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Tender and insightful, harrowing and uplifting, Dorothy is a stunning act of empathy from a son towards his mother.  Her story, told through the author’s assured, unpretentious verse, is both specific and universal enough to resonate with all who encounter it; to challenge some, heal others, and leave a lasting impression on the world Dorothy came to love.

“A beautifully-observed, deeply-moving elegy with a profound sense of authenticity – a genuine work of art.” Jamie McGarry

“Startling and tender.” Poetry Book Society

“Dorothy’ is a poetic tour de force, poignant and powerful. It tells the story of an ordinary Yorkshire woman in a feat of stunning empathy, beauty and brilliant writing.  I have read nothing like it in 20th or 21st Century poetry.  A work of near genius.”James Nash

Dorothy is available from booksellers and direct from the publisher
ISBN 978-1-915606-32-7
UK £15
US $18
EU €17

Plays

The ‘brief scenes’ in this collection are short plays for small casts. They are mainly humorous, though always with a serious and thought provoking edge.

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A collection of one-act plays, first produced by Leeds Arts Centre at The Carriageworks Theatre. It’s A Miracle – A secret kept since childhood can’t be kept secret any longer, but the consequence is not what was expected.

The Colin Atkins Story – A comic account of the birth of the first British teenager in 1956, somewhere in the north of England.

Is there anybody there? – A famous atheist finds himself in a seaside boarding house one morning, with no memory of how he got there.

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A short play about a man and his stammer, written in collaboration with Dr Trudy Stewart.

“Why do you talk funny?” a little boy asks Alex, the central character. Unspoken won’t enable audiences to answer the question, but it will show them what it feels like to hear it asked.

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Unborn is a play about gender inequality in India, written in collaboration with students at Punjabi University, Patiala, and first performed by an all-female student cast, directed by the author, in February 2019.

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Stories

a long time ago

in a village called Jhang

on the banks of Chenab

one of the five rivers of Punjab

there lived a beautiful girl called Heer Sayal

Heer Ranjha, the best known of all Punjabi folk tales, is often called ‘the Romeo and Juliet of Punjab’. But it is hardly known at all in Britain. Coming from an oral story-telling tradition, there are many versions, from which I have taken the essential ingredients of love and revenge, joy and sadness, to make a new English version in free verse.

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The Indian legend of Rama and Sita tells the long and exciting story of their marriage and banishment, Sita’s abduction by Ravana, ten-headed demon king, her rescue by Rama with the help of Hanuman and his monkey army, ending with their triumphant return to Ayodhya and the beginning of Ramraj, a thousand years of peace and happiness.

Rama’s rule in Ayodhya, Ram-raj, was a time of peace, a golden age.  This was partly because Rama was a good king and partly because all the tangled threads of the years that had gone before had finally been untangled.  It is not often that the knots in people’s lives are untied and not long before they become knotted up again, which is why most people wish they could return to the uncomplicated lives they led when they were children and why every year in India people celebrate the return of Rama to Ayodhya by lighting candles to show him the way…

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