British poet, screenwriter, crime novelist, and librettist known for Legion, Dreams of the Dead, Gawain: a libretto, and other works. His literary pseudonyms include David Lawrence and Jack Curtis.
He belonged to a group of concise, imagist-influenced poets that included Ian Hamilton.
He served as librettist for two Harrison Birtwistle operas: The Minotaur and Gawain.
He married Julia Watson, an actress. The couple raised one daughter.
His works were twice shortlisted (in 2002 and 2005) for the T.S. Eliot Prize.