Writing

I am an award-winning poet, journalist and memoirist. Bloodaxe Books praised and encouraged my early work which led to the publication of my first pamphlet, Bed and Breakfast with Lydia Lunch in 1986 aged 16.

I won Newcastle Evening Chronicle’s poetry competitions (1985, 1987) and Time Out’s Write up your Street in 2008. In 1988 Zenith North made a half hour programme about me called Out of Our Heads and I appeared at London’s South Bank Centre as part of their New Voices Series.

After graduating with an English degree from Hull University in 1992, I moved to London and worked as a rock music journalist. I was both a staff and freelance writer for Mojo, Select, Volume and The Times. You can read some of my articles on Rock’s Back Pages. I lived in London for 16 years and during this time I wrote songs for and fronted several indie rock bands, notably Micklewhite

From 2003 to 2009 I wrote, produced and presented on community radio stations in London and Cambridge. In 2011 biographical project, Chas Chandler: The Man Who Made Hendrix was shortlisted for The Biographer’s Club Tony Lothian award.

Since returning to the North East in 2009 I’ve mentored aspiring writers and proofed their work. I have set up and managed The North Tyneside Writers’ Circle and facilitated writing workshops in schools, care homes, for local councils and community groups. I’ve also organised, hosted and performed at spoken word and music events, including Newcastle’s Books on Tyne Festival and the biennial IRON Press Festival.

In 2019 I published my illustrated poetic memoir, The Princess of Felling (click here) and hosted a series of tie-in events in the North East and London, including “mini-musical”, The Princess and the Piano (click here) with musician Mike Waller.

Publishing credits include Bossy Parrot ed. Neil Astley Bloodaxe Books 1987; A World of Poetry ed. Michael Rosen Kingfisher 1991; I Wouldn’t Thank You for a Valentine ed. Carol Ann Duffy Viking 1992; Come and See: The Beguiling History of the Tyneside Cinema New Writing North 2011; All Right Now: 1970s Newcastle Tyne Bridge Publishing 2011; Still the Sea Rolls On NVCP 2012; Pieces from Eight ed. Peter Mortimer IRON Press 2013 and The Princess of Felling Limelight Classics 2019.