writer / editor / publisher
Born in Cornwall surrounded by animals (monkeys, parrots, frogs, dogs, bugs, mice, pigs, chickens and whatever else turned up) I now find myself back in Cornwall writing about animals. In between then and now I've worked as a gardener, fishmonger, bookseller, bodyguard, grocer, daffodil-picker and numerous other jobs across the country. Alongside this work I studied for a BA in Philosophy, an MA in Writing, Nature and Place, and a PhD on the poet Jack Clemo.
My debut poetry collection, Singing about Melon, was published by Shearsman in 2020, around the same time as the long essay, Rhinoceros, published by Broken Sleep Books. Other titles include two poetry pamphlets, the clearing (Atlantic, 2016) and Robot Squirrel (zimZalla, 2017), a biography of Jack Clemo entitled Clay Phoenix (Ally, 2016), and a novella, Eels (Guillemot Press, 2018). Recent performances and exhibitions have been at the Poetry Cafe in London, the Natural History Museum, the Westminster Reference Library, the Arnolfini, the Ted Hughes Arvon Centre at Lumb Bank, and at New Networks for Nature. I have had articles and/or poems recently published in Reliquiae, the Brixton Review of Books, PN Review, Archipelago and in Carcanet's New Poetries series.
I'm currently writing about talking animals, mice, mist, mysticism, insects, horseradish and ouija boards, with maybe a little more to come on eels, and am playing with printing techniques for more performative projects (some of which are on this website). Current interests include conservation and absurdity, animals as spectacles, uncharismatic species, collaboration, and small press publishing.
I have run many writing workshops, including Monster Pulp Fiction at the Eden Project, Sound Poetry at the Screech Owl Sanctuary, Book-making at Resistance, Seascapes at Bodmin Moor Poetry Festival, Landscape Poetry at the Wheal Martyn China Clay Museum, and a series of writing and illustration workshops on eels and absurdity.
In 2016 I co-founded Guillemot Press, a very small publisher of beautiful books, with Sarah Cave. We've got a tremendous list of poets, both new and established, with recent or forthcoming titles from Rebecca Goss, David Harsent, Camilla Nelson, Jen Hadfield, Astra Papachristodoulou, Petero Kalulé, Rosmarie Waldrop, David Constantine, Robert Lax, Jessie Greengrass, Carys Davies, Adam Marek, Peter Larkin, JR Carpenter, Isabel Galleymore and many, many more.
I am a senior lecturer at Falmouth University, teaching non-fiction, poetry, publishing and collaboration, and I am course leader for the MA Professional Writing.