Inspiration

Mental Health

Parenting

Mandy Kloppers

Spectacular hybrid of poetry and prose from Anna Mae

A Bit of Spirit and a Lot of Spit is the emotional and empowering true story from Anna Mae, sharing with you her life experiences of love affairs, life observations and personal loss.

Told from the heart, through a unique blend of prose and poetry, A Bit of Spirit and a Lot of Spit was born from popular demand, after a successful poetry roadshow for charity in 2009. Her poems provoked both tears and laughter, in celebration and commemoration of her late son’s 30th birthday. Within these pages lies the story between the poems.

Anna Mae, originally from Hertfordshire, now resides on the Essex Coast. She is active in her community, attending writing and poetry groups and is passionate about self-empowerment. Previously she’d worked for Women’s Aid, facilitated creative writing workshops in a prison, a mental health unit, secondary schools and bereavement groups. At the age of 63, some eight years after writing the original manuscript for this book, she obtained a BA Honours Degree in Creative Writing.

Anna explains: “This all began about seventeen years ago. Years before I tragically lost my baby to cot death and as his 30th birthday approached, I wanted to mark the occasion, as I would have done had he lived. I’d never written poetry before but the rhymes just came as if something had been unbottled, and when I performed them for others they seemed to get as much out of the poems as I did. Everybody feels and bears their grief differently and if I can help even one person feel they’ve been seen and that there is a path through the thorns, that means everything.

I wanted to pursue writing so in the year I turned 60, I went back to university to get a BA Hons in Creative Writing. It was there I discovered that I was dyslexic and not any of the lesser, more horrible labels that had been applied to me in my childhood and beyond. I am extremely passionate about helping others, especially kids, get into writing and reaffirm that there is nothing wrong with them – they just learn differently. Writing has definitely helped me see my worth and that is what I want to give to them. Being dyslexic is actually a great leveller when I’m teaching – if I can do it, so can they. 

I want to champion everyone who has ever been knocked down (be it through having a learning difficulty, being in an abusive relationship as I was, or struggling with bereavement). The poems in this book are not all bereavement ones but the stories that lead up to each poem explains the context and I hope make for more of an experience that will help in some small way anyone who reads it.” 

Anna Mae

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