Publisher, Bloodaxe Books
I love giving talks to schools and have talked to over thirty through Project Dynamo, a Welsh Assembly scheme to encourage youngsters to consider starting their own businesses; I also give motivational talks to undergraduates asking “Are you hero or villain of your own life script?” through the Big Ideas Wales initiative.
Over thirty years ago, together with the renowned editor Neil Astley, I helped found Bloodaxe Books, one of Britain’s Premier poetry publishers: it began as a hobby but has long since been a vocation.
My first novel, Not Quite White, was shortlisted for the 2011 Costa awards. And my BBC2 TV play Small Zones, starring Sean Bean, written as part of the campaign to free a young woman poet imprisoned for her beliefs in Soviet Russia was watched by 3.25 million viewers.
I now split my time between Newcastle and North Wales, within striking distance schools in the West Midlands, Liverpool and the North-West as well as (when I am in Newcastle)the North East.
I have also worked as a journalist, for a children’s medical charity and have lectured in marketing and journalism.