Here you’ll find information about my writing, teaching, reviewing and festival curation.

A graduate of the Goldsmiths MA in Creative & Life Writing, I debuted at the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival with a work of literary fiction, That Summer in Puglia, and I’m currently finishing my second novel (historical fiction). I’ve been teaching creative writing since 2013 to audiences of all ages and levels of experience, from beginners to Creative Writing BA and MA classes at UK universities. I teach ad-hoc sessions and entire creative-writing courses, in person and online. Check out my writing retreats, which are on the Write Life’s list of 25+ Incredible Writers Retreats to Attend, and my whole-day masterclasses for the Literaturhaus Zentralschweiz.

I hope the interrelated subjects on this website will resonate with you: they range from literature, music, history and creative writing, to why and how different arts engage with each other. Why my passionate engagement with the arts and humanities? Because their economic impact on our societies may defy easy measurement, but that on everyone’s well-being is immense.

Events - That Summer in Puglia
‘That Summer in Puglia’ is now in its third print run. For reports on the above events, see the section ‘That Summer in Puglia / Events’

Why do I write? To make sense of the world and to make a – certainly infinitesimal – difference. Novels are not ‘useful’ in the way of how-to guides, any more than myth and fairy tale, music or painting are. Hopefully, a reader or two will find that one of mine spoke to them. And why do I teach? To enable others to tap into their innate creativity, to explore characters’ inner and outer worlds and to grow ever more confident in their self-expression.

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Luigi Mayer, View of the Harbour of Brindisi, 1776, oil on canvas, private collection

The painting on this page seemed appropriate because of its personal, literary and historical associations. I was born in Brindisi, Italy’s Porta d’Oriente, or ‘Gateway to the East’.  This is a view of its harbour, which opens onto the Corfu channel: the Roman columns mark the endpoint of the Appian Way; on the right is the house traditionally said to stand in place of the one where Virgil died; here Caesar tried to stop Pompey and his army; here Emperor Frederick II married Isabella, Queen of Jerusalem; for centuries the city was fought over by a long series of foreign conquerors who left their mark, a patchwork of Northern European and Mediterranean cultures. The painting is by Luigi Mayer (1755-1803), an Italian-German artist and close friend of Sir Robert Ainslie, British Ambassador to Turkey from 1776 to 1792. Mayer travelled throughout the Ottoman Empire depicting the landscapes and people, from the Balkans and the Greek Islands to Turkey and Egypt. On the way there, he set sail from Brindisi, as Virgil had done and countless others still do today. Voyages take many forms – I hope this website will be a refreshing stopover on yours.

Image credits:

That Summer In Puglia cover photo: © Salvo d’Avila; all rights reserved; reproduced with kind permission of the artist. Book cover graphic design: Edwin Smet.

Photo of Luigi Mayer’s View of the Harbour of Brindisi by Valeria Vescina.  Copyright, all rights reserved.

Image of The Appian Way and the later Via Appia Traiana by NASA.  Reproduced under Public Domain license.

Image of The Port of Brindisi, from The Book of Navigation of Piri Reis from Wikimedia Commons. Reproduced under Public Domain license.