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/

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Ice Floe Drifting

Wedding maps and menus are being posted as we speak, OFSTED paperwork is piling up for this week's inspection and my poetry event on Shackleton's Endurance story is not much more than a week away. Yikes! January is indeed a full-on month.

But I was given a huge boost recently when the editor of my Northern Lights book, Firebridge to Skyshore, offered to publish this new collection of poems as a chapbook. Sam Smith did a great job on my first book and I'm thrilled that this new sequence will find a home and a pathway into print with Original Plus Press. Look out for news of that later in the year.

That gives even more impetus to my frantic editing. Although I'm also finding myself writing new poems to round the sequence off - five in the past fortnight. I've been workshopping as many as possible at Leicester Writers' Club and this week at the new Poetry Stanza group in Leicester. This group of poetry enthusiasts offer detailed critiquing off the page so was very useful.

So I have to reflect on my great good fortune - not only to have an editor who is so supportive of my work but to live in a city where literature/writing groups abound. This week, I'm hoping to make it along to the women's poetry group Soundswrite, who are also bringing out a new anthology this year that will feature 3 of my poems.

Meanwhile, as Caroline of Stanza said, I am still on my ice floe. Here's a poem in progress:


they set off
to hoist a blue flag
in an empty country
a jagged ice-barbed
no-man's land

nineteen hundred
and seventeen
was a speck in the long
geological calendar
of the continent

which resumed
its freezing, melting, fastening
throes; its volcanoes
smudging black funnels
of smoke on livid skies ...

(to be continued )

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