Here, Lucy from the Fiction Team chats to long-time favourite “Friend” poet, Iris Hesselden.
Iris has been contributing poetry to our magazine since the 1980s, and is still going strong!
When did you begin writing poetry?
I first began writing poetry when we moved to Morecambe, in 1985. I started reading poetry when I was a teenager; in those days we read it aloud at school.
How long have you written poetry for the “Friend”?
It all started with “The Friendship Book” in 1989 – so thirty years!
Which publications have you written for?
“The Friendship Book” and “The Fireside Book”, “This England”, “Evergreen”, and “Grace” magazine.
Have you ever tried writing in other formats, such as short stories?
Yes, prose. I wrote for my daughter when she was a child.
Where do you find inspiration?
Nature – the sky, sea, flowers. Things people say. Life in general.
Who are your own favourite authors?
Beatrix Potter, Emily Bronte, A.A. Milne (Winnie The Pooh).
Of all the poems you’ve written, do you have a favourite?
No, although I’ve got a soft spot for the Lakeland ones.
Do you find it easy to write, or do you ever suffer from writer’s block?
Sometimes a seed is planted, and it blooms later. After my husband died, I didn’t write for a while, but I did start again.
Any advice for aspiring “Friend” poets?
Don’t get downhearted. Keep trying. We all get a lot of disappointments. Be patient. Everything comes to those who wait.
Poetry by Iris regularly appears in “The People’s Friend”, “The Friendship Book”, and “The Fireside Book”.
All of these publications are available from the DC Thomson Shop.
Iris has also produced three little books of verse – “Only A Whisper Away”; “A Little Book of Hope and Peace”; and “Prayer For Today, Hope For Tomorrow”.
These are priced at £4.50 each. For more information, please contact Lucy on firstname.lastname@example.org, who can put you in touch.