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. His first poem was published in 2003 and 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 Brönte Homeland of County Down, near the Mountains of Mourne.


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


Mere Literary Festival Adjudicators Prize (2017)
Rush Poetry Competition (2017)
Federation of Writers of Scotland Poetry Competition (2016)
Newry Writers Festival: Opening Address and Reading (2016)
Artists Embassy International Poetry Contest (2015)
Atlanta Review International Poetry Competition (2015)
Slipstream Poetry Competition (2015)
Ulster Tatler: The Book of The Month Award (2011)
Poetry Kit - Caught in the Net: Featured Poet (2011)
Sentinel Literary Quarterly Competition (2010)
Aesthetica Creative Works Competition (2009)
Poetry Ireland Introductions Competition (2006)


Writing Armistice Poetry Competition (2018)
York Literature Festival Poetry Competition (2018)
Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Competition (2018)
Allingham Poetry 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)
Torbay Open Poetry Competition (2015)

Ealing Festival Poetry Prize (2014)
Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Prize (2009)
Cannon Poets Silver Jubilee National Competition (2009)
Jack Clemo Poetry Prize (2009)
Over the Edge New Writer of the Year Competition (2009)
Cinnamon Press Poetry Award (2008; 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".

Paul's poetry has appeared in literary journals from England, Scotland, Ireland, Australia and the USA, including Abridged, Aesthetica, Boyne Berries, The Cannon's MouthCarillon, Crannog, Decanto, The Frogmore Papers, Gold Dust, HeadStuff, The Honest Ulsterman, HQ, The Interpreter’s House, Magma, Markings, Mobius, Northwords Now, Poetry Scotland, Revival, Sentinel, Silkworm, The Stony Thursday Book, Stylus, Tales from the Forest and Tamara.

His poems also feature in anthologies from established poetry presses, including Cinnamon Press (Wales), Dedalus Press (Ireland) 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 (in Bangor), the Belfast Book Festival, the Belfast International Festival, the Dingle Arts Festival, the Gort Literature Festival, the Lincoln Book Festival and the St Ives Literature Festival.

His poetry has been featured on BBC Radio. Paul has twice been interviewed and has read a selection of 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 (in Dublin) for Poetry Ireland, the Irish Writer’s Centre (in Dublin), the Market Place Theatre (in Armagh), the Black Box (in Belfast), the Millennium Court Arts Centre (in Portadown), the Dock (in Leitrim) and
O Bheal (in Cork).

Paul has also performed his poetry on Culture Night (in Belfast), on All Ireland Poetry Day (in Leitrim), and has given organised public readings in libraries, cafés and taverns across the island of Ireland.

He co-hosts The Squat Pen, a regular series of literary events that take place across Northern Ireland.


Paul is a long-standing member of the Writer's Group at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry in Belfast.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a founding member of the Northern Ireland Literature Forum.

A professional Adult Educator with over 20 years experience, Paul has convened writer's groups and led writing workshops.

Paul is a Board member and Trustee of Concern Worldwide (appointed in 2005). He has travelled extensively (often by bicycle) in developing countries, including Botswana, Chile, China, Cuba, Egypt, Jordan, Kenya, Laos, Morocco, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tunisia, Vietnam and Zambia. He is a strong supporter of humanitarian development work in developing countries.

Paul is also a Board Member and Trustee of Cancer Focus Northern Ireland (appointed in 2017). He is a strong supporter of their valuable work with cancer patients and their families, and in cancer prevention. He received support from them following his own cancer diagnosis in 2011 and has been an active member of the Sing for Life Community Choir since its inception in 2012.

Paul is an Emeritus Professor of Queen's University Belfast.