• Books:
  • Beneath The Ice,
  • Snakeskin Stilettos,
  • The Horse's Nest,
  • Miracle Fruit,
  • Selected Poems,
  • The Goose Tree

About Me

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Poet, creative writing facilitator, editor. Experienced mentor for those working towards a first collection. My publishers are Lagan Press, Belfast and Liberties Press, Dublin who published my Selected Poems in 2012 and my new collection, The Goose Tree in June 2014

Thursday, 21 August 2014


It has been a summer of clearing and cleaning and taking stock. One of the clearings has been a load of old paperwork, and in the process I turned up lots of stuff, including an old Aspects programme from 1995. I was one of the readers; my first inclusion in the programme for a literary festival and launching my very first publication, Kissing Ghosts, a chapbook from Lapwing Press. Seeing the programme brought back lots of memories; I remember what I was wearing and how nervous but excited I was. My mother was not very well, just at the beginning of the long illness that would rob her of her memory, but she was well enough though to attend the reading, the only time she heard me read my own work. I always found her a difficult woman to please, but I felt that she was proud of me that evening, if a little concerned that I was breaking the family code of ‘whatever you say, say nothing’.

Much has changed for me in the nineteen years since then but there have also been constants. One of these is that I’m still writing poetry. This may not seem much of an achievement in itself, but it feels like it. I’ve stuck with it, that desire to craft words and thoughts and experiences into something truthful and maybe even beautiful. I’m in it for the long haul and somehow that feels like the real achievement. I have stayed with that part of myself, writing in hours snatched from other things, through periods of doubt; through good times and bad.

I’ve seen discussions on social media as to whether it’s ok to call yourself a poet. Well, I’m going to claim the title. I’m a lot of things – and one of them is poet.

Monday, 11 August 2014

upcoming event








The purpose of the 100 Thousand Poets for Change events, which take place all over the world at the end of September, is to make a difference through poetry.

At the Belfast event, we will use language in a positive way, to challenge issues including hate crimes, racism and current international conflicts.

All are welcome: please come along and read your own poems, or bring along other works about making change. Participating poets will include Moyra Donaldson, Nandi Jola, Emma Must, Shelley Tracey. Shelley will be reading from her forthcoming collection on experiences of migrants to Northern Ireland.

You are welcome to bring along your own snacks and drinks

Contact details for the event:

For more information about 100 Thousand Poets for Change:

Friday, 1 August 2014

Sometimes it is good to get away from everything

The Erne Rushes Through Me


A great clean flood to rinse away

the whole of the tired, wicked world.


A heron guards the dreaming ivory gates,

my eyes have turned the blue of damselfly;

red gilled perch and silver trout,

swim through the ventricles of my heart

and swallows rise from my throat, stitching

my thoughts to the sky: it is as if nothing


bad is happening anywhere: as if

everything in the Garden is lovely.