An Ekphrastic Update: Exhibition, Course, and Conference

explore collective exhibition wales millennium centreAs my final year of being a PhD student draws to a close, I’m excited to be continuing my work on ekphrasis (writing poetry in response to art) in lots of different ways! First, there is still time to visit the Wales Millennium Centre where you can see our Explore Collective project exhibition: Freedom to Create.
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My Literary Highlights of 2023 – Publication, Art & The PhD!

poetry book - Octopus MindThis year has been an incredible milestone, with the publication of my debut collection Octopus Mind in July. It felt like everything was leading up to that moment, and the launch was a wonderful celebration of all that hard work, cheered on by the people who have encouraged and supported me over the past 39 years.    Continue reading

The End of an Era: Completing the PhD at Gregynog Hall

Gregynog in the sunIn December 2019 I visited Gregynog Hall for the first time – a gorgeous, rambling old mansion in mid Wales, where the annual Cardiff University Creative Writing retreat takes place. I was still working out what the plan would be for my PhD over the coming years, with no concept of what 2020 would bring.    Continue reading

What Are You Looking For? An Ekphrastic Interactive Exhibition

What are you looking for? An interactive exhibition.Last year I put together an interactive poetry exhibition at National Museum Cardiff, and loads of people took part, writing poems and other texts in response to the artwork and other people’s poems, drawings and comments. Since then, as part of my PhD, I’ve been writing my own poems in response – an ekphrastic response to ekphrastic response… and some of my poems have morphed from text into 3D objects!    Continue reading

Poetry Review: Black Cat Bone by John Burnside and Bird-Woman by Em Strang

Books - Black Cat Bone by John Burnside and Bird-Woman by Em StrangI have had John Burnside’s collection Black Cat Bone on loan from the library for nearly a year now, and I keep returning to his long poem ‘The Fair Chase’. There’s something mesmerising about it, not just in the compelling rhythm, but also in a narrative that never seems to end. On the one hand, it is a depiction of hunting that seems violent and bloody. On the other hand, it is a kind of doomed, ongoing quest towards a deeper understanding of the self, which can never be fully realised, reminiscent of both Actaeon and the Ancient Mariner.     Continue reading

Poetry Review: After Cézanne by Maitreyabandhu

Book - After Cézanne by Maitreyabandhu

Paul Cézanne repeatedly attempted to capture the image of one particular mountain (Mont Sainte-Victoire) in his post-impressionist paintings, and this obsession is echoed in Maitreyabandhu’s most recent poetry collection, After Cézanne. The collection is unusual in focusing entirely on the work of one artist, and reproducing many of the paintings in full colour, so the reader can peruse the original works of art alongside each poem.

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