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Tributes & MessagesMark Robinson

Yesterday I read these many tributes and thought I had nothing to add, but something came to me last night. I met Julia on many occasions over the years, at readings, workshops, just around, in lots of guises we shared – editor, promoter, writer, teacher. For a couple of years we helped pick the winners of the Northern Arts Writers Awards, before I worked here, and that was great fun – serious work she met with humour and concern for her fellow writers. And since working for Northern Arts and the Arts Council I’ve realised from a different position how important and unusual she was.

What came to me last night was the tone, the timbre, of Julia’s voice – I suddenly felt it again in my memory. For me her voice, which those who saw her perform, or who met her will recall now, captured all the generosity of spirit, all the humour, warmth and compassion Julia so naturally shared with many, many people. She always left me – and others, as is clear from these memories – feeling she had been pleased to see me – when the privilege was really all mine. My sympathies to her family.

Mark Robinson
Director, Arts & Development
Arts Council England, North East