Hello, my name is Xenia. I was born in the Netherlands and began writing and journaling at a young age. Reading poetry in Dutch, German, French and English was encouraged at school and soon English became my language of choice for writing poems and short stories.
My early studies were interrupted by a desire to travel and explore different cultures. I returned to University as a mature student to take degrees in French Studies and Applied Linguistics whilst working as a research administrator and a therapist in London.
When we relocated to Kendal I joined a women’s writing group. We shared our stories over cups of tea and cake, tears and laughter. My work as a volunteer in a local animal shelter and my voluntary work for a foster-based rescue organisation inspired most of my poetry and prose.
After attending a Summer School at Queen’s University Belfast I decided to take a Postgraduate course in Creative Writing at Newcastle University before we relocated to the Scottish Highlands. The beauty of the Highland landscape and the quality of the light made me pick up a paint brush, join a local art group and invest in a bridge camera.
Whippet Wisdom was born in March 2016. It was meant to be a simple place to record the walks with our adopted dogs in images and words, an organic place to develop my writing and photography.
It quickly became so much more. I found a very supportive and creative community, a place to connect with poets, photographers, and writers from around the world. In April 2018 I started a second blog, Tranature, to find a home for all my nature, flower and wildlife photographs and share the many poems they inspire.
An increasing number of poems featured on Tranature were first published in print and online journals. The most recent publications are featured here.
A small number of poems featured on Whippet Wisdom were first published in journals too and we are delighted to have some of our work featured in videos, anthologies and full-length collections:
My first full-length collection of poems and photographs Sharing our Horizon was published on 30 September 2018 in aid of animal rehoming charities and is available in paperback, ebook and Kindle editions.
My second collection Between Heather and Grass – Poems and Photographs Filled with Love, Hope and Whippets was published on 17 October 2019 in aid of a children’s cancer charity in memory of our nephew Jamie Baker and in aid of the UK’s largest dog welfare charity. The book is available in paperback, ebook and Kindle editions.
Photograph by Ian MacRae.