I'm a freelance writer and researcher based in Cambridge, England, where I'm also a Fellow of Wolfson College.
My research interests lie in the different ways in which the written and the spoken word are experienced, and in the relationships between text and voice, page and body. Poetry and poetic language are therefore a natural field of enquiry.
At the moment I'm working on a new book about the value of learning poetry. Drawing on the findings from our Poetry and Memory Project, it weaves together and real-life stories of poems learned by heart, recent research in memory and neuroscience, and some of the history of memorisation.
I made a late re-entry to academia via a masters degree in Children's Literature, another one in Educational Research and then a PhD, all at the University of Cambridge. This work eventually translated into my book on poetry written for children. I have taught on both undergraduate and masters courses in Children's literature at the Faculty of Education in Cambridge.
Before all of that I was a freelance editor, writer and journalist, writing and editing non-fiction books, literacy materials, and multimedia resources. And before that, I'd worked as an editor in educational publishing, had two happy years as a games inventor, and, back in the mists of time, started out as a primary school teacher.
I was born on a border, between Wales and England, and have dwelt on edges and borders of all kinds ever since. I love walking, preferably on mountains, treading between earth and sky.(And thus, most days, wonder why I am living in Cambridge.) I'm deeply interested in the natural world, the inner life and spirituality. I craft poems and occasionally write plays. I'm happy that all these aspects of life and work are becoming increasingly integrated.