An ‘A’ Level lecturer from @S_ERC, is set to have her debut poetry pamphlet printed by award winning English publisher @IndigoDreamsPub later this year 

Amy Louise Wyatt, better known to her students and colleges as Amy Rafferty,  has been both shortlisted and long listed for the Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing and won the inaugural Poetygram Prize 2019 which is edited and curated by Yorkshire-born novelist and poet, Helen Cox.

Amy who teaches A Level Sociology and English at SERC’s Bangor Campus has been writing for many years. She graduated from Queen’s University of Belfast with a BA in Anthropology and English, studying Creative Writing under well-known Maeve McGuckin. Following a gap year, she completed a PGCE in English, Media and Drama and after teaching for several years, Amy ran her own business, the popular Curious Cat cafe in Bangor, before joining the SERC team five years ago. She is currently completing a master’s in Creative Writing through the Open University.

Amy, from Bangor say, “I am thrilled to be publishing my first poetry pamphlet entitled A Language I Understand this autumn/winter. It features around 20 poems on the theme of relationships, family and communication.

She continued, “My love of poetry flourished with the encouragement of my GCSE English teacher at Glenola [Collegiate, in Bangor], Mrs Neville. I was put into the lower group for reading and often think how lucky I was to fall under her guidance!

“My writing got put aside when I was teaching but when I was running my business, the Curious Cat café in Bangor, I organised a poetry competition and got to know the local poetry scene which inspired me to start writing again.  I was making connections with different people in the wider poetry community in Northern Ireland and further afield and knew this is what I was meant to be doing.

“After I sold the café, I ran art classes and literary events from my studio here in Bangor and would work with the Aspects Literary and Open House Festivals each year. 

Amy and husband, Paul Daniel Rafferty, also a poet, publish the Bangor Literary Journal online which comes out 3 times a year featuring poetry, flash fiction, book reviews, art and photography.

She concluded,

“It has been great to be able to bring what I do outside the College into the classroom to further engage students and show them there is a place for their creativity and writing.   Everything we do at SERC is about  encouraging students to prepare themselves for employment, for further study or pursing their own business so the students are involved in many projects which showcase their creative writing skills and over the years have had work published on Lagan Online or read their poetry and writing at public events such as Holocaust Memorial Day.   Some will continue to write and if I can be someone’s Mrs Neville then that’s the best ending to any story.”

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