Welcome to my creative writing pages. The purpose of these pages is to showcase some of my creative work and provide links to my published material so that those who enjoy the samples of my work showcased here can track down some more. I hope you enjoy what you find here!
My introduction to poetry came in primary school when one enlightened teacher slipped me a copy of a wonderful anthology entitled The Armada Lion Book of Young Verse. My strongest poetic memory is of my Mum reciting Edward Lear's The Dong with a Luminous Nose in such a scary voice that it used to send me cowering under the bed-sheets! I still consider The Dong to be the high point of gothic romantic verse. More importantly, this was my first taste of performance poetry, and of the power of expression in the human voice.
I started writing poetry while studying for my doctorate at Edinburgh University; and that might never have happened if it wasn't for the influence of Father Tom Kearns, Catholic chaplain and founder of a little group called the "Live Poets' Society". We used to meet every couple of weeks to share poetry, wine and gossip - and this was where I started to try out my own voice as a poet for the first time.
The Speakeasy writers' group in Milton Keynes first challenged me to send out my poetry to competitions and to magazines. The result has been a small clutch of poetry prizes (including ten First Prizes, to date, in UK and international competitions), two published collections and more than 50 poems in print in anthologies, magazines and small press poetry journals.
I love poetry as a spoken, and performed, artform, not just something on a page. For me it's in the spoken word that the power of poetry really lies. The bards of old carried social comment, gossip and wisdom in their poetry; the best of today's performance poets are an honourable part of that tradition.
My first full-length collection of poetry was published in May 2013 by Lapwing Publications.
Andy's poetry page - some samples of my work, rotated regularly
More sample poems from me on my Write Out Loud profile.
The Poet's Soapbox blog - online, interactive spin-out from my regular column in NAWG LINK.
The Speakers' Corner - poetry/spoken word open mic night in York, where I am resident MC.
Other favourite links - poetry publishers, magazines and resources - coming soon!
I've also written a number of short stories, several of which have been published (under the name of A.J. Humphrey to distinguish me from the respected speculative fiction writer, Andy Humphrey, who already had an established following when I was first starting to get published).
You can read some samples on my short story page. You can find others in the following superb books:
Old Magic in a New Age
(Earlyworks Press, 2009,
Featuring "The Ash Lady" by A.J. Humphrey
Pressed by Unseen Feet
(Stairwell Books, 2012,
Featuring "Featherblack Redbeak" by A.J. Humphrey
(Bridge House Publishing, 2008,
Featuring "I Borrowed a Poltergeist" by
(Bridge House Publishing,
Featuring the short stories "Hamelin" and "Reflection" by A.J. Humphrey
I worked for many years as a research scientist and have published several scientific papers including review articles in areas of Bio-Organic Chemistry. Samples and links to follow.
From 2010-11 I was a staff blogger on the Vitae research careers website, posting articles and reflections on life and a career as a researcher in the university and government sectors. You can access the Vitae blog here.
I also run The Poet's Soapbox, a forthright opinion blog on issues in contemporary poetry (including reviews of recent poetry collections). Please visit and share your thoughts!