I have responded to poetry for all of my adult life. For many years, in fact for most of my life, I have been a reader rather than a writer of poetry.

Largely this was because life got in the way. For much of the time, I had no loft space to think creatively or to write. At the end of each week I would be exhausted by work and with just a short weekend respite before returning to the mill.

I am now in a phase of my life where I can begin to write poetry again. 

Poetry could save your life

Was Auden right to say 'poetry makes nothing happen?' I believe poetry in fact has the power to make things better.

Returning to the craft of poetry and getting deep in the weeds of what makes poetry work is now something I am able to do. To develop my practice I am currently studying for an MA in Writing Poetry. This is a programme run by the Poetry School in London together with Newcastle University.

In addition to the two wonderful core tutors, Glyn Maxwell and Tamar Yosselof, the course provides through its membership a close-knit, engaged and inspiring group of fellow practitioners. It is brilliant to be able to workshop your poems and receive constructive feedback from such a lovely group of human beings. 

The course itself provides a rigorous examination of the craft of poetry. This is not an English Literature MA. It is directly focused on what makes great poems great.

What will you find here?

Posts about the craft of writing poetry

I am learning a lot about what make poetry successful. I post my thoughts about what I’m learning here.

Some favourite poems

Where copyright allows, I will share (otherwise list) some of my favourite poems here. These are the holy texts I keep returning to time after time.


As a consequence of my participation on the Writing Poetry MA, I have developed a list of texts about poetry which have been useful to me.

My Poetry

I have begun to send my poems out into the world. As and when any are published I will include links or in some cases the text of the poems here.