Andy Humphrey

Andy was born in Birkenhead, Merseyside (the home of Tranmere Rovers FC!) and grew up on the Wirral. He moved to York with his wife  in 2006 where they share a home with several goldfish.

He is presently juggling a number of different careers, combining freelance writing with part-time work as an administrator for a housing charity and part-time study as a law student at the College of Law, York. Prior to this he worked for 14 years as a research scientist on projects which included anti-cancer drug discovery and global food security. He is a committed member of the trade union movement and has been a local rep and personal case worker for the UCU and Prospect trade unions and is currently a member of Unite.

He has had more than 50 poems published in a wide range of journals including AestheticaBeautiful ScruffinessEnvoiFirst TimeMonkey KettleOrbis and Pulsar, and in four Ragged Raven Press poetry anthologies; has won numerous poetry awards including seven First Prizes in UK and international competitions. He writes short stories (under the name A.J. Humphrey), with publication in Dark TalesScribble, and in anthologies from Earlyworks PressStairwell BooksBridge House Publishing and Words magazine.

His debut poetry collection, A Long Way to Fall, was published in May 2013 by Lapwing Publications, representing 17 years' worth of poetic effort. The collection includes a number of prize winning poems, including 5 of 8 (to date) First Prize winners.

Andy has a very creative relationship with malt whiskey and has run some very successful workshops which feature both whiskey and words. He has recently been a member of the Sounds Lyrical Project where classical composers set contemporary poems to music and the results performed in concerts around the region.

As a freelance writer he undertakes regular commissions to write articles and website content, run writing workshops, and adjudicate creative writing competitions. He has recently undertaken commissions for the Ryedale Book Festival, SpeakeasyRipon Writers and the Vitae research careers website.

His opinion blog, The Poet's Soapbox, started life as a column in LINK, the magazine of the National Association of Writers' Groups, and has been quoted numerous times in the literary press.

For some years he has been co-host and organiser of The Speakers' Corner. This successful monthly open mic has provided a forum for poetry, storytelling and spoken word performances of all kinds. In 2012 he became Chair of York Writers, a support group for writers, run by writers. As a Roman Catholic Christian he has served on the leadership team of the Lay Community of St. Benedict and maintains a keen interest in ecumenical and inter-faith dialogue.

His other favourite things include twilight, fairy tales, single malt whisky, ornithology, folk music, classic comedy, the life and works of Jean Sibelius and the landscape and mythology of Northern Europe. His favourite colour is Indigo and his ambition is to prove that Dragons really existed and, in fact, quite possibly still do.

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