Poetry for the people: creative translations of academic research
This session will examine ways in which academic research conducted within English
departments is being translated into ambitious arts projects. It will consider the motivations
and values of such projects, as well as the practicalities of management and funding. It will
reflect in addition on the ethical and personal challenges that can be posed by creative
engagement led by academics, questions which are more commonly and urgently faced in the
‘impact era’. In short, it asks why and how to embark on this path.
‘Poetry of the Public’ will be a panel-based session, structured around presentations
by English academics who have successfully led public engagement projects in recent years.
There will be between two and four presenters; the two confirmed are:
- Dr Corinne Fowler (University of Leicester), leader of the ‘Colonial Countryside’
project. Based at the University of Leicester’s Centre for New Writing, Colonial
Countryside is a national writing and history project in partnership with Peepal Tree
Press and the National Trust. It assembles authors, writers, historians and primary
pupils to explore country houses’ Caribbean and East India Company connections. It
commissions, resources and publishes new writing by children and professional
- Professor Andrew McRae (University of Exeter), leader of the ‘Places of Poetry’
project. Across the summer of 2019, Places of Poetry’s distinctive online map of
England and Wales was open for members of the public to pin original poems of
place, heritage and identity. The project was promoted and enhanced by a programme
of residencies, involving workshops and readings with targeted communities. The
map attracted more than 7000 poems.