Paul McKeown is from Ballymena in Northern Ireland and grew up within a stone's throw of Slemish mountain where St Patrick tended sheep as a slave boy. His background is in the sciences, studying Chemistry to doctorate level. He has, though, always had a keen interest in the spoken and written word. For over 30 years, he has crafted poetry, purely for pleasure.
A career change into ministry in the Church of Scotland in 1996 brought new challenges. After working in inner-city Glasgow, Paul is now minister of the rural parish of Belhelvie, north of Aberdeen in Scotland, where he lives with his wife, Rhona, and their three children: Ross, Mairi and Isla.
Paul counts Seamus Heaney, Robert Frost, Norman MacCaig and farmer-poet Wendell Berry among his poetic influences. When he's not writing, he's usually found with a guitar in hand, or – following a New Year's resolution - lacing up his running shoes. Spiritually, he's inspired by the work of Eugene Peterson, Rob Bell, Fred Buechner and Brian McLaren and has benefitted greatly from training in Ignatian spirituality.