I studied English and European Literature at the University of Essex before moving to Nottingham Trent University to complete my PhD thesis on Bruce Chatwin. As well as teaching at those institutions, I have taught at the University of Lincoln, the Open University and the Université de technologie Belfort-Montbéliard.
Having spent considerable time in France, I write poetry in French as well as English, and have given research papers in French at international conferences. I have presented my research at conferences in the UK as well as Paris, Rennes and Versailles in France, Derry in Northern Ireland and Georgetown in the USA.
I am interested in literature development, and have worked in this field with many writers. I am now on the board of trustees of Apples and Snakes, the Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation for Spoken Word Poetry and Education.
My current project involves the ‘recovery’ of a nineteenth century asylum, the story of its superintendents and patients. As well as archival research to tell this story, I will be planning education and creative materials to encourage engagement with this lost history, and the parallels that it has with today’s responses to mental health.
I have recently written an essay on Mark Goodwin’s experimental writing about British landscapes. My own creative practice involves writing about landscapes, and involves a combination of personal memory and historical research. This is a method that I used during my period as poet in residence at Bradgate Park, 2017-18. I also write poems in English and French, playing with the possibilities of translation and mistranslation. I’m also interested in representations of Afghanistan from the nineteenth century onwards in a range of genres, and have published essays on travel writing in Afghanistan.
My main responsibilities are in creative writing. I convene the creative writing modules ‘Elephants and Engines: An Introduction to Creative Writing’ and ‘Maps and Motors: The Writing Portfolio’. I supervise many of the creative writing dissertation projects. I also contribute to undergraduate and postgraduate modules on personal and professional development.
I am also the Programme Director of the MA in Creative Writing and the Writing Industries. As well as convening modules, I lead workshops on aspects of poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction and editing, as well as the professional development module on working as a writer.
Recent postgraduate research student topics
- The Complicated Feminine in Food Writing: A Critical Study of Women, Gender and Emotional Labour in Food Memoir with a Creative Response
- Discourses of Agency in Narratives of Environmental Displacement.
- Making Creative Choices in Environmental Poetry to Instil Fear and Inspire Activism
- A Lighthouse: Myth and Imprisonment
- Fragmented perspectives: creating empathy through experiments in form and perspective in short fiction
- 'We should be united': deploying verbatim methods in poetry to (re)present expressions of identity and ideas of imagined community in the 2011 Birmingham riots
- Ipseity: using the social identity perspective as a guide to character construction in realist fiction
- Heroism in the abstract: a novel and critical analysis of the research
- British contemporary fiction and the new dynamics of ageing
Examining: I have acted as examiner for theses on The Art Deco Poets, Siobhan Dowd and Contemporary Travel Writing.
- “Picnics With the Mujaheddin”: Paratexts and Personal Motivation in Travel Writing About Afghanistan Journeys: The International Journal of Travel and Travel Writing 20(2) 02 Dec 2019
- ‘Lear Masala at Watermead’ and ‘Jonathan and Carl at the Battle of Maldon’ Shearsman Magazine, 01 Apr 2019
- Rural sites: Transformations and experiment in the poetry of Mark Goodwin in The English Countryside: Representations, Identities, Mutations. 241-161. Palgrave Macmillan, 12 Aug 2017
- Guilty: Poetry As Unreliable Translation Journal of American, British and Canadian Studies 20:239-248 01 Jul 2013
- ‘Four Loire Journeys’ Coldnoon: Journal of Travel Poetics 2(3):29-33 01 Jun 2013