamond Twig), Garibaldiís Legs (Iron Press) and a chapbook called Angus Palette. Angus Palette is a treasured work because it was a family project; Ms. Walker provided the poetry and her sister Kirsten added the illustrations. The cover boasts a painting by their father, Syd Walker. It also includes Kirstenís illustration of their motherís hands.

Ms. Walker has won several awards for her work. How It Happens won the University of Plymouth Creative Writing prize, and In the Dark won the 1996 Writerís and Artistís Yearbook short Story Competition. In 2004 she won a Northern Promise Award from New Writing North, which is awarded to unpublished writers who show great potential. This award allowed Fiona Ritchie Walker to work on her second collection of poems, Garibaldiís Legs, under the guide of mentor Sara Maitland. Two poems from this second collection, called Strip and Tie-Dyed T-Shirt, have been featured as Diamond Twig Poems of the Month. Her work has appeared in numerous magazines, and recently, in New Writing Scotland anthology.

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Fiona Ritchie Walker has branched into other literary forms as well. Her short stories have been featured in Ellipsis 2, a three-author series, alongside Polly Clark and Anne Stevenson. Ms. Walker has also written radio-plays and one-act plays that have been performed onstage. She has yet to write a novel, but does not discount the possibility.

Aside from writing, Ms. Walker also works full-time for Traidcraft, an organization that helps combat poverty by encouraging trade in developing countries. It was while she was visiting sugar farmers in Malawi for Traidcraft that she was commissioned to write her poem Strip, which is about stripping and eating sugarcane. Strip is one of many poems written about sugar to commemorate the launch of Ann OíNeillís collection The Sugar Factory.

When Ms. Walker is not writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband and sons, travelling, going to the gym, and going to films, the theatre, and poetry readings.

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