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:
- 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.
Monday, 10 January 2011
When Shackleton was recruiting for his 1914 Imperial Transarctic Expedition, he filed thousands of applications in piles marked 'Mad, Hopeless & Possible'. It's a good slogan for the whole ill-fated voyage and a wonderful title for a poem - which I've recently written. Perhaps I'm touched with something of the same spirit in deciding to put on an event on a Saturday right between an OFSTED inspection and my own wedding. But I couldn't resist the impulse to seize the moment, while winter's grip hangs on, to tell this astonishing story in poems and pictures.
So here it is. You are invited to a Saturday afternoon of cake, story and pictures. (Yes, Gloria's best plum cake!) Take a voyage into the white beyond and shiver at the men's accounts of icy peril. All of this in the lovely, warm space of Leicester's Quaker Meeting Hall.
WHITE WARFARE: Shackleton's Endurance Expedition
In 1914, as war broke in Europe, Shackleton's ship Endurance sailed for the frozen fields of Antarctica. Intended as one final push acorss the white continent, it turned into an epic and harrowing tale of surival and loss. Now Leicester's 'Polar Poet' tells the story, drawing on the men's own words and images.
Sat. 5th February 2011
2 - 4pm at Quaker Meeting House
16 Queen's Road, Leicester, LE2 1WP
Entry: £3 (includes coffee & cake)
Last night I was watching Bruce Parry on TV venturing out between pack ice in small boats with Inuit hunters. Ice closing in and bergs looming all around. Stunning scenes that recalled the Endurance crew trying to steer their little whaling boats to safety. But Parry explores the impact of climate change and fresh industrialisation on indigenous Arctic peoples as the ice melts quicker than anybody expected. Well worth a look.
And this week, I'm hoping to travel up to Liverpool to see an exhibition of Frank Hurley's wonderful photographs from the expedition. Courtesy of the National Maritime Museum there. More inspiration.
Can you feel that nip of frostbite pinching?