Angela Topping

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Angela Topping (born 2 October 1954) is a British poet, literary critic and author. She has published eight solo poetry collections, Dandelions for Mothers' Day (1988, 1989), The Fiddle (1999), The Way We Came (2007), The New Generation (Salt 2010), I Sing of Bricks (Salt 2011), Paper Patterns (Lapwing 2012), Letting Go (Mother's Milk Press 2013) and The Five Petals of Elderflower (Red Squirrel Press 2016).

Topping was born in Widnes, Cheshire, to working class parents and educated in Liverpool at Broughton Hall Grammar School for Girls. After graduating from the University of Liverpool with a degree in English and Classical Civilization she went on to study for a postgraduate degree in Victorian Studies. Although writing from a young age (she first published poetry at the age of nineteen in Arts Alive Merseyside) Topping married and raised two daughters while writing her first two collections and editing two poetry anthologies, the first a collection of Christians writing and the second a festschrift [1] for the Liverpool-based poet Matt Simpson,[2] featuring works by U.A. Fanthorpe, Anne Stevenson, Roger McGough and Kenneth Muir. The friendship of Matt Simpson was a formative influence on Topping's work and continued until his death in 2009.

After working in education for twenty years, most notably at Upton Hall School FCJ, Topping now concentrates full-time on writing and has been the author of several critical works for Greenwich Exchange.

In 2010, Topping teamed up with textile artist Maria Walker.[3][4] Together they produced a joint exhibition of work based on The Lightfoot Letters, which were family epistles from 1923, which bizarrely had been written by Angela’s father’s family and purchased by Maria from an antique shop several years before she met Angela. The exhibition was first staged at The Brindley in 2011 and has since been shown in other galleries in the North West, as well as StAnza, the Scottish International Poetry Festival, in 2014.[5]

Topping has also been in a number of notable anthologies, such as Split Screen, edited by Andy Jackson and published by Red Squirrel (2012)[6][7] and Troubles Swapped for Something Fresh (Salt 2009) edited by Rupert Loydell.[8] One of her poems appeared on National Poetry Day poem cards in 2012.[9] Her children’s poems have been included in over 60 anthologies and in 2011, she was the only poet to be highly commended in the Cheshire High Sherriff’s Prize for Children’s Literature.[10] Her poems have been set for A level study.[11] In 2013, she was awarded a writer in residence post at Gladstone's Library and won first prize in Buzzwords competition, judged by David Morley.


Solo Poetry Collections:

  • Dandelions for Mothers’ Day (Stride 1988 and 1989)
  • The Fiddle: New and Selected Poems (Stride 1999)
  • The Way We Came (Bluechrome 2007)
  • The New Generation (Salt 2010) - Children's poetry
  • I Sing of Bricks (Salt Modern Voices 2011)
  • Catching On, an elegiac sequence for Matt Simpson (Rack Press 2011)
  • Kids’ Stuff (Erbacce 2011) Children’s poetry
  • The Lightfoot Letters (Erbacce 2011) – to accompany the joint exhibition of textile art by Maria Walker
  • Paper Patterns (Lapwing 2012)
  • Letting Go (Mother's Milk Books 2013)
  • Hearth (with poet Sarah James) (Mother's Milk Books 2015)
  • The Five Petals of Elderflower (Red Squirrel Press 2016)

Critical Works:

  • Focus on Spies by Michael Frayn (Greenwich Exchange 2008)
  • Focus on The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angela Carter (Greenwich Exchange 2009)
  • Focus on Selected Poems by John Clare – Everyman Edition (2015)


  • The Least Thing (Stride 1989) Foreword by George Szirtes
  • Making Connections, A Festschrift for Matt Simpson (Stride 1996)
  • Manchester Poets Competition Anthologies I & II
  • Brando’s Hat editorial board
  • Co-editor of The Robin Hood Book (Poets against Austerity) with Alan Morrison (Caparison 2012)[12]

Co-editor of Sculpted, Poetry of the North West with Lindsey Holland (NWP 2013)


External links[edit]