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Page last updated at 17:19 GMT, Thursday, 2 September 2010 18:19 UK
BBC Suffolk's poet Jane Mower publishes book for EACH
By Andrew Woodger
BBC Suffolk

Jane Mower
Poet Jane lives at Oulton Broad near Lowestoft

BBC Suffolk's resident 'poet laureate' has published a book of verse in aid of the EACH Treehouse Appeal.

Jane Mower, 62, has a first collection called Baubles Bangles And Poetry and it is published by Leiston Press.

In 2008, Jane phoned BBC Suffolk's Stephen Foster and read one of her poems on-air and she's been a regular guest ever since.

"Her ability to turn everyday life and events into humorous poems never ceases to amaze me," said Stephen.

"It feels great to be an author," said Jane. "It's a peculiar feeling really. I've always done poems, but to do a book has never been in my mind."

It was Stephen and his Happy Hour colleague Bob Shelley who had the idea of putting Jane's weekly poems into book form.

"From the moment we welcomed Jane onto our show, we had a success story on our hands," said Stephen, aka Foz.

"We are so pleased to give our support. The fact that it's also helping to raise funds for such a wonderful cause is the icing on the cake."

The Treehouse Appeal is aiming to raise £3m for a new East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH) centre in Ipswich.

"Jane's bubby personality and unique sense of humour have combined to make her a real star and we very much hope you'll enjoy this selection of poems as much as we have."

Jane's love of poetry goes back to her schooldays.

"I was reading all sorts of poetry, like Roald Dahl," she said. "At Harris Girls School in Lowestoft [now called Church Road Middle School], the teachers used to read to the classes and then they used to ask me to take over when their throats got a bit dry.

"I used to enjoy English Literature, but I didn't leave school with any qualifications."

Jane's poetry career was just a hobby until she got her regular radio spot.

"I always loved doing that sort of thing," she said. "People used to ask me to do a poem for them for a birthday, anniversary or whatever and at work the girls used to ask me to do them.

"My neighbour used to do things that made me laugh and I used to write about her and things I used to see.

"A lot of my poems have got some truth in them, but obviously I don't mention too many names."

Jane's backing for the new hospice stems from personal experience.

"My dad Frank Knights had a brain tumour and he was in All Hallows Hospice in Ditchingham near Bungay for the final days of his life.

"There should just be more of them for the elderly and the young. Everybody needs to have dignity at the end."

Jane Mower at Felixstowe Spa Pavilion
Jane Mower at Suffolk HAS Talent at Felixstowe's Spa Pavilion

The creative process

"My poems are a cross between Benny Hill and the postcard illustrator Don McGill," said Jane.

"I just write as I think. Sometimes at 5 o'clock in the morning it just comes to me.

"I write down a couple of lines and that's that - I know I can continue that poem.

"I don't carry around a notebook, it's in my mind. It's strange really.

"I still love children's books. Enid Blyton - I went through the lot of those. I used to go into another world when I was a child; a world of my own.

"If children read books, your imagination can do all sorts."

A list of stockists for Jane's book can be found via the EACH website or here:

Jane will be at the Tourist Information Office in Ipswich town centre on Saturday, 4 September.

Jane's poems can be heard on the BBC iPlayer. She's a regular guest on Stephen Foster's Big Sunday Show on BBC Radio Suffolk during the 9-10am Happy Hour.

Baubles Bangles And Poetry costs £10, with £5 going to EACH and the other half covering the publication costs.

How are we doing?

The Treehouse Appeal began on Tuesday, 16 March, 2010 and BBC Suffolk is asking you to help us reach the first £1m mark.

This page will be updated to report the campaign's progress, and our totaliser will be updated every Friday morning.

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