Here you'll find some extracts from some of my recent personal writing, with links to the extended pieces for anyone interested in reading more. This is a new departure for me, so I'd welcome your feedback: you can get in touch and leave comments here.

 

In 2012, 26 writers, among them one of my favourite poets, the wonderful Maura Dooley, and the National Poet of Wales, Gillian Clarke, were paired with treasures from four great museums in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. ​Writers were tasked with writing a poem in exactly 62 words responding in some way to a treasure with which they were randomly paired. The resulting poems have been collected together in a beautiful book, 26 Treasures, published by Unbound and launched at the V&A in September 2012.

 

My poem, a response to a word list created by Dylan Thomas for 'Poem on his birthday' (from the archive at the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth), features in the book, alongside a Welsh translation by Hilma Lloyd Edwards. You can read the poem below, and also listen to a recording of writer Sian Northey reading the Welsh version aloud (I apologise for the poor quality of the recording).

 

Read the story behind my poem here.

Visit the 26 Treasures web page.

Dylan Thomas's Word List

​Above the gull-strewn, sand-duned bay

Where water rip-curls, spurting spray

At sullen skies that threaten rain,

He crumples paper; tries again

 

Lighting his umpteenth cigarette,

Sifting thesaurus and alphabet,

He aspirates and assonates as he inscribes

The creamy page with blue word-tribes

 

Striving, in the ever-creeping gloom

Of his womb-like, tomb-like room,

Though brain-wracked and battle-scarred,

To be THE poet; THE bard

 

 

26 Treasures

 

‘Trysor’ – Rhestr eiriau Dylan Thomas

Uwch twyni’r bae a’i wylain lu

Lle troella dŵr, tasgu ewyn fry

At awyr flin sy’n bygwth glawio,

Gwasga bapur; cynnig eto.

 

A’i gant-a-milfed sigarét ynghyn,

Gogrwn geiriadur a gwyddor fyn,

Treiglo, cyseinio, rhoi â blas

Ar ddalen wen llwyth geiriau glas.

 

Ymdrechu ’ngwyll ymledol ’stafell

Sydd megis croth, megis claddgell,

Er meddwl ysig, creithiau brwydr,

I fod Y bardd; YR awdur.

 

Welsh translation by Hilma Lloyd Edwards 

'Freefall', short story

This short story sprang from a brief set by Helen Shipman of Falmouth University. We were asked to combine several techniques within one story: an opening summary, a real-time dialogue scene, a flashback and a slow motion scene. 


You can read the opening summary below: if you'd like to read the rest, just follow the link...

 


Freefall

 

Everyone’s nervous the first time. Hunched in the doorway of a plane listening to the 90mph wind buffeting the props, staring down at the earth 14,000 feet below, fingers white from grabbing the rail.

 

When you finally swing yourself out into the blue, momentum carries you forwards as well as down: for a few seconds you’re ‘on the hill’. You reach terminal velocity (an unfortunate phrase, given the circumstances) in twelve seconds, experiencing about 50 seconds of freefall where you’re hurtling towards the ground at 120mph, before the chute kicks in...