Writing is central to my life, as necessary as food, water and sleep. When I don’t or can’t write, I wither. I aim to write every day in whatever capacity I can, making writing part of my daily experience. It’s a good, healthy habit and means I always have work on the go. I find when I’m not writing I am thinking about writing or planning a project.
I am interested in producing work that explores aspects of the human condition. Over the past five years I have written eight plays for community theatre productions, published my first novel, three volumes of poetry, and made a short film for a multi-media project working with artists, poets and film-makers.
History, heritage and myth fascinate me and I come back to these themes time and time again in my work. My 2015 collection The Ninth Wave is a re-imagining of The First Branch of The Mabinogion. I moved the location from Wales to the east coast of England and instead of setting it in the distant past I placed it in the near future. My latest work, explores the different levels of life in an urban place from the behaviour of the people to the impact of the past and the power of the elements. Poems from the Swamp is scheduled for publication in July 2018.
I have performed regularly at events, festivals and gigs either as a solo poet or as part of an ensemble. In 2017 I worked with international jazz composer, arranger and musician, Alan Barnes and his fabulous octet in a collaborative jazz and spoken word project, A Fish Tale. Taking inspiration from the heritage of the fishing industry, composer and guitarist Pat McCarthy and I took themes and motifs which became my poems for the project and the key threads of the music. Alan then arranged the suite for 8 musicians. We premiered the work at Grimsby Jazz and the Cleethorpes Jazz Festival in 2016 and from July 2017 we toured the work nationally. The poetry collection and CD are available to buy now. We are now in the formative stages of a brand new project for touring in 2019.
I trained as a teacher and have taught English, Drama and Music over many years and in different settings. Now working outside formal teaching I offer workshops for adults and young people with a focus on using writing to explore creativity and ideas. My approach is person-centred and process led and is designed to open up possibilities and potential. I lead a community choir for young people and adults which is focused on singing for joy and well-being and which enables people to find their own voice and develop it as their unique instrument.
I am available for readings and workshops and can tailor my work to suit different settings and requirements. Pat McCarthy and I can also be booked for Jazz and Poetry gigs. Please contact me via email or the contact form on the site to discuss details including fees.
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