Writing is a journey, both imaginary and physical. My first book took me to the Arctic to 'catch the colours' of the Northern Lights. Then I hunkered down to catch the wind-blown voices of polar explorers on Shackleton's 1914-17 Endurance expedition. More recently I'm obsessed by space: the race, the rockets, the final frontier.

Hear a BBC Radio Leicester interview about my space poetry at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03wfpyp
Explore my digital narrrative PHILAE'S BOOK OF HOURS, published by the European Space Agency, at:

My prose-poetry collections FIREBRIDGE TO SKYSHORE
and MAD, HOPELESS & POSSIBLE are both published by Original Plus Press at:

Contact me for signed copies or bookings at:

Visit the writers' development service I co-run at: https://www.facebook.com/TheWritersShed/

About Me

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Leicester, East Midlands
As a storyteller, my work crosses boundaries of myth, science, history and spoken word. It has been presented in the British Science Museum, Ledbury Poetry Festival, National Space Centre and the European Space Agency website. In 2014 I ran a digital residency on WW1 for 14-18NOW and Writing East Midlands. I teach Creative Writing at De Montfort University and have experience of leading school events, workshop tuition and mentoring. In addition, I co-run The Writers' Shed, a service for writers, at: https://www.facebook.com/TheWritersShed/

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Midsummer Marathon

Notes from a Long Distance Poet

Friday 2nd July 7.49am

A blessedly cool morning as I set off for our first Polar Poets expedition proper. We've had a frantic week of rehearsing and prepping – well, not so much frantic as excited anticipation. Yesterday the powerpoint show of arctic images all went pear-shaped as my computer declared it a 'corrupted file' – not as bad as being stranded in a blizzard with rotten supplies, I guess. But it kept me up till midnight last night putting together a rescue package. That and packing a bag of props: sari, lasso, clipboard, woolly hats, reindeer … And now for the slow train to North Wales.

You can read how this polar venture turned out on my sister blog:


Sunday 4th July

More reflections later on the particular pleasure of collaborating with another performer like Susan Richardson. But right now I'm in the midst of a midsummer marathon of festivals. Friday was the Wrexham Science Festival, a very inspiring place for a poet to be, and next comes the Ledbury Poetry Festival on Wednesday - where I'll be performing alongside an auroral physicist! So a whole different kind of collaboration. Today I'm tweaking the powerpoint show we did at the National Space Centre gig and slipping in a few more poems. Here's hoping the technical stuff is better-behaved today. My tech. support is under a tent at a Bluegrass festival right now ...

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