Following a degree in Education from Leeds University (1982–1986), Debbie worked in teaching and publishing and then as a freelance editor and writer. She returned to study in 2009, beginning with an MPhil in Children’s Literature and following with another in Educational Research. She went on to complete an ESRC-funded PhD at the Faculty of Education in Cambridge on the orality and textuality of poetry written for children. She then took up a postdoctoral post at the Faculty, running the Poetry and Memory Project – an interdisciplinary investigation of the experience and value of the memorised poem. She was a Junior Research Fellow at Wolfson from 2014-2017.
Alongside continuing work on the Poetry and Memory Project, Debbie lectures on Children’s Literature courses in the Faculty of Education, and is College Tutor to part-time students at Wolfson. Her published work includes From Tongue to Text: A New Reading of Children’s Poetry (2017, Bloomsbury Academic).