David Briggs was brought up as the son of a farm-worker in Kent and Sussex, in England, where he gained his love of the countryside. At university in Sheffield, he studied geography, and after a PhD at Bristol moved into an academic career – first in geography and then, through a combination of intent and serendipity, in environmental science and epidemiology. Over this time he published extensively, both through academic journals and books.
In 2009 he took early retirement and moved to New Zealand, where he now lives. He has always enjoyed writing, and as an escape from university work wrote a number of short stories and children’s stories, most of which are available on this website. He also wrote one novel, Figures in a Tuscan Garden, which was short-listed for the Constable Trophy but never submitted for publication. Since moving to New Zealand, he has devoted himself to writing novels and poetry.
The first two novels completed since then, By the Tracks We Leave and The Day of the Red Balloon, have been issued as e-books; the third, The Direction of Our Fear will be published by BMS Books in September 2016. In his novels he explores human relationships and loneliness, usually against the background of some personal or social drama, and through the lens of different people’s experience. Underlying questions in the stories are: who are we, and what is truth?
His poems are rooted in the landscape – especially, now, that of the beautiful Tasman area where he lives. They are written to be accessible but thought-provoking, often with a playful touch. Many of his poems are being released as blogs through this website, and he also intends to publish a collection when the time is right. One of his poems, Motueka, won a silver medal in the international UPLI poetry competition in 2015.
Between writing, he loves walking and exploring New Zealand in the company of his wife and dogs, investigating the local geology with members of the Nelson Rock and Mineral Club, watching cricket (and even more so, seeing the Blackcaps occasionally win), classical music and the company of special friends . . .
David is a member of the New Zealand Society of Authors, and is on the committee of the Top of the South branch.