Martin Goodman

Welcome to Barbican Press

Martin Goodman was born in Leicester and grew up in Loughborough, attending the grammar school there, before spinning off into the world.

Early career thoughts were of being a chef or a lawyer, and indeed when studying English at Leeds University he almost switched to Law. A comparison of the reading lists held him back. Later he took a teaching degree in English as a Second Language, and early years saw him teaching English overseas to earn money and experience, and then spending it all on time to write before the need to earn money and teach again.

That teaching took him to China, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, Italy and Qatar. He has also taught from primary through all secondary levels in state schools in England and Scotland. Moving to Santa Fe to be with his now husband James Thornton meant he had to live from writing, which prompted his shift into nonfiction.

Martin’s writing is in several strands. One theme of his fiction is the inheritance of war guilt – there in his debut On Bended Knees, which was shortlisted for that year’s Whitbread First Novel Award, and the recent J.S.S.Bach. Other writing is in the spiritual dimension, from travels to sacred mountains, a biography of the Indian holywoman Mother Meera, to spiritual adventure stories (that also creep into horror, such as the recent Forever Konrad). Nonfiction includes his biography of the scientist J.S. Haldane Suffer and Survive, winner of the BMA Book Award for Basis of Medicine, and with James, the ecological tale Client Earth, winner of the Jury’s Special Prize at the Business Book Awards.

Martin took his PhD in Creative Writing from Lancaster University. He has taught creative writing at the universities of Lancaster, Plymouth and Hertfordshire, and was Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Hull from 2009-2019. He is now Emeritus Professor of Creative Writing there.

Martin set up Barbican Press in 2009, and twins a writing and publishing career.

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Martin Goodman