I’m an ex-lawyer who was hit by a car when I was 29 and decided to change career – I’m now an award-winning poet, author, broadcaster, performer and speaker. I write for adults and children, run writing workshops in schools and theatres, and have spoken / performed at various festivals as well as the Royal Institution and Wigmore Hall.
My first non-fiction book for adults, Love Factually (UK and Australia) / Love Understood (US) was published by Bloomsbury in January. I also narrated the audiobook on Audible. The book explores love by combining academic research with interviews I conducted with hundreds of strangers across 40 countries on every continent. I’ve been really lucky to have had lots of coverage, including in The Daily Mail, The Express, The Guardian, The Telegraph, i Paper, Sunday Post, The Sydney Morning Herald, on the BBC World Service, BBC Radio 3, Eamonn Holmes on talkRADIO, BBC Radio London, BBC Manchester, WNYC, ABC Australia, Triple J, Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch, and BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour.
I also write picture books, non-fiction and poetry for children (I have some books in the pipeline but I can’t tell you about them just yet). Some of my writing is funny (or at least I hope it is…). But some is serious and addresses important things that aren’t always talked about, like sadness, fear or kindness. I often think about how we live and what we can do to make our lives, and the lives of others, a little bit better.
In 2016, I won the Caterpillar Poetry Prize, and my non-fiction and poetry have been widely published around the world (including by Bloomsbury, Macmillan, Wayland, Otter-Barry Books, Troika, The Emma Press, The Irish Times, The Pool, The Caterpillar, Teach Primary, Springboard Stories, The Poetry School, SCBWI Bulletin, Countdown and Touchdown). My poems have been illustrated by Chris Riddell, set to music by Cheryl Frances-Hoad and Graham Ross, and performed by Helena Bonham Carter. They’ve appeared on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 6 Music, and Classic FM and last year, Poetry Ireland featured me alongside Jackie Kay as one of eight poets displayed on the Dublin overground.