I have a wide range of interests…

Dungeons & Dragons

I started playing D&D with my father at the age of ten. He was an imaginative storyteller, inventing fantastic stories to entertain us on long car journeys. He always took requests.

Dad taught me a lot about being spontaneous, and this is one of the aspects of role-playing games I enjoy the most.

I recently published a tool called The Spontaneous Dungeon Master’s Companion, which has proven popular with dungeon masters looking to have fun winging it in their games.

Making and Playing Ukuleles

I picked up my four-year-old nephew’s ukulele one Christmas, and couldn’t put it down. It is an instrument that makes it easy to start making music, but hard to take too seriously.

One thing led to another, and I started making ukulele-like instruments, starting with cigar boxes and biscuit tins for the bodies, and working my way up to banjoleles and solid wood instruments.

I have limited space and no formal training, so I sometimes refer to myself as a “kitchen-table luthier” and a “YouTube apprentice”.

It has brought me a lot of joy. You can see my work in progress on Instagram.

Digital Humanities

From an early age, I have been interested in how computers can help us make art. As a teenager, I wrote music with the help of computers, and one of my first programming projects at university was a haiku generator.

More recently, I have been interested in how artificial intelligence can help us understand everything from what makes a poem interesting to what makes a D&D monster hard to fight.

I also started some initiatives to support greater interest in the arts, including the Transatlantic Poetry reading series and the Poet Tips crowd-sourced recommendations website.

A chart illustrating the trend in words conveying positive emotions in poetry published over time