Martyn Halsall grew up in Southport (then in Lancashire) before taking one of the first BEd degrees at the College of St. Mark and St. John (then in Chelsea at the far end of the King’s Road, and the Swinging Sixties).
After working as a reporter on local and regional newspapers in Southport, Oxford and Liverpool, he joined The Guardian in Manchester to report on religious affairs, then later northern industry, a job that took him from Hampstead to Iceland and Moscow to Singapore. He later worked as a communications advisor in the Church of England. He now lives and writes in rural West Cumbria.
He holds an MA in Creative Writing (with distinction) from the University of Lancaster, and wrote his PhD, Rembrandt’s Sandwich: Poetic Truth in Times of Exile, in creative literary studies at the University of Cumbria.
Martyn has published a children’s novel, Dragon Year and two collections of poetry; Signposts to the Interior (Crocus Books/ Commonword) and Sanctuary (Canterbury Press). His prizes for poetry include twice winning the Jack Clemo Memorial Prize, and being runner-up in the Keats-Shelley and Manchester Cathedral poetry competitions. His poetry has appeared in various magazines and anthologies, including Tears in the Fence, The Reader, Other Poetry and Dark Mountain. He is a former poetry editor of Third Way magazine, and continues to review and write about poetry for the Church Times.
Martyn is married to Isobel, a retired Church of England priest, and the couple have two daughters – Anna, working as an advocate in London, and Rachel who teaches English as a foreign language in Newcastle upon Tyne.