Pauline Kirk

Pauline M Kirk

York novelist and poet Pauline Kirk organises and participates in a regular programme of events throughout the year. She works closely with York Explore Libraries providing a variety of opportunities for readers and writers to enjoy her work. As editor of the Fighting Cock Press and as an organiser of the Pennine Poets Pauline regularly hosts events throughout Yorkshire and the North of England. She can also be found working with publishers of her work as both Pauline Kirk and as PJ Quinn. She is a member of the Dream Catcher Editorial Board and of the York Spoken Word Exhibitionists travelling poetry team.

Upcoming Events Autumn 2019

Poetic Justice: A DI Ambrose Mystery – the fourth DI Ambrose Mystery, published by Stairwell Books

Pauline continues a programme of talks to celebrate the publication of the fourth DI Ambrose Mystery by PJ Quinn. This is the pen name under which she collaborates with her daughter Jo Summers. Set in the 1950’s and early 60’s the DI Ambrose novels take us back to a period of great change that seems like an era ago. Poetic Justice features the mysterious deaths of two characters involved in a national poetry competition, and leads to Ambrose travelling to the Island of Guernsey. Like the previous three PJ Quinn novels, it can be read as a stand-alone novel – you don’t have to have read the sequence!

Border 7 Audio Book

Pauline is also busy publicising her new Audio Book of Border 7 which has just come out on Amazon Audible. It costs £22.00 or can be downloaded as part of your subscription. If you are new to Audible, here is a direct link to the book:

Waters of Time – e-book

Lots of proof reading for this. As Pauline’s first novel, Waters of Time, predated electronic format, she has had to scan the original book in readiness for Stairwell Books to reissue it as an e-book. That creates lots and lots of errors! The launch is planned for Autumn this year – more later.

Work in Progress

When she has a free moment, Pauline is working on a new novel, Blackthorn House, which like Waters of Time moves between past and present. This one is set in the north however, whereas Waters of Time drew on her youth in the Midlands and research into her own family tree.

Poetry has taken a bit of a back seat recently but after successful launch events for Time Traveller, her most recent collection, Pauline is beginning to return to writing poems exploring new themes and styles.

Some of the events in which Pauline will be involved over the next three months:

Saturday September 28th, Ockley (Surrey) Food and Arts Fair at Village Greens, Coles Lane, Ockley RH5 5LS. 12.00 -4.00 pm. Free entry

With Jo, Pauline will be promoting and discussing the PJ Quinn novels. Come and find their stall!
While she is in Ockley Pauline will be working with Jo on a new, extended edition of their first PJ Quinn novel, Foul Play, and drafting ideas for novel number 5. Watch this space!

National Poetry Day Thursday 3rd of October

Pauline will be a ‘pop up poet’ at a library somewhere in York. She can’t say where or it wouldn’t be a surprise, but will also be involved in central York celebrations.

‘Writing Matters’

Monday 14th October, Dringhouses Library, Tadcaster Road, York, 3.15 to 4.30 - a friendly, informal workshop.

As part of the York Explore ‘Not the Big City Read’ Festival, Pauline will be leading a workshop for new and experienced writers, working in both poetry and prose. She will be giving useful tips and ideas to develop at home afterwards. Come and enjoy a stimulating afternoon of writing games and discussion. Contact the library for more information.

Dringhouses Library, 56 Tadcaster Road, York YO24 1LR. Tel: 01904 552674 or e-mail

Some highlights of the past year, working backwards:

As an individual writer, Pauline has performed regularly in York and the wider Yorkshire area. Writing as PJ Quinn, she has also been involved in launch events for Poetic Justice: a DI Ambrose Mystery and her new poetry collection Time Traveller (Graft Poetry). It’s been a busy year with a lot of travelling.

“Death on the Dawn Princess”, Saturday 27th April 2019

a Murder mystery Meal fundraiser in aid of St Edwards Community Hall, York, with colleague Pippa Hammond.

York Literature Festival: Pre-Festival event: ‘Poetry for All’, Thursday 14th March.

Pauline read with other York poets, supporting Donna Williams, Jackie Hagan and Imogen Godwin at this open access event held at the Unitarian Chapel, St Saviourgate, York.

York Literature Festival Sci Fi Panel, Thursday 21st March 2019, at the York Theatre Royal.

Appearing with other writers of science fiction and fantasy published by Stairwell Books, Pauline answered questions from a lively audience and read an extract from Border 7.

York International Women’s Week

On Saturday 9th March in collaboration with Rose Drew, she organised an event to showcase the women writers published by Fighting Cock Press and Stairwell Books. This was hosted by the True Story Café, Lord Mayor’s Walk.

Recording podcasts

With Alan Smith, Alan Gillott and Rose Drew, Pauline recorded two podcast discussions on February 12th. These were for Stairwell’s series of broadcasts on writing issues. An interesting experience.

“Death in the Lake”.

Saturday December 18th, 2018, Woodthorpe, York.

Another Murder mystery Meal Fundraiser with Pippa, this time for Woodthorpe Women's Institute, York. 

November 2018, The York Culture Awards

Pauline was delighted to be one of the four writers shortlisted for the York Culture Award (Excellence in Writing) 2018. Organised by MakeItYork with BBC Radio York, this award recognised achievement during the past year. Nominated by Pippa Hammond, Pauline’s portfolio included her work on Poetic Justice and Time Traveller, as well as her commitment to community events. She didn’t win but had a wonderful evening at the Awards evening held at York Theatre Royal, on Monday 19th November.

FantasyCon Conference, Chester, Friday and Saturday 19th and 20th October 2018.

This time as a ‘sci fi’ novelist, Pauline served on three panels: ‘Shared Worlds’, ‘Writing for Children’ and ‘Adding the Audio Book’, as well as helping on the Stairwell Books stall. She also read from her novels Border 7 and The Keepers, and discussed how she imagined their worlds, based on the trends she sees in our present lives.

Thursday 4th October, (National Poetry Day) Dringhouses Library, York

To celebrate National Poetry Day, Pauline was invited by the Friends of Dringhouses Library to be the guest speaker at their coffee morning, and to talk about her poetry, especially, Time Traveller.


Saturday 29th September, Dringhouses Community Hall, York. A Murder Mystery Meal in aid of the Community Hall funds.

York Big City Read Festival

Thursday 27th September, ‘Finding the Words’, Explore York (the Central Library).

With three other northern poets, Nick Allen and Katherine Goda, Pauline featured in York’s regular ‘Finding the Words’ programme. This event was also part of York Libraries’ Big City Read programme 2018. 


Tuesday 18th September, Radio Guernsey

Pauline was interviewed (live) on Radio Guernsey about the Guernsey connection in Poetic Justice. She was then asked a lot of questions about her writing generally. Quite demanding ‘off the cuff’ but it went well.

Leeds Combined Arts/Headingley Community Hub

Saturday 15th September, Headingley Library, Leeds. This was an author event to launch the new Headingley Community Hub, organised in association with Leeds Combined Arts. Pauline gave a talk about Poetic Justice and how she collaborates with her daughter as PJ Quinn. She read extracts from the novel and answered questions during a lively discussion afterwards.

Friday 6th of July: Poetry

Pauline read from her poetry at York St John University during their 'Beyond the Vote' poetry evening, which celebrated women writers as part of their commemoration of the achievements of the Suffragette movement.

Thursday 5th July: Poetic Justice

The York launch was held at Jacob's Well, York. Both Pauline and Jo performed acted readings. They were joined by Rose Drew and Alan Gillott, with Alan Smith and Claire Campbell-Patel also reading from their recent novels.

Thursday 28th June: Poetic Justice

The London Launch of Poetic Justice took place at Samlan’s offices in the City. Pauline and Jo performed acted readings at a Hospitality event organised by a prominent Finance company, who made them most welcome and provided excellent refreshments!

Sunday 24th June: ‘Five Poets’ (Graft Poetry)

As a featured poet Pauline read at the Graft Poetry 'Five Poets' event at the Manor House, Ilkley, together with the American poet Jefferson Holdridge, and Andy Boobier, Chris Bridge and Nicholas Bielby. All had been recently published by Graft.

Tuesday 8th May: Grey Hen Poetry Competition

The bundles of poems began arriving from the Grey Hen Competition on the 8th. With her co-judge Carole Bromley, Pauline spent much of May reading hundreds of entries in this national poetry competition for older women poets. The standard was high, and the choice of short list and winners was not easy to make. On May 29th Carole and Pauline met to agree the final results, which were announced on the Grey Hen website. Excellent poems! 

If you’d like to know more or to invite Pauline to give a talk or reading, contact Pauline herself or Stairwell Books.

Web site support by Alan Gillott of Stairwell Books