The Workshop

Nick Alldridge & Irma Upex-Huggins 
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Palewell Press authors Nick Alldridge and Irma Upex-Huggins, both members of Croydon’s Poets Anonymous, will read at the Croydon Literary Festival. Playing With The Pieces by Nick Alldridge charts the author’s descent into depression and how writing about the past helped him start to recover. Red Winds, by feminist poet Irma Upex-Huggins, recalls her VSO in Tanzania, working with women in remote villages, and how vibrant and welcoming they were despite the country’s poverty. The two books will be on sale at the event.

Red Winds - front coverIrma Upex-Huggins is a retired mental health social worker and group analytic psychotherapist, living in Croydon with her husband and dog, Kiki. She describes herself as a “words sculptor” and an “inquisitive observer of people, looking in from outside”. Irma enjoys travelling, especially the intimacy of small places – island communities and small towns; always visiting markets on her travels and learning about people, their lives, languages and customs. 

Her new poetry collection Red Winds – A VSO in Tanzania was published by Palewell Press in April 2018. Author of two other poetry books: Aloes & Brown Sugar, 1991, and Charcoal Woman, 1993, Irma is a member of Poets Anonymous and also plays guitar. 

Front coverNick Alldridge’s experience of mental health issues inspired his debut poetry collection. Playing With The Pieces was published by Palewell Press in 2017, and is also available on Kindle

Nick lives in South London where he is a regular at Poets Anonymous and Beyond Words. He is co-editor of Poetic Licence Magazine ( which publishes poetry and flash fiction. His poems have previously been published in South Bank Poetry, Poetic Licence (under previous editors), First Time and in translation in Poezja dzisiaj in Polish. He recently had a poem in 154 – an anthology of poems by 154 contemporary poets in reply to Shakespeare’s sonnets, published by Live Canon. Nick is currently working on a collection of poetry inspired by the 19th-century Finnish epic, The Kalevala.


Not A Proper Child Buy Tickets Here

Croydon author Elizabeth Sheppard and artist Nicky Nicholls talk about how their chance meeting led to the creation of the memoir Not A Proper Child – the dark, challenging and moving story of Nicky’s life. Detailing Nicky’s rise from her damaging childhood through homelessness and periods in prison, this promises to be an intense and fascinating session, not for the faint-hearted.

Elizabeth-Sheppard2-740x740_center_topElizabeth Sheppard A rollercoaster ride of unsuitable careers including nutritionist, tourist adviser and college administrator led Elizabeth to the realisation that she had been a writer all along. She now loves her work as an editor for a south London publishing house. Her own books are the last thing she thinks about each night, and the first thing she thinks of every morning.




Nicky-for-MBA-page--740x740_center_topNicky Nicholls, Born 1945, abused throughout childhood and homeless for thirty six years. Safe and sober now.
I enjoy finger painting on canvas and have become well-known for my artwork.
It’s never too late to begin a new life – never too late to be happy!




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