I live in South Shields at the mouth of the Tyne in the North East of England. I’m married with three children – two of them grown up, one a mere five years old. In my day job I’m a senior lecturer in Journalism at the University of Sunderland, where I run two of the journalism degree programmes. I used to work as an arts journalist – reviewing theatre, music, film etc
Have been writing poetry most of my life. Began to get published about ten years ago. Worked as a poet-in-residence at a pottery and the poems were included in Five By Five, a poetry pamphlet published by Durham County Council. Also had some pieces published in Sand magazine and began to give readings – at Durham Literature Festival and at the famed Morden Tower in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, among other places.
This led to my chapbook South Of Souter being published by Sand in 2004. That year I won a £1,000 Northern Promise award from New Writing North. My collection Stereograms Of The Dead was published in 2009 by Red Squirrel Press. Life’s Little Indignities comes from that. Am working on a new collection due to be published by Red Squirrel next spring.
I’ve also written a couple of books on theatre history and one on the history of the North East and I’ve worked as a musician and guitar teacher. My jazz trio, the Bicycle Thieves, plays at venues all over this region and we had a CD released on Road Goes On Forever Records. My compositions for that album were published in the USA by Bug Music.
and a poem from the forthcoming collection.
The Last Of The Hares
I remember a grim night when we saw one
a long way off, in a rut on the rifle range,
with its ears long and low just below the wind;
we had to look again to make sure it wasn’t just
a rut. And then on the hill, when a dog disturbed
a patch of gorse and had to be pulled back from
the leverets. Other dogs did for them though.
The last I heard was of one howling like a child,
when it was caught by its feet in strawberry netting.