About Me

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Bristol , United Kingdom
I'm co-director of the Leaping Word Poetry Consultancy, which provides advice for poets on writing, editing and publishing, as well as qualified counselling support for those exploring personal issues in their work - https://theleapingword.com. My fifth poetry collection, Learning Finity, is now available from Indigo Dreams or directly from me.

Thursday 16 October 2014

Dart All Over The World

For me, the most important thing about writing - whether poetry or prose - is making connections.  One of the greatest thrills for me as a reader is to recognise in the work of someone else an aspect of behaviour, a trait or a feeling that is part of me or my experience, especially if it is revelatory.  I like to think that what I write might also ring true with some of the people who take the trouble to read it. 

I recently had my attention drawn to a review of my novel, Dart, on the blog of Lawrence Burton, a writer who residing in San Antonio, Texas.  He describes the roundabout way in which he encountered me and my work, and what he thinks of my novel.  What is striking to me is that although he is, admittedly, English,  my story set 666 years ago on the weather-battered upland of Dartmoor struck a chord with someone living in a very different time, climate and culture.  Here's a link to his review.  

I always find myself compelled to give as balanced an argument as possible, and so was going to make the observation that despite the differences alluded to above, a story about the Black Death and the various ways in which people might face the prospect of annihilation does, sadly, have an added resonance during these days of Ebola - perhaps especially if you are living in Texas.  I am, however, superstitious and that figure - 666 years since the devastating spread of Black Death through these islands - is giving me the collywobbles, so I won't.  


  1. Glad you liked the review. It had occurred to me that we are ourselves in a position comparable to that of the people of Dart (in terms of environment and everything else), but sometimes I worry I may be piling on too much when writing about books and risk the review sort of toppling over into a sort of incoherent word jenga, if that makes sense.

    1. I don't think so. :-)

      These days we can all be writers, reviewers and opinion-givers. It's good to know that someone has heard you shouting into space.