Early on in my PhD, I went to the library to track down some books I wanted to read. Broadly speaking, they could all be categorised as ‘Place Writing’. They weren’t all together, though. The library didn’t have a number for that. Instead, I found them under history, nature and (a little oddly) misery memoir. I love how slippery the idea of place is, how it encompasses nature writing, psychogeography, cultural philosophy, social history… It absorbs multiplicity, breaks out in polyphonic form.
My published books are novels; canals run through them both, grounding the story and and tying the narrative together. My PhD – in which I explore Manchester’s canals – is rooted in creative non-fiction, where memoir and prose poetry and history and experience mingle together to create something hybrid. It’s a very exciting process.
Outside of this, I’m an Associate Lecturer in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University, and also share my research through tutorials with The Brilliant Club. From September, I’ll be a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Manchester University. And I love dogs. They are the best research partners in the world.