I was brought up in Penarth in south Wales and born just a couple of miles away in Barry. I attended university in Swansea and left Wales for London at the age of twenty-one. I lived in the greater London area for around ten years, then in California for a similar period. Apart from extended visits to my parents in Penarth and six months in Aberystwyth I haven’t lived in Wales since, but I hope I do some time in the future. I now live in Dublin (Ireland not California) with my wife Tessa and son Dylan. I write non-fiction books on Gnosticism (my friend Bill Darlison, a Unitarian minister and astrologer, looked at my birth chart and told me I had always been destined to be a writer on unusual religious subjects!)
That would explain why I quit a succession of computer jobs in my twenties. Since then, in no particular order, I’ve drawn the dole, worked as a librarian in a private library, delivered leaflets, busked with a small harp, done some letterpress printing and been a (mickey mouse) night security guard. Let’s hope the writing career really does work out!
Consequently I have written several books about Gnosticism and related subjects, including The Gnostics: History * Traditions * Scriptures * Influence (2008), The Gospel of Philip: Annotated & Explained (2005),Gnostic Writings on the Soul: Annotated & Explained (2007), Lost Sayings of Jesus: Annotated & Explained(2006) and the forthcoming A Dictionary of Gnosticism (2009). My first book The Gospel of Thomas: A New Version Based on the Inner Meaning (2002) is out of print. There was also a privately printed slim volume of poetry, First Poems, from 1992, but let’s not talk about that. I’m also publisher of Bardic Press, which releases new and classic works on Gnostcisim, Celticism, the Fourth Way, the Sufis and much more. And I’m editor of The Gnostic: A Journal of Gnosticism, Western Esotericism and Spirituality, which is a great new magazine with a lot of potential and a lot of goodwill directed towards it.
I’m learning to play the uilleann pipes and really should pick up that harp again (the kind with strings, not the mouthblown variety.) I have a wide but somewhat specific taste in music. I love Irish traditional music and the less soppy forms of Welsh traditional music. I enjoy string quartets and particularly quintets and other chamber music but I don’t really like large-scale orchestral works any more. My tastes in rock tend towards the artier, wordier, more experimental side of things—Captain Beefheart, John Cale, Robert Wyatt, The Fall, The Smiths, Cocteau Twins, Tom Waits, Brian Eno, Robert Fripp, Neil Young, Syd Barrett, Portishead, Elvis Costello, etc. etc.
I’m not very political, but the political philosophy that appeals most to me is anarchism, which I understand to mean individual rights and personal freedom hand-in-hand with community. I’m a defender of free speech and very opposed to censorship.