Paul grew up in a hamlet near the border between England and Wales. After living and working in three different continents he settled in Northern Ireland in 1998.

During 2000 he started to write poems in his spare time, rekindling an interest in poetry that had lain dormant for decades. In 2006 he was selected by Poetry Ireland as an emerging writer of 'real talent'. In 2009 he left his job to pursue a new career as a writer.

Paul lives in the Brontë Country of County Down, near the Mountains of Mourne.


Paul has won a series of awards in national and international poetry competitions:


Seamus Burns Writing Competition, 2nd Prize (2019)
Poetry Commission for Concern Worldwide (2019)
Billy Collins Masterclass Competition (2019)
Eyewear Publishing Pamphlet Competition (2018)
Mere Literary Festival Adjudicators Prize (2017)
Rush Poetry Competition, 3rd Prize (2017)
Federation of Writers Poetry Competition, 2nd Prize (2016)
Artists Embassy International Poetry Contest, 2nd Prize (2015)
Slipstream Poetry Competition, 3rd Prize (2015)
Ulster Tatler: The Book of The Month Award (2011)
Poetry Kit: Featured Poet (2011)
Sentinel Literary Quarterly Competition, 3rd Prize (2010)
Arts Council of NI Manuscript Development Competition (2009)
Poetry Ireland Introductions Competition (2006)


Prole Books Pamphlet Competition (2018)
Writing Armistice Poetry Competition (2018)
York Literature Festival Poetry Competition (2018)
Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Competition (2018)
Allingham Poetry Competition (2017)
Cannon Poets Sonnet Competition (2017)
Mere Literary Festival Poetry Competition (2017)
Stanley Spencer Poetry Prize (2017)
Dermot Healy International Poetry Award (2016)
Doolin Writers Festival Poetry Award (2016)
Atlanta Review International Poetry Competition (2015)
Torbay Open Poetry Competition (2015)
Ealing Festival Poetry Prize (2014)
Jack Clemo Poetry Prize (2009)
Cannon Poets Silver Jubilee National Competition (2009)
Over the Edge New Writer of the Year Competition (2009) Aesthetica Creative Works Competition (2009)
Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Prize (2009)


Latch, his debut collection of poetry, was published by Lagan Press in November 2010. This manuscript was Highly Commended by the judges of the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Prize (2009) and was further enhanced through a Manuscript Development Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

Latch was selected as The Book of The Month (July 2011) by the Ulster Tatler. "A wonderful collection from a very talented poet; the tone is confident and assured, the content is thought-provoking and, as a whole, it stokes passion and emotion within the reader."

Paul's poetry has appeared in literary journals in Australia, Austria, Canada, Ireland, the UK and the USA, including: Abridged, Aesthetica, Boyne Berries, Coast to Coast to Coast,
The Cannon's Mouth, Crannog, The Frogmore Papers, The Honest Ulsterman, Ink, Sweat & Tears,
The Interpreter’s House, Magma, Mobius, Northwords Now, Obsessed With Pipework, Orbis, Oxford Poetry, Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry Salzburg Review, The Poets’ Republic, The Stony Thursday Book, Stylus, Tales from the Forest and Vallum.

His poems also feature in anthologies from established poetry presses, including Cinnamon Press (Wales), Dedalus Press (Ireland) and Dempsey & Windle and Two Rivers Press (England). 


Paul has been selected to read at major arts festivals in the UK and Ireland, including: the Aspects Festival of Irish Literature , the Belfast Book Festival, the Belfast International Festival, the Dingle Arts Festival, the Lincoln Book Festival and the St Ives Literature Festival. In 2018 he was invited to read in the Scottish Poetry Library at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

His work has been featured four times on BBC Radio. Paul has been interviewed three times by Marie-Louise Muir and has read a selection of his poems on Arts Extra, he has also contributed to Rhythm and Rhyme.

He has given public readings at numerous venues across the island of Ireland, including: Damer Hall (Dublin) for Poetry Ireland, the Irish Writer’s Centre (Dublin), the Market Place Theatre (Armagh), the Black Box (Belfast), the Crescent Arts Centre (Belfast), the Linenhall Library (Belfast), the Millennium Court Arts Centre (Portadown), the Dock (Leitrim) and Ó Bhéal (Cork).

Paul’s work has also been featured at journal and anthology launches in Belfast, Dublin, London, Montreal and York, amongst others.

In 2016, he gave the keynote address and the opening reading at the Newry Writers Festival.

Paul founded, organises and hosts The Squat Pen, a regular series of ‘words and music’ events that have taken place in theatres, arts centres, cafes and bookshops across the island of Ireland since 2013.


Paul is a longstanding member of the Writers’ Group at the Seamus Heaney Centre in Belfast, chaired by Ciaran Carson. Since 2013 he has been the Deputy Convenor of the group.

In 2014, he was Writer in Residence for Big Telly Theatre Company; he has also led writing and creative development workshops for a range of organisations in Northern Ireland.

In 2011, Paul began a blog called ‘Writing to Survive’, about cancer treatment and living with the threat of recurrence. His blog has garnered many plaudits and has hundreds of regular readers. Thankfully, he has been clear of cancer for the past three years.

Paul was the founding Chair of the Northern Ireland Literature Forum and a Director of Kabosh Theatre Company. He has also undertaken a range of senior management and governance roles in a number of educational, professional and charitable organisations, including: Concern Worldwide and Cancer Focus Northern Ireland.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and an Emeritus Professor of Queen's University Belfast.