Hi, here you'll find information about myself, my novels, my approach to writing and details about my teaching and mentoring roles.
I'm just coming to the end of my teaching semester, head full of rules, marking systems, meetings and dates, the left hand side of my brain in charge. (Though I think the simplistic left/right brain theory has been discredited. It's a useful metaphor though.) I've got a longing like an ache inside me for a switch back to the right side, so that when I'm walking the dog the things that travel through my mind are wisps of poetry rather than what to teach next week, lines of dialogue rather than travel logistics. Novel - The Squeeze - in second draft form now and I'm so looking forward to rolling my sleeves up for another go. An also fearing it, of course. By trying to teach and squeeze a bit of my own editing in round the edges I have almost bust my poor brain, I think. But stripy sunshine is coming though my blinds and falling on my keyboard and it feels like spring, everything turning green, stinking of wild garlic and tweeting. Itching to start .... The poem below, the title poem of my Mariscat pamphlet, has been selected, to my enormous honour and delight, as one of the Scottish Poetry Library's 20 Best Scottish poems of 2015. www.scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk
Visiting the Animal
I press my face against the glass and there he is: the recognition is complete my way at least. The padded luxury of his palms and soles, the sooty static of his fur, the lowering brow, that flat brown stare.
He's in my dreams but doesn't always wait for dreams: black speck in my periphery, hiss of fists through grass makes me wish for graze of leather lips.
He's shocking - the heft and burl of him. Captive, still he's wild. My heart beats in time with his. That wild would crush me. When I leave I carry him a tiny lope of black at each cell's rim.