I am a poet and tutor. My latest collection of poems is Jam. A former Poetry Society poet-in-residence and the author of Jumpstart Poetry in the Secondary School, I have led courses and workshops throughout the UK and abroad.
My poetry collections include Henry’s Clock (Smith/Doorstop) which won both the Aldeburgh First Collection Prize and the Poetry Business Book & Pamphlet Competition. I received an Arts Council England Writers’ Award for Frank Freeman’s Dancing School (Salt; Knives Forks & Spoons), and an Arts Council England Grant for the Arts for Jam (Smith/Doorstop). I have an ebook Selected Poems and three pamphlets: 14 Ways of Listening to the Archers, Emergency Rations, and Bike, Rain.
I was commissioned to write Jumpstart Poetry in the Secondary School during my time as Poetry Society poet-in-residence, following the success of my students in winning creative writing competitions. I have published extensively on the teaching of creative writing in the TES and other journals, and have published short stories, criticism and poetics.
TEACHING & FREELANCE
I was Deputy Head and English teacher at Maharishi School in Skelmersdale where my students were particularly successful at winning creative writing competitions including the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Awards, WH Smith Young Writers, TES Young Poet, and Young Poets on the Underground. My teaching has been the subject of articles in the Guardian and the Times Educational Supplement and I’ve broadcast on poetry and teaching poetry on BBC Radio 4 and the BBC World Service.
A former Poetry Society poet-in-residence and TES Guest Poet, I have taught creative writing in higher education and have led courses and workshops for many organisations including the Arvon Foundation, the Poetry Society, the British Council, the Poetry School, universities and schools in the UK and abroad. I am a former Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Aston University, and a Writing Project Associate (Royal Literary Fund).
I was born in Birmingham and grew up in Birmingham and Kidderminster. Leaving school at sixteen, I did a variety of jobs before returning to full-time education and gaining degrees from Swansea University and Warwick. I learnt Transcendental Meditation, as taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, in the 1970s, trained as a teacher and taught TM in England and Wales. In 2006 I completed a PhD in Poetry & Poetics. I was a founder member of the Poetry & Poetics Research Group convened by Robert Sheppard at Edge Hill. I’m now based in Cheltenham.