I am a biologist by background, with a PhD in ornithology. My thesis examined the behavioural responses of birds to human-induced environmental change.
I am also a poet, nature writer and fiction writer. I have two collections of poetry, and my work has been widely published in Ireland and abroad. My poetry has also featured in a number of anthologies, and has been translated into French, Italian and Russian. I am also a contributor to The Guardian’s Country Diary.
I have been the recipient of a number of awards including the 2019 Poetry Ireland Tyrone Guthrie Centre Mid Career Bursary, and several awards from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
As a writer, I have always been captivated by the natural world. I am fascinated by evolution and its relationship to ecology, and how the interaction between these fields of study extend beyond science to the arts: how the environment shapes body and character.
Nature, culture and art connect in the poetry of the written word. Harsh northern territories and their fauna resonate with me. I lived for many years in the Sperrins where the bogland holds the memory of ancient forests but the tundral landscape illustrates our power to alter even the wildest of places. I am also deeply interested in birds – fascinating subjects for artists and scientists alike.
For more details of my professional qualifications and expertise on science and nature, please see the pages within the Science section.
I live in Belfast, from where I work as a facilitator of poetry and creative writing. I’m also a facilitator with Poetry Ireland’s Writers in Schools Programme. In addition, I’m a member of of the Irish Writers Centre, through which I offer One-to-One Mentoring for beginning and emerging poets.
My recently completed novel is under consideration by publishers. I am currently working on my next collection of poetry.
Find me on twitter: @DrMaryMontague