I am a poet, nature writer and fiction writer. I have two collections of poetry, and my work has been widely published in Ireland and abroad. My poetry has also featured in a number of anthologies, and has been translated into French, Italian and Russian. I also contribute to The Guardian’s Country Diary.
As a writer, I have always been captivated by the natural world. I am fascinated by evolution and its relationship to ecology, and how the interaction between these fields of study extend beyond science to the arts: how the environment shapes body and character.
For more details of my professional qualifications and expertise with respect to science and nature, please see the pages within Science Stuff on this website.
Nature, culture and art connect in the poetry of the written word. Harsh northern territories and their fauna resonate with me. I lived for many years in the Sperrins where the bogland holds the memory of ancient forests but the tundral landscape illustrates our power to alter even the wildest of places. This region was refuge for some of the last Irish wolves, a particularly intriguing species: as symbol and metaphor the wolf is one of the most eloquent animals to inhabit the human psyche. My work, prose as well as poetry, has emerged in travels in North America, in addition to Irish material. I am also deeply interested in birds (I have a PhD in ornithology) – fascinating subjects for artists and scientists alike.
I’m Belfast-based and work as a facilitator of poetry and creative writing. I also teach courses in evolution and ornithology through Queen’s University Belfast’s School of Open Learning. I’m a member of the National Association of Writers in Education and of the Irish Writers Centre, through which I offer One-to-One Mentoring for beginning and emerging poets.
I’m currently working on my next collection of poetry and on a novel.