Welcome to my website! - updated 1st October 2020.
Good wishes to you all, and stay safe. A lot of poets are writing about the terrible plague of Coronavirus, and many of these poems will become famous. The first anthology, Corona Verses, edited by Janine Booth, is now an e-book. I am spending the next few months collecting more of them for a further anthology, Lockdown and After, to be published by Shoestring Press in 2021. It's filling up fast! Please send me your best work, which may be published or unpublished, before Christmas.
My take on Jane Austen's classic novel, Mansfield Park Revisited, is available as a paperback and e-book. It moves Jane Austen's characters into the twenty-first century and considers how they might behave. You can order it or read the opening chapters here.
Last year Shoestring Press published The Fragile Bridge, my New and Selected Poems.
I was the first editor of The Interpreter's House, a little magazine founded, in 1996, in Bedfordshire where I then lived. It's still going but now it's online!
My first interest, on which I wrote my doctoral thesis, was the novels of Thomas Hardy. Since then I've published various studies of the Victorians and post- Victorians - Preface to Hardy (Longman), Women in the English Novel, 1800-1900, Margaret Oliphant: A Critical Biography, and Six Women Novelists, all published by Macmillan. More recently I wrote a book on a fascinating subject - Effie: A Victorian Scandal, From Ruskin's Wife to Millais' Muse (Book Guild).
Then I got into modern poetry. As an editor I saw some of the best contemporary poems and short stories before they were published, and eventually brought out some of my own. I've appeared in several magazines and have four collections out so far.
The poets of the First World War are another great interest. So is children's literature, and I've written a story for girls aged 10-14, Clare and Effie
(Honno), which is based on the lives of Gwen and Augustus John.
When I can't think of a poem, I occasionally translate one. (Well, I had to learn Latin at school). I was particularly inspired by the work of Federico Garcia Lorca, who was murdered in the Spanish Civil War, and Bloodaxe published my English versions of his Selected Poems in 1992. See my Lorca page.
Contact me on