PhD Progress, Poetry, Collage and My Book Launch!

Interactive collage - part of the exhibition in RomeI have struggled a lot with my health over the past few months, but I also have a lot to be thankful for in what is effectively the final year of my PhD. The two writing retreats I attended in December were fruitful. I spent much of January writing new poems based on the January Writing Hour prompts provided by Kim Moore and Clare Shaw, inspired by the response to my interactive poetry museum display last autumn.

In February, I was lucky enough to go to Rome, on a trip funded by my PhD funding provider (SWWDTP) where a group of us created an exhibition, responding to the city and its history. Although I wasn’t well (and am still struggling with ME / chronic fatigue) it was an inspiring trip. I composed and performed a spoken word poem incorporating comments from discussions during the week, and extracts from literature that people felt represented their experience of the city. I also produced an interactive collage, inviting viewers to ‘add graffiti’ to embody the layering of Rome past and present, a place where so many generations have left their mark. You can see more photos on my Instagram page.

Poetic inquiry workshop at creative research symposium oct22

Our Creative Research Symposium in October. I delivered a workshop on Poetic Inquiry.

Over the past year I’ve also been working with Explore Collective, a partnership between ACE (Action in Caerau & Ely), Disability Arts Cymru, Valleys Kids, and artists Becci Booker, Nic Parsons and Suzie Larke to deliver community art and writing workshops, funded by Arts Council Wales. We’ve had fun writing poems, responding to artwork, trying erasure poetry and combining poetry with collage. The project continues until the end of March next year, with two more exhibitions coming up at The Dusty Forge and the Welsh Millennium Centre.

I was excited to have my first poetry collage published on Ink Sweat and Tears earlier this year, which you can see here. And now I’m looking forward to a productive summer. My PhD research, the trip to Rome, and everything else has led me to a point where I’m exploring the possibilities of found /collage poetry, and the intersections between poetry and visual art. It is a messy and unpredictable process, but fun, too! I will post more details soon.

And finally – I’m looking forward to the publication of my debut poetry collection Octopus Mind on 3rd July, and the Cardiff book launch, which will be on 10th July! There will also be an online launch later in the summer, and other events over the next few months. I’ll post regular updates on my events page.

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