From September 2019 to September 2020 I was the ArtfulScribe Writer in Residence at Lighthouse, Poole. This twelve-month creative writing post involved artistic engagement with Lighthouse, an arts centre in the heart of Poole, Dorset, and its programme of events. The outputs were a sequence of poems about Poole Harbour and a debut stage play, provisionally entitled ‘Tether’.
My involvement in this project arose out of my residency at the Museum of English Rural Life (see below) and their larger-scale project The Museum of the Intangible. It was a collaboration with filmmakers Teresa Murjas and James Rattee and looked at the degree to which we can experience the perspective of another animal, in this case sheep. My task – as well as hosting Teresa and James on my family’s farm – was to respond in writing to the questions raised by the project.
Hosted by Dr Mimi Thebo, Director of the Arts Faculty Creative Writing Research Cluster, this maths poetry project was supported by Professor Richard Pettigrew, Dr Rebecca Kosick and the Bristol Poetry Institute, and Johanna Darque of Small Press.
In 2018, I completed a six-month poetry residency at the Museum of English Rural Life at the University of Reading. The brief for the residency was to respond creatively to the museum’s extensive object and archival collections.
I organised and ran a series of creative writing workshops with groups associated with the museum. These involved the local branch of the Federation of Children’s Book Groups as well as a teachers’ panel made up of secondary school teaching staff from across Reading. The emphasis in each workshop was on handling objects and responding to this experience in writing. The residency resulted in a pamphlet-length collection of poetry, Handling (2018), published by the Reading-based Two Rivers Press.
Bristol and Bath Festival of Nature
In 2016, I was commissioned by the annual Bristol and Bath Festival of Nature to write a poem in response to a specific site along the river Avon between the cities of Bath and Bristol.
The poem, ‘Swan Song’, was installed as a permanent feature in the landscape and was also performed during the festival.