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

My photo
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/

Monday, 16 January 2012

Steel and Ice

This morning's walk brought to mind this poem - written on a pre-Christmas visit to the City of Steel one year. Crystallising a certain moment.

Solstice City

a late dawn brings

smudge of yellow

a rim of hill light

breaking the fog

eight o’clock sleep

walkers hooting air

climb warily

a black-iced


then the full beam

winter searchlight

scouring the city


textures of raw frost

pavement pock

marks and brown

spatter, an early

sowing of salt

at the station

men in yellow hats

are blinded by

the stainless steel

water feature

and precinct pagans

torch the afternoon

with bonfire bonanzas

cabled tricks of light

this shortest day

soon spills its shine

in the rush of dusk

a giant wheel

spitting colour

slices the sudden

night with shrieks

invoking gods

and other desires