17 Apr

After leaving school, Stephen studied history and languages at Trinity College Dublin, before going on to the University of Ulster, Coleraine where he obtained his post graduate qualification in Social Work. His professional career focussed on child welfare in both the statutory and voluntary sectors. He continues to be involved in fostering in Northern Ireland and for nearly 25 years he has contributed to work with vulnerable young people in Moldova, Eastern Europe. Stephen is married with three grown up children and 3 grandchildren. 

It was only after retiring from a busy, all-consuming work life that Stephen began to write and develop his interest in poetry. Like many people his main exposure to the poetic form was studying ‘O’ level English literature where he read and learned Wordsworth, Keats and Yeats, now still able to recite their magical words some fifty years later. His writing reflects his Christian faith, his interest in the place he lives, his deep appreciation of nature and fascination with ordinary, everyday occurrences. His love for Cregagh Glen and his immediate environs resonates in several of his poems. As well as being influenced by the Romantics, Stephen enjoys reading contemporary poets, favourites being Malcolm Guite, Wendell Berry, Billy Collins and the highly entertaining ‘Banksy’ of internet poetry, Brian Bilston. Many of Stephen’s poems appear on the Positive Belfast YouTube channel. He has had poems featured on BBC Radio Ulster and has been published by New Isles Press Yellow House Publishing and online by Rancid Idols Productions. 

Stephen is an advocate of the C. S. Lewis dictum that: ‘Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work.’ His debut collection of poetry will be published by Yellow House Publishing autumn 2024.

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