The son of an actor and a teacher/artist, I was born in 1966 in Effingham, England. I grew up in Richmond-upon-Thames, attending Greycourt School and Richmond College, then studying English at Exeter University and Christ Church, Oxford.
An aborted doctoral degree coincided with a decade playing and coaching Ultimate Frisbee – including co-founding the Oxford University Ultimate team, OW! – and the start of my career as a teacher and writer. I first taught English as a foreign language at a language school on the Banbury Road, Oxford, then in Valencia, Spain; and went on to teach 20th Century literature, film and creative writing to visiting students at Mansfield and Wadham Colleges, among others. I also performed in and co-directed numerous amateur plays, including Bernstein’s Candide (at The Oxford Playhouse) and Christopher Marlowe’s Dr Faustus (at The Old Fire Station).
In 2004, following a four-month excursion to South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and the Fiji islands, I moved from Oxford to Bath to work full-time with Advanced Studies in England, and in 2010 became its Dean and Director. When time allows, I still teach two courses: The Beast, Big Brother and Beyond: Post-war British Fiction on Film; and Mementoes: Reading, Writing and Remembering.
These days, I split my time between my home in the Somerset countryside, the Boston / New England area and Greece.
A is for Donkeys
My first publication, an illustrated alphabet book, A is for Donkeys, is a collaboration with my friend, the Italian artist Riccardo Guasco (pictured with me and his wife, Ilaria). It was first created by my wife, Vonnie, as a surprise present for my 50th birthday. The private unveiling, at my party in October 2016, was accompanied by many expletives; the public launch in Bath, in January 2017, by an exhibition of illustrations at 44ADartspace. This has since been followed by exhibitions at Blackwell’s Bookshop, and Turl Street Kitchen, both in Oxford, and at the Green Rocket Cafe in Bath.
My second book, B is Two Bubbles, is a follow-up to Donkeys inspired by my daughter, Ivy, who showed me that A is – of course! – a mountain. Thanks to a second delightful collaboration with Riccardo, the book contains numerous visual references to the extraordinary architectural beauty of the city of Bath, which I am happy to call home.