Hello. If you’ve clicked in here you’ll no doubt have done so either because you’re my friend, my girlfriend or you’re related to me, and for that I’m grateful. If you’re not any of those things then let me extend an even further thank you and explain a little bit about what makes me tick.
First, there’s the reading. And then the writing. Both of these things have interested me for as long as I can remember and like most people who enthusiastically read and write I have some favourites. These favourites are transient and subject to change, but right now they include: Richard Ford, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Sinéad Morrissey, Philip Levine, Leontia Flynn, Claudia Rankine, Seamus Heaney, Oscar Wilde, James Baldwin, Ciaran Carson, Arthur Rimbaud and Carolyn Forché.
I am fixated on the subject of post-Celtic Tiger Ireland and, in particular, on the experiences of Irish emigrants who left the country following the Crash. I have started to dip my toe in the water of exploring this subject in my own writing—having recently joined the ex-pat community myself—and alongside writing poems about the history of my hometown on the Irish border, I am fascinated by writing that unpicks the peculiarities of other regional communities across the island.
I like music and the occasional pint. Like the people who enjoy reading, the people who take their music seriously invariably have their favourites and for me these include: The Clash, The Doors, The Beatles, A Tribe Called Quest, Sonic Youth, Radiohead, 2Pac, My Bloody Valentine, LCD Soundsystem, Nirvana, Jefferson Airplane, Fleet Foxes, Bob Dylan Arctic Monkeys and Arcade Fire.
I have a girlfriend who I love and a small elderly dog who we rescued from a sanctuary. We live in a two bedroom flat just off Sefton Park in Liverpool and we spend way too much time eating awful food and watching trash TV. But our lives are great. The immigrant experience can often be difficult—even if you’re coming from somewhere as close to Britain culturally as Ireland is physically—but we have an enthusiasm and closeness that keeps us going and a determination to see things right.
I tend mostly to write about the things I’ve mentioned, though occasionally something off-piste might catch my interest and I hope you’ll forgive it if the feeling takes me. Whatever you find here, I hope you think of it as honest and if it has the added bonus of being interesting, well then so much the better.