Welcome to my website – a small slice of my writing life, sharing a love of words, photography and art.
An Oxford modern languages graduate, former journalist and fiction writer, I now work mainly as a poet, editor and events organiser. I also enjoy writing for artistic commissions and as a poet in residence.
My second full-length poetry collection Be[yond] was published by Knives, Forks and Spoons Press in July 2013. A first full-length poetry collection Into the Yell (Circaidy Gregory Press, 2010) won third prize in the International Rubery Book Awards 2011.
My competition successes include first prize in the Exmoor Society Poetry Competition 2010, winner in Oxford University/Radcliffe Science Library’s Parallel Universe Poetry Competition in 2013 and 2010, winner in the Jawdance Audio Poetry Competition in May 2011, second prize in the Bourne Hope Poetry Competition 2012, being shortlisted in Templar Poetry 2009 Pamphlet and Collection Competition and poems shortlisted in The Plough Prize 2009 and Ilkley Festival poetry competition 2012.
I have been widely published in print arts journals and anthologies including The Rialto, Magma, Orbis, Tears in the Fence, Poetry News, Poetry Nottingham, The French Literary Review, under the radar, Abridged, Verse Kraken, Obsessed with Pipework (forthcoming), Sculpted: Poetry of the North-West, A Complicated Way of Being Ignored: The Grist anthology of the best poetry of 2012 and Lung Jazz: Young British Poets for Oxfam. My online poetry publications include the Guardian, Ink Sweat and Tears, nthposition, Antiphon, Abridged, Kumquat Poetry, Streetcake magazine, Verse Kraken, Otoliths and The Literary Bohemian.
A regular guest poet at spoken word events and festivals, I read alongside Bernard O’Donoghue at the 2013 Cheltenham Poetry Festival and was a guest poet in Cork and Limerick in July 2013, after being selected for that year’s Coventry-Cork twin city poets exchange. I also performed at Ledbury Poetry Festival 2013 and read in the Carol Ann Duffy and Friends series at the Royal Exchange in Manchester in 2014.
My poetry is on the Polesworth Poets’ Trail in Warwickshire and has been set to music, muralled on a café wall, on Worcestershire buses and around 12,000 copies of AGFA’s annual report.
I have been a festival poet in residence at a church and café, and National Poetry Day writer in residence at Worcester Oxfam Bookshop. A professional member of NAWE (the National Association of Writers in Education), I have experience facilitating workshops and running spoken word events.
Extracts of the poetry, photography and artwork featured in my 2012 poetry-art exhibition aimed at bringing poetry to a wider audience can be found in the An Eyeful of Words section of this website. I also enjoy creative collaborations and film poetry. (Do get in touch if you have a poetry project idea.)
I am currently based in Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire, UK, where I run the Poetry Society’s Worcestershire Stanza and I am secretary of Droitwich Arts Network. In 2013, I set up a small poetry press: V. Press.
Other Writing & Interests
As a journalist, I won a Ted Bottomley Award in 2000 and third prize in the Young Financial Journalist Awards 1998. My work has included feature/opinion pieces in The Guardian, news articles in The Daily Telegraph and four years as a regional daily newspaper reporter.
My short fiction has also won prizes and my literary short fiction been published in the Legend Press anthology The Remarkable Everyday. I have had stories published in woman’s magazines: The People’s Friend and Yours Fiction.
Historically, my first poem publication was in 1999, when I was also winner of Burton Ottaker’s National Poetry Day competition. My first flash fiction was published in the school magazine when I was in sixth form. (No doubt I would cringe if I saw any of these now!)
Other interests include swimming, walking, cycling, films, philosophy, psychoanalysis and generally learning new things! I also love water and wine, shadows and light, music and silence. The latter mostly not when with my two boys, aged nine and eleven, who ensure that noise and fun are also a big part of my life.
I do believe the idea that 21st women can have it all is a great ideal, if a myth that is missed in most realities. A compromise offered willingly is not a sacrifice.
My favourite questions usually begin with why or how.
In academic terms, I have a 2:1 BA Hons in Modern Languages (French with linguistics) from the University of Oxford (1997), a postgraduate diploma in journalism (print option) from the University of Wales, Cardiff (1998), a Cert HE in creative writing from the University of Birmingham (2003) and a masters (with merit) in creative writing from the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University (2014).
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