Alyson Hallett was born and brought up in Somerset. After studying comparative literature at UEA, she went to the Isle of Iona and became a housekeeper in the Abbey for a year. Following this, she worked for MIND in Norwich and the Richmond Fellowship in Glasgow at a time when community care was just coming into being.
Alyson has written poems since she was six. An MA at Bath Spa helped her to change direction in the ’90’s and since then she has worked as a freelance poet and artist. She has published books of poetry and short stories, and broadcast drama on Radio 4 and Sky Television. In addition to this she has enjoyed a raft of collaborations with artists, composers, dancers, glass makers, scientitsts and sculptors.
Around 2000, Alyson began a project called ‘The Migration Habits of Stones’. This involves taking stones with a line of poetry carved into them to different locations in the world and siting them there. Arts Council England have awarded Alyson several grants for this work; Radio 4 broadcast an audio-diary about a stone’s journey to Australia; Alec Peever is the sculptor and letter carver that Alyson has worked with to create the stones.
Poetry and writing residencies have formed an important part of Alyson’s life: she was poet-in-residence for the Arts Council during the Year of the Artist; poet-in-residence for three years at The Small School in Hartland, Devon; and the country’s first artist-in-residence in a geography department at the University of Exeter in Cornwall, a post funded by the Leverhulme Trust. In 2014, Alyson spent six months in Charles Causley’s house in Launceston, as poet-in-residence. Her book, On Ridgegrove Hill, resulted from this.
Alyson has a practise-based PhD in poetry, with research into geographical intimacy. She has taught courses at Arvon, runs freelance poetry workshops and teaches part-time on the MA in Authorial Illustration at Falmouth University. Alyson offers poetry surgeries through the Poetry Society in Bath and works as an Advisory Fellow for the Royal Literary Fund.
Pivotal moments in Alyson’s life include a three week summer school with the performance group Goat Island; hearing Ted Hughes read when she was fourteen; dancing in the Badlands; discovering the existence of Butoh; reading as much poetry and fiction in translation as possible; visiting friends in Argentina and Mexico; living in Glasgow and Iona.
for more information about Alyson’s work please visit: www.thestonelibrary.com