Saturday, 1 January 2000

Who the hell am I anyway?

I am a poet and short story writer. Closet Collection (1994) was my debut short story collection. Since then my work has appeared in anthologies, magazines, pamphlets and multimedia exhibits around the UK, including The British Council's New Writing 15, The Rialto, Orbis, Smiths Knoll and Magma. You can read some work from the links on the left. I am a Hawthornden Fellow.

My first poetry collection, Host, is published by Waterloo Press, 2010. My short story collection, Closet Collection, was published in 1995.

I also write scripts. I have written a libretto for an improvised opera, Flocking, for the Lancaster Jazz Festival 2007. I Wish You Love, a conversation between Marlene Dietrich and Edith Piaf, was produced by Gambolling Arena in summer 2009 and has toured the UK and Europe to nice reviews. Gambolling Arena have also commissioned me to write a play on John Denver to be produced 2011. I collaborate with the musician, Steve Lewis, on live soundscapes. I also write lyrics for some of the songs for his dance band, Orchestre DC Dansette.

Between 1998 and 2003, I collaborated with two other writers. As 3dV, we wrote and performed live literature poetry-tellings around the northwest. I was poet in residence for Calderdale Libraries between 2003-2005, where I worked with library staff, a photographer and painter to promote the benefits of reading. You can see the results of that here.

I perform my work to anyone who'll listen, mainly with Steve, as Hymas&Lewis. Together we create soundscapes to envelope people in our view of place. We have recently collaborated with the filmmaker Richard Davis. My aim is to bring my audience into a newly realised space that opens up both our imaginations in ways we hadn't previously experienced.

Elsewhere, I work for Arc Publications, promoting their new titles and producing UK-wide tours for international poets.

I am one of the co-founders of the Writing Smithy, alongside Jenn Ashworth. Through which I work with poets on their first publications. We are always interested in new projects. So get in touch if you'd like to discuss an idea. I can offer a professional, thorough, committed and sensitive edit on your work, with the aim to ensure what you want to say is said exactly how you want to say it. Some testimonials here.  I was the founding editor of Flax, the publishing imprint of Lancaster's literature festival, which publishes and promotes writing from the North West of England.

When I have the time, energy and opportunity I encourage other people to write in schools, prisons, community settings and luxury French villas.

I became an accredited coach in 2008 (PCT) and worked as a career coach for the Flax writers and still do with other writers. Please get in touch if you'd like to find out more. More testimonials here.

A full CV is here and a short summary of my practice/influences is here

And then, to shake all that out of my head, I go sailing.