More about me...
My own writing has won several awards, including an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors, and the PENfro festival first chapter award, and my first book, The Other City, was shortlisted for Wales Book of the Year.
I have a PhD in poetry and a Master's degree in creative writing, and I have worked as a writer, editor, lecturer, and creative consultant for fifteen years. I have experience of running workshops and residencies in a variety of settings, including universities and schools, art galleries, libraries, and forests. I even spent some time living and writing in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, though I've now returned to the Welsh borders.
I have been featured in the Guardian, Magma, and Poetry Wales, and have spent my writing career performing at literature festivals and events across the UK, including twice at the Hay festival, where I was a writer in residence last year. I've been delighted to judge several competitions and awards myself recently, and as an editor, I spent a lovely year choosing poetry for Creative Countryside magazine, as well as editing an anthology, Heartland, which was released last year.
I love language and the way that poetry lets me play with it; I love prose for the characters that come edging in off the page when you least expect it. I love writing that is spare and precise, and writing that is lush and generous. I believe there is no right way to write, but that there is a right way to teach writing.
I have been teaching writers how to hone their craft and become better writers since 2005. As a creative mentor and coach my clients have gone on to be published and achieve literary success, but just as importantly they have been able to find better, more sustainable ways of working creatively, and gone on to live more fulfilling, creative lives.
To me, living creatively is an essential component to being happy.
The modern world can make us feel uprooted and disconnected from our environment, and sometimes our efforts to live more slowly and simply aren't enough to replace what is missing. Writing teaches us to observe, and thus to empathise, connect, and expand our awareness, as well as allowing us to communicate with each other in a more authentic way. With its mix of creativity and mindfulness, writing allows us to deepen our sense of connectedness with the world around us, and gives us back our roots..
I am passionate about this, and because of that, I help others use creative writing in ways that will make them feel more connected, more confident, more fulfilled, and more engaged with their creativity.