Poetry is a gateway into unitive consciousness. It knocks on the doors of the heart and the heart opens. Poets speak truth in a very naked way that bypasses the rational mind. Poetry evokes, rather than describes – Mirabai Starr
Hello and welcome to my website.
I’m a poet, occasional essayist and am currently working on a novella.
My work has been commended in both the McLellan and Wigtown Poetry Competitions, and two of my poems were shortlisted in the 2014 Bridport Prize. In 2016, my work was selected for the Forward Book of Poetry 2017. I was a recipient of a Scottish Book Trust New Writer Award in 2014, which included a year’s mentoring with poet, Jen Hadfield.
My first chapbook, Stone, illustrated by visual artist Mat Osmond, came out in March 2016 with Atlantic Press. ‘Stone’ is a long, narrative poem and I’m currently performing it at venues across the UK (see ‘News’ tab). All proceeds from the sale of the book go to Scottish charity, Trees for Life.
My first full collection, Bird-Woman, came out in October 2016 with Shearsman.
I completed a PhD in Creative Writing (ecological poetry) at the University of Glasgow in 2013, and loved every minute of it. I had great supervisors (Dr David Borthwick & Dr Elizabeth Reeder) and met a lot of wonderful and inspiring fellow writers.
My writing preoccupations are with ‘nature’ (birds and horses feature in almost all my poems) and spirituality; in particular, what does it mean to be human during an era of unprecedented ecological, social and economic crises? I’m also interested in theories of creative process and practice, in particular embodied practice and how breath, movement and voice inform and engage both writer and audience. I’ve spent the last couple of years exploring this with Kath Burlinson, Paul Oertel and Nancy Spanier.
I have two day jobs, working as poetry editor for the Dark Mountain Project (I devised and lead-edited an anthology of Uncivilised Poetics, which was published in October 2016) and as Creative Writing (and Creative Reading) tutor at HMP Dumfries.
I offer private mentoring, tailored to suit, with writers at all levels. I’ve worked with undergraduate and postgraduate Creative Writing students, as well as with more established writers. If you’re looking for support with your writing, please get in touch to find out more.
I live with my family in SW Scotland.