AA Milne, Palgrave’s Golden Treasury, Thomas Hood, then Shakespeare, Yeats, and later discovering EE Cummings, Dylan Thomas, Louis Macneice and experimenting with writing in my teens. These were my beginnings – poetry has always been in my life.
In my early forties I took a year-long Open College of the Arts course (tutored by Katherine Gallagher) and attended an inspirational week at Ty Newydd led by Gillian Clarke and Michael Longley.
I won the Kent & Sussex Open Poetry Competition in 1999 and the Leicester Poetry Competition in 2000 and have been a prize-winner in the Ware Poets, Ledbury, Plough Prize and Wivenhoe competitions among others. My work has appeared in magazines and on-line journals, including Acumen, Antiphon, Frogmore Papers, Ink Sweat and Tears, The Interpreter’s House, Magma, Moving Stories, Smiths Knoll, South, Staple, Tears in the Fence, The High Window, 14 magazine and the Wilfred Owen Association journal; also in a number of anthologies including Visible Breath (Indigo Dreams), Guided by Surprise (Hyde Writers), Lyrical Beats, Poetry & all that Jazz, The Book of Love and Loss, Map (Worple), The Tree Line (Worple), and Towards the Light. I have appeared as a featured reader at the Poetry Café, Ware Poets, Tongues & Grooves, Salisbury Poetry Café, Winchester Poetry Festival, Cheltenham Poetry Festival, Portsmouth BookFest, Words & Ears, Buzzwords, Rhythm & Muse, New Park Chichester and poetryWivenhoe among others, and in 2013 I was a guest reader on the TS Eliot Prize anniversary tour.
I’ve published three full-length collections, Desire Lines (Arrowhead 2010), The Sisyphus Dog (Worple 2014) and The Blue Tree (Indigo Dreams 2019), as well as three pamphlets, In the Northland – poems after the Group of Seven and Tom Thomson (TegArt 2011); Something Persists (TegArt 2014) and The Unforgiving Knot (Marlott Press 2020). I edited the anthology so too have the doves gone (Jardine 2014), poems on the theme of conflict, and have undertaken several commissions and collaborations.
Recent publications include books of family history and a lyric essay on my local environment.
I co-founded Winchester Poetry Festival and was joint Artistic Director of the inaugural festival in September 2014 and was a trustee until 2022. www.winchesterpoetryfestival.org
Portrait by Michael Weller