Who am I?

I am a writer, poet and editor based in West Yorkshire. During the past ten years I have released three poetry collections, the most recent, Dark Corners of the Land, was named Poetry Book of the Year at the 2012 3:AM Awards and was a Scotsman Book of the Year.

Aged 29 I was offered a place on the University of Greenwich’s Creative Writing BA. I was a late starter in many respects and didn’t come from a conventional academic background, although I always had a secret compulsion to read and write. I dipped my toes into the literary waters with Chuck Palahniuk's online course The Cult, and it was through his lessons that I learned the basics of writing fiction.  

My writing has appeared in publications including The Times, Guardian, Morning Star, and The Stool Pigeon, and my poems have featured in various anthologies in the US and UK, including the recent Untitled One: Neu! Reekie! (Birlinn) and the forthcoming Spring (Elliott & Thompson).

I am currently a PhD student at the University of Huddersfield researching the life and work of the Bradford playwright Andrea Dunbar, and plan to complete a novel based on her life in 2016. My forthcoming poetry project, Beyond the Silver Pit, will appear at Manchester Central Library as part of a multi-media installation for this year’s Enlighten Festival.

Why do I teach?

I hope that my enthusiasm for poetry is infectious and that students on Language and Technique will be encouraged to write and set up their own poetry blogs, fanzines and publications after studying on this year’s course. The poetry underground and DIY/small press scene is of particular interest to me, it is often where the most challenging and diverse work can be found.

Read my full academic profile on the Department of English at MMU website.