I was born in Birkenhead, Merseyside (the home of Tranmere Rovers FC!) and grew up on the Wirral. My wife and I moved to York in 2006 where we share a home with several goldfish.
My writing background complements a lifelong interest in the sciences. I have a degree and doctorate in Chemistry and worked for 14 years as a research scientist on projects which included anti-cancer drug discovery and global food security. I was then made redundant and made the decision to re-train in law. I now work in the charitable sector as a legal adviser specialising in Housing law, assisting people who are homeless or who are faced with losing their homes.
And so to the writing... I have had more than 50 poems published in a wide range of journals including Aesthetica, Beautiful Scruffiness, Envoi, First Time, Monkey Kettle, Orbis and Pulsar, and in four Ragged Raven Press poetry anthologies. I've won numerous poetry awards including ten First Prizes in UK and international competitions. I also write short stories (under the name A.J. Humphrey), with publication in Dark Tales, Scribble, and in anthologies from Earlyworks Press, Stairwell Books, Bridge House Publishing and Words magazine.
My debut poetry collection, A Long Way to Fall, was published in May 2013 by Lapwing Publications, representing 17 years' worth of poetic effort. The collection includes a number of prize winning poems, including 5 of my First Prize winners. The follow-up, Satires - a stylistically very different collection - was published in March 2015 by Stairwell Books and is a fundraiser for the Yorkshire-based homelessness prevention charity Keyhouse.
As a freelance writer I undertake regular commissions to write articles and website content, run writing workshops (including a monthly critique workshop for York Writers), and adjudicate creative writing competitions.
I am co-host and organiser of The Speakers' Corner. This successful monthly open mic in York has provided a forum for poetry, storytelling and spoken word performances of all kinds for over 10 years. We alternate up-and-coming local talent with established writers and our special guest performers have included Forward Prize shortlisted poets, Saboteur Award-winning spoken word performers and Bridport Prize winners. It continues to attract a dedicated local and regional following.
As a Roman Catholic Christian I have served on the leadership team of the Lay Community of St. Benedict and I maintain a keen interest in ecumenical and inter-faith dialogue. I am a Friend of the Iona Community.
My other favourite things include twilight, fairy tales, single malt whisky, ornithology, folk music, classic comedy, the life and works of Jean Sibelius and the landscape and mythology of Northern Europe. My favourite colour is Indigo and my ambition is to prove that Dragons really existed and, in fact, quite possibly still do.
(information last updated 17.03.2016)
To enquire about commissioning freelance work, or for more information about any of the groups listed here, please contact Andy by email.