Poet to launch new collection at Eastwood football ground

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Eastwood-born writer Nell Farrell is to return to her roots for the launch of a new poetry book.

Community participation officer Nell writes on the side as well as teaching regular women’s writing classes.

Poet Nell Farrell with her father Paddy Farrell, reliving the glory days of chips after the footy

Poet Nell Farrell with her father Paddy Farrell, reliving the glory days of chips after the footy

The poet, 56, has been a writer for over 20 years and went to Priory School.

Nell said: “I wanted to do something in Eastwood because its where I’m from and where I was shaped.”

Now living in Sheffield she is coming home to Eastwood to launch her latest pamphlet, entitled Mermaids and Other Devices at Eastwood Community Football Club on Thursday April 2, from 2pm.

Coming in two parts, the first section being released recounts a tale in nine poems, of three mermaids who get adopted and live human lives in Sheffield.

Nell Farrell, front right, with six-a-side team of school friends, 1976

Nell Farrell, front right, with six-a-side team of school friends, 1976

Nell said: “They’re mythical figures who are hundreds of years old, but also just feisty teenage girls. It’s about mermaids, but also about the magic in everyday life, and how weird and wonderful young women can be.

“They play around with ideas of what we see as normal and acceptable, and what’s a bit odd.”

Her writing career has seen some peaks of success, added Nell.

She has had two collections of poetry published previously, her first pamphlet The Wrong Evangeline was published in 2003 and she’s won several prizes at writing competitions, including second prize at the First Phoenix Open Poetry Competition, run by the Eastwood Writers, in 1998.

Nell has also appeared in The Sheffield Anthology, Versions of the North and CAST: The Poetry Business Book of New Contemporary Poets

Her national reading tour stopped at over a dozen venues around the country, at libraries and literature festivals, incluing the festival in Lawdham.

And many of her poems have been inspired by Eastwood.

She said: “My family were very involved in Eastwood Town Football Club. My father was Secretary there for many years, and it was part of my upbringing.”

Her father, Paddy Farrell, was made a Freeman of the Borough of Broxtowe in 2010 for his long service to Eastwood Town FC.

As well as being Club Secretary for over 40 years, he used to write all the ETFC match reports for the local press.

“I wrote a poem about all my yeas as a fervant supporter, I was going pretty much every week from when I was seven until I left for university in 1977.”

“Me and my dad used to go to George’s Fish and Chip Restaurant for lunch after every game.”

And she also wrote a few match reports for the Advertiser when her dad couldn’t make the match.

She said: “It was the most terrifying writing I’ve ever done – particularly a piece about the trauma of not making it to the match when ETFC played in the first proper round of the FA Cup at Exeter City.”

And naturally she has taken inspiration from Eastwood’s father of poetry.

Nell said: “I like the idea that I share my birthplace with DH Lawrence – he’s definately a presence, and I love finding the magical in everyday urban life.”

Her new pamphlet Mermaids and Other Devices is published by Moormaid Press, an indepedent Macclesfield firm.

Nell added: “At the launch I’ll be reading the pamphlet and chatting to people. They’ll be tea and coffee, the bar will be open, my neices are making cupcakes, and I’m expecting a few local writers to come along.”