About me



  I was born in 1950. I live in Shetland with my husband. I have published nine collections of poetry and translations, plus a Selected Poems and a sort of mini-Selected, two novels and a critical study of fan fiction (see Books). I translate poems mainly from German but sometimes also from French and Ancient Greek. I read German and Russian at the University of Bristol and used to teach creative writing at the University of Glamorgan.  I still visit Cardiff, where I used to live, regularly.


My interests are language, history, northern landscapes from Shetland to the Arctic and all points in between, snooker, mortality, cyberspace (I waste massive amounts of time online) and above all, people. I like to use poems to commemorate people and places, sometimes to amuse, to have a go at things I don't like (censorship, intolerance, pomposity) and above all to entertain. 

I have been accused of being "populist" and "too accessible", both of which I hope are true.

My blog is here.  It's usually about writing-re
lated stuff.

Things I've 


I have won many prizes and awards, including the Forward Prize for best single poem of 1998, the Bridport Prize, the PHRAS prize, the Cardiff International Poetry Prize (twice) and the British Comparative Literature Association's Translation Prize. My poems have been included in several anthologies, notably Poems on the Underground and The Hutchinson Book of Post-War British Poetry. They have also been set to music, have appeared on the trams of Helsinki and the St Petersburg Underground, and have been translated into German, French, Italian, Russian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch.

List of titles

These are my published books to date:


Poems and translations


Crowded by Shadows, Christopher Davies, Swansea, 1977

What a Place to Grow Flowers, Christopher Davies, Swansea, 1979

Earth Studies and Other Voyages, Poetry Wales Press, Bridgend, 1982

Prisoners of Transience, Poetry Wales Press, Bridgend, 1985

Beware Falling Tortoises, Poetry Wales Press, 1987

Selected Poems, Seren, Bridgend, 1990

Sing for the Taxman, Seren, Bridgend, 1993

Id's Hospit, Seren, Bridgend, 1997

Stonelight, Seren, Bridgend, 1999

The Beautiful Lie: Seren, Bridgend, 2002.

What If This Road, Gwalch Carreg Cyf, Llanrwst 2003

The Movement of Bodies, Seren, Bridgend, 2005

Long-Haul Travellers, Seren 2008

Later Selected Poems: Seren 2009

Short Days, Long Shadows, Seren 2014




Kirstie's Witnesses, The Shetland Publishing Company, Lerwick, 1998 (reprinted 1999)

Folk Music, Seren, Bridgend, 1999


Critical work


The Democratic Genre: fan fiction in a literary context,  Seren, Bridgend, 2005