Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Studied at the Queen's University of Belfast, later post as temporary lecturer, completing a PhD in Comparative Literature there in 1971. Has published poetry, essays and reviews alongside scholarly publications since 1969.
Resident in Bremen since 1972. Married, with two children. Post-doc dissertation (Habilitation) in 1985. Various posts at the University of Bremen: Assistenzprofessor, Professor auf Zeit, Lehrkraft für besondere Aufgaben - and, since 2002, as Hochschuldozent/Senior Lecturer for British and Irish Literature and Culture and Creative Writing.
Founding editor of newleaf magazine (1994), now co-editor with Simon Makhali (Bremen) & Julia Boll (Edinburgh) - since 1994. Werder Bremen season-ticket holder.