Spoken Label
Spoken Label
Aug 8, 2022
Jo Somerset (Spoken Label, August 2022)
Play • 31 min

Latest up from Spoken Label (Author/Poet Podcast) is the wonderful Jo Somerset.

Jo Somerset is a Manchester-based writer.  She has lived in Manchester for over 40 years, during which time she has been a student, feminist, peace activist, skilled tradeswoman, housing officer, local government officer, mother, equality consultant and company director.   Now that her children are grown up Jo is going backwards, revisiting the powerful feminist and lesbian movements of the 1980s and looking for untold stories.  Her aim is to make sense of the twentieth century, so we can understand it for today’s world.

Her writing found a voice through the Northern Gay Writers group at Commonword, Manchester’s community writing organisation, and honed her craft with the help of Arvon Foundation courses and groups led by writers Charlotte Keatley and Heather Leach.  In 2020 she completed a MA in Creative Writing at Salford University, where she received the inaugural Leanne Bridgewater Award for Innovation and Experiment.

In a former life, Jo was a founding director, alongside her partner Liz Clarke, of Manchester-based cycle training company BikeRight!    Under their leadership  BikeRight! became the leading UK company in its sector, winning four awards for women in business / business growth in 2009, 2014 and 2018.  She was also a non-executive director of Central Manchester Hospitals NHS Trust, and a Governor for Manchester Health Academy.

Previously she won the Prince’s Trust Quality Award (2000) and a British Diversity Award on behalf of Manchester City Council (1998).

Having jointly brought up five children, Jo is passionate about lifelong learning. In 2016 she gained a distinction for her Graduate Certificate in History from Birkbeck College, London, and made it a double when she graduated with distinction from Salford University MA in Creative Writing: Innovation and Experiment in 2020.

As a keen cyclist, Jo commutes by bike, and is a member of Team Glow Women’s Road Cycling Network.  She has undertaken several bike tours, triathlons and 100-mile cycling sportives, and led a Team Glow women’s charity ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

You can speak to Jo at: https://josomersetwriter.wordpress.com/

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