Friday, 4 December 2020

Broadcast and Cancer News

Tomorrow I’ll be talking to Marie-Louise Muir about my new book, The Skylark’s Call, in The Culture Cafe on BBC Radio Ulster. I’m delighted to have been invited to appear on the show. Please wish me luck, because the interview will be broadcast live. The show goes out on Saturday 5 December at 6.05pm.

The Skylark’s Call, published by Dempsey & Windle, is my second poetry collection. The theme of the book is the vitality and vulnerability of everyday life. All of the poems were written during my years of treatment for and recovery from advanced cancer. The poems don’t seek to address my cancer experience directly, but explore the fragile and often invisible boundary between life and death. In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, this is a territory we are all now having to deal with.

And on this topic, I have some great news. I’ve just got the results of my latest cancer surveillance CT scan. I’m delighted to say that it shows no evidence of any recurrence. That makes me clear of cancer for four years now.

Thankfully, I can begin the process of trying to calm down. It’s not easy when you’ve been on tenterhooks for weeks on end. I hope the sleepless nights will soon abate. It would usually take me around a week to come down from all the stress and anxiety of a surveillance scan. However, this time the disturbances will likely last a little longer, because next Wednesday, I have my book launch. I will say more about that in my next post.

The Skylark’s Call is priced at £10 and can be bought online from and from And if you buy the book through my website, I’d be delighted to sign and dedicate it for you.

For every copy of my book that is sold, £1 will be donated to Cancer Focus Northern Ireland. In these difficult times, it’s important that we continue to give support to those suffering from cancer.

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