On August 5/6th, I’ll be running a 2-day symposium with my colleagues Dr Katherine Collins (Oxford) and Dr Helen Mort (MMU). This two-day symposium seeks to bring together poets, researchers, researcher-poets and poet-researchers interested in exploring the intersections of poetry and research and to explore the questions we, as members of this growing field of inquiry, should be asking of our practices, our ethics, our outputs, and ourselves.
Our questions include:
How do we define the core terms: what is research, what is poetry, what is collaboration, art, creativity, method?
How do we articulate aesthetic, epistemic, and ethical criteria for this kind of work? Should standards exist and what should they be?
What is the impact of Impact and other research quality frameworks such as REF on the kind of work that is made and valued?
What makes an effective, productive, collaboration between individuals and disciplines when some are poetically inclined, and others are research inclined?
Is poetry a ‘non-extractive’ method of research? How are the risks of colonising and appropriating poetic traditions being articulated and managed?
On Friday 7th May I will be chairing an event at Homerton College on poetry and climate change.
Meeting the challenges of the climate crisis requires a radical reorganisation of the ways we live, work and play. In this roundtable discussion, artists, publishers, academics and climate activists will explore how creativity, particularly poetry, might help us to create bold new ways of thinking, being and doing.
The panel will feature the poets Jade Cuttle, Ella Duffy and Mariah Whelan, the editor Kate Simpson, academics and students from Homerton College, Cambridge as well as activists who are all invited to reflect on how poetry can help us rise to the challenges we are already facing and will continue to face over the coming decades.
Can art make a difference? How can we use creativity to mobilise emotion and affect real systematic change? Are there places where poetry falls short? Over an hour and a half, we will hear from our panel of experts before opening up for group discussion.
For almost 800 years the sonnet has been a mainstay of English-language poetry. In a 6-week course for Literature Cambridge, I’ll be guiding students as we trace the form’s development from its earliest incarnations in English to contemporary examples of this flexible and diverse poetic form.
The purpose of the fellowship is to use creative methodologies to intervene in our ideas about knowledge production in academic contexts. I’ll be carrying out interdisciplinary research and teaching undergraduate and postgraduate students about using poetry-writing methods in their academic practice.