I was born in Bolton, England and grew up in the London area. After University in Oxford, I lived in Nottinghamshire in the English North Midlands for three years before emigrating to Sudbury, Ontario in 1969. I lived 20 km north of Sudbury in Hanmer, where the vegetation began, and taught first right under the stacks and slagheaps at Copper Cliff, Ontario before moving south, eventually to Grey County. I picked up degrees from Oxford and Sussex Universities in England and the University of Toronto on the way, and later completed more postgraduate work at Fredericton in New Brunswick.
I was a teacher for nearly forty years. I taught literature, creative writing and drama in schools and colleges in England and Ontario and also taught Arts Foundation for the Open University. I worked as an assistant in the English Department at UNB while I was doing my postgraduate work there. I edited the Ontario English Teachers’ magazine indirections in the 1980s and co-founded a small press in the 1990s and a poets’ workshop, 4th Monday, in Ulverston, Cumbria around the turn of the century.
At present I divide my time between the Grey County, Ontario ex-schoolhouse my family and I have been slowly renovating and maintaining for the last forty years and a farmhouse in Northumberland in England, working mainly on my writing, with forays into plumbing, joinery and not too tidy plastering as it becomes necessary. And travelling as much as I can afford.
My poetry has been widely published in magazines in England and Canada, including The Antigonish Review, Envoi, Fiddlehead, Iota, Other Poetry, Poetry Ireland Review, Prairie Fire, Grain and Smiths Knoll, and in three pamphlets, two full length collections and several anthologies.
I have given many public readings of my work, most notably at the last Wordstock Collingwood Festival in 2011 and at StAnza, Scotland’s Poetry Festival in St Andrew’s in 2013.
I am a member of the League of Canadian Poets.
Kolokon prizewinner, 1966
Lancaster Litfest prizewinner, 1998
Double Time (with Pam Bridgeman) (Tidefall, 1994) ISBN: 0-9523236-0-5
Lubenice (Tidefall, 2nd ed., 1998) ISBN: 0-9523236-1-3
The Last Will and Testament of Jon Martinez de Larrumé (Breakwater, 2008) ISBN: 978-1-55081-241-6
Of Love and Drowning (Breakwater, 2010) ISBN: 978-1-55081-324-1
The Archaeologist’s Daughter (Wayleave, 2019) ISBN: 978-1-9999728-3-7
Aftermaths (Barrow Writers, 1995) ISBN: 0-9517581-1-X
Poems 21 (Lancaster Litfest, 1998) ISBN: 0-9524134-4-2
Miracles and Clockwork (Other Poetry Editions, 2005) ISBN: 0-9551749-0-2
Mix Well (Ginger Press, 2015) ISBN: 978-1-897502-44-0
This Place I Know (Handstand Press, 2018) ISBN:978-0-9576609-6-0
Echoes (The Village of Durham Poetry Salon, 2019) ISBN:978-0-921119-10-4
Books in Print
The Last Will and Testament of Jon Martinez de Larrumé (Breakwater, 2008) £8.95/C$14.95 ISBN: 978-1-55081-241-6
Of Love and Drowning (Breakwater, 2010) £9.95/C$15.95 ISBN: 978-1-55081-324-1
Mix Well (Ginger Press, 2015) C$20.00 ISBN: 978-1-897502-44-0
This Place I Know (Handstand Press, 2018) £10.00 ISBN:978-0-9576609-6-0
The Archaeologist’s Daughter (Wayleave, 2019) £5.00/C$7.50 ISBN: 978-1-9999728-3-7
Echoes (The Village of Durham Poetry Salon, 2019) C$19.95 ISBN:978-0-921119-10-4
In late 2019:
Durham, Ontario (reading at the October Poetry Salon)
Kendal, Cumbria (reading at the Brewery Poets’ November event)
In early 2020:
Durham, Ontario (reading at the annual Valentine’s Day Poetry Salon)
Owen Sound and North Grey Union Library, Ontario (reading at the launch of the Durham poets’ anthology ECHOES)
Readings on YouTube
Bargain Basement http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9bIJ0ONHzo
Family Business http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5k17j1Gnuw
Swan Song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9p-2p1Dvb7Q
The Slow Anorexia of Helium Balloons http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uilxKMcS7TY