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.
Forthcoming: 27th September - 'Creative Writing in the Art Museum: Ongoing, Inclusive Engagement', presented at the Amgueddfa Cymru Research Showcase (National Museum Wales)
14th-16th June 2021 - I co-directed the inaugral SWWDTP annual research festival, along with Iona Ramsay from Exeter University. I also presented my research with others as part of the 'Creativity in Research Cluster Showcase: Future Methods and Research Practices' discussion event on 14th June.
May 2021 - 'Metamorphosis: A Creative / Critical Response to Strangeland by Tracey Emin', Episode 8 of the 'Looking at Femininity' Sympodcast (a symposium in the form of a podcast)
12th March 2021 - 'Ekphrasis: A Tool for Visitor Engagement in the Art Museum' presented at the annual NAWE (National Association of Writers in Education) Conference.
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.
12th February 2020 - 'Ekphrastic Poetry as a Process of Engagement' at the Creative Practice and Critical Thinking Symposium, Centre for Cultural and Creative Industries, Bath Spa University.
I’ve had poems published in numerous magazines and journals, including Poetry Wales, Envoi, Under the Radar, the New Welsh Review, Anthropocene, Ink Sweat and Tears, Poetry Saltzburg Review and Acumen. My poem 'Understood' came 2nd in the Bangor Poetry Competition (2021). I’ve also had two poems shortlisted for the Bridport Prize, two poems commended in the Ware Poets Competition (judged by Kim Moore) and other poems commended in the Cheltenham Poetry Festival Competition and the Welsh Poetry Competition.
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 was 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.