WHAT I DO
I’m a wordsmith who creates new treasures from stories or ideas, using tools of eloquence and agility to hammer, bend and cut. From the simplest to the most complex, I can repair and refine your text to make the message ring out. And put just about anything on its feet in skilful performance with piano or ukulele.
I welcome commissions from prose and propaganda to limericks and lyrics.
Why not have your favourite song or poem adapted for a special occasion?
“deeply charismatic”, “a strong stage presence”
Jenny Barrett is a writer, editor, poet and pianist. Playful or profound, her wordsmithery reflects a rich cultural heritage and experience. She welcomes commissions from prose and propaganda to limericks and lyrics – or perhaps your favourite song or poem adapted for a special occasion.
Away with words all my life, I’d love to fashion something to make you smile. A chance remark at the traffic lights, a news item on TV – I respond to everyday incidents with sometimes startling insight and humour. Just the title “Unsung Hero” can generate a eulogy for the Gulf Stream. Or the theme of “atmosphere” distil interior ruminations of a Republican lifer let out of jail for Christmas under the Good Friday Agreement.
My offering of choice: for his 60th birthday, I transformed a Gilbert and Sullivan classic into celebration of Don Weed’s pioneering work in ITM Alexander Technique. And rewrote Kipling’s ‘If’ in time for the Brexit referendum, with a subsequent update set to a tune borrowed from the classic musical Oliver! Please let me wordplay for you.
Monthly open mic events have honed instinctive talent crowned with a pleasingly rich, characterful voice. Regulars at the Alzheimers Society café leap to their feet to sing and dance to the Broadway standards I bring with my piano. And a catchy love song to my throat surgeon won me acclaim at the local folk club, who liked it so much they all joined in. You too?
From the arts and local government to international diplomacy and human rights,
I’ve lived and worked alongside folk from every continent and background
I designed posters, leaflets and other promotional materials ‘to order’ for 90 bookshops on part time hours
I prepared project reports for EU funding applications so efficiently they ran out of work to give me
I edited HR leaflets and compiled by hand the first national catalogue of second hand books
She maintained a high standard of work and met deadlines without fail…very popular with her colleagues due to her friendly nature and eagerness to please…Everyone who worked with Jenny will miss her.Beth Jenkins
She has a very good command of English and was able to put complicated material into everyday language that could be absorbed by staff and volunteers…a very reliable personMax Peberdy
Webb Institute for Leadership in Democracy
I helped promote and run leadership training for East European NGOs and trade unions
World Health Organization
I worked in English and French to promote WHO and interagency initiatives to global media outlets
I’ve also smithed words for Oxford Brookes University, Oxford City Council, Media International, Panos Institute, Periodical Publishers Association, Salvation Army Housing Association and the Sutton & Cheam Herald