My career straddles the creative and corporate communications worlds.
I learned my copywriting and editing skills over more than a decade in the not-for-profit sector. Writing a weekly council newspaper page taught me to get the message across by telling people’s stories. As a publications manager I learned to prepare a document for typesetters and printers, as well as managing wildly varied deadlines. As editor/writer I worked closely with the people who had written the documents. I found I liked that, and that they got something out of it too.
Good writing is a force for good in the world. It’s practical. Good writing prevents misunderstanding.
During that time I started writing poems again, after a long gap. Within weeks I saw that it was taking my copywriting to new levels of precision, sense, and readability. My background in professional communications smoothed my creative writing career by making me clear-headed, professional, and never precious.
My two collections of poetry are published by Salt Publishing. I’ve written for the Guardian, MsLexia, and many other publications. I’ve reviewed many, many books. My book of essays, Forgive the Language (from Penned in the Margins), was called ‘impressive’ in the Times Literary Supplement. My blog, Baroque in Hackney, has been shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for political writing. I’m currently at work on a book about the rise of hidden homelessness, due out later this year with CB Editions.
As a mentor, I help people develop confidence and get published. I’ve been the first person many people ever showed their poems to. I’ve been right behind several writers’ first-ever publications in small magazines, and nothing makes me happier than giving them a quote for their first pamphlet.
My advanced critical poetry workshop has been going for ten years . Many of its past members are well-published, active and well known in the poetry world.
I’ve given readings and workshops on poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction in schools around the country. I’ve had kids writing stories on scrolls, and even on typewriters. I once got a visiting business student who said ‘I hate poetry’ to write the best poem in a crowded lecture hall.
And I still get a thrill from editing a white paper or writing a series of case studies.
Aside from all of this, I like good food, good coffee, movies, puns, knitting, and children and animals.
Think I can help you? Tell me more.