I am a poet and non-fiction writer, with a particular interest in the practical use of poetry in community settings, and the interaction between poetry and the visual arts. I have worked within the museum sector over a number of years, and my current research spans a variety of disciplines from creative writing to museum studies.
I completed a BA (Hons) in English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth in 2006, and an MA in Museum Studies at the International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies (ICCHS) at Newcastle University in 2008. My MA thesis examined the concept of ‘history where it happened’, exploring the variety of approaches used by museums and historic houses when interpreting the ‘place-context’ of objects.
More recently, I completed a teaching qualification at Cardiff Metropolitan University (Preparing to Teach in Post Compulsory Education and Training) in 2012, and have also completed an MA in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University (2019).
My PhD is funded by the AHRC via the South West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership (SWWDTP). My MA in Museum Studies was also funded by the AHRC.
Memberships include the Museums Association and associate membership of the National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE).
I am a member of the SWWDTP Creativity in Research cluster, and I’m also a subject strand editor for the Question journal.
12th February 2020 - Pecha Kucha Presentation 'Ekphrastic Poetry as a Process of Engagement' at the Creative Practice and Critical Thinking Symposium, Centre for Cultural and Creative Industries, Bath Spa University.
3rd-5th September 2020 - Virtual Paper Presentation 'Using Creative Writing to Promote Inclusivity in Art Museums' at the Thirteenth International Conference on the Inclusive Museum, online conference
I’ve had poems published in numerous magazines and journals including New Welsh Review, Ink Sweat and Tears, Poetry Saltzburg Review, Envoi, Wales Arts Review, The Lampeter Review, The Cardiff Review, Acumen, The High Window, Riggwelter and Atrium.
Two of my poems have been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize (in 2019 and 2020).
Visit my blog for more information and links to some of my published poems.
‘A Review of Sophie McKeand’s Poetry Collection - Rebel Sun’, the Welsh Agenda, 2017
Visit my blog - Created to Read - to see book reviews, features and reviews of literary events.
I am interested in a wide range of research areas across a variety of disciplines, from contemporary poetry and historical fiction to museum interpretation and learning theory, as well as the interactions between creative and critical practice.
My thesis examines the practical application of ekphrastic poetry as a tool for visitor engagement in art museums. My supervisors are Professor Damian Walford Davies (Cardiff University) and Professor Richard Marggraf Turley (Aberystwyth University).
Selected Events, Collaborations, Commissions and Creative Projects
'My Creative Time' (2020) I have been commissioned by Voluntary Arts Wales to work with a community drawing group and deliver a poetry workshop, as part of a larger project with 7 other poets and groups, working towards the publication of an anthology on the theme of creativity.
Poet in Residence at the Cynon Valley Museum (2020) A virtual residency responding to artwork displayed as part of the museum's online exhibitions programme, and delivering an online creative writing workshop. The museum also published the poems on Instagram.
Crossing Points - Art / Poetry Project (2018) I was commissioned by the madeinroath community arts festival to produce an exhibition of photographs and poems, exploring ideas of belonging, connection and dislocation within a shared urban environment.
Charles Byrd Story Trail - Art / Story Writing Workshop (2018) A collaborative project with artist Sharon Magill, delivering a creative writing workshop focusing on paintings by Charles Byrd, encouraging people to write flash fiction pieces in response, commissioned by the madeinroath festival.
African Music & World Poetry Charity Event (2018) I organised a large-scale performance event to raise money for a charity which supports children’s education in Sierra Leone, as part of my work for the Cardiff University Library Service, working in partnership with the Oasis World Choir & Band (a group of refugees and asylum seekers), students within the School of Music and professional poets.
Edward Thomas Centenary (2017) I organised a series of events to mark the centenary of the poet Edward Thomas, including a poetry performance event, a creative writing workshop and a series of daily poetry prompts for National Poetry Writing Month. I gained funding from Literature Wales for these events, and organised them on behalf of Cardiff University’s Special Collections and Archives.