Poet-in-Residence – Association of Psycho-Social Studies, Conference 5-7th April 2018
Linking identities: exploring connections between social science and poetry
During the conference I will be presenting ideas from my practice as a consultant to organisational change, and exploring how this interweaves with my emerging identity as a writer of poetry.
Both these identities depend upon a heightened attentiveness to one’s experiences in the contexts in which they occur, and the re-presenting of that experience in forms which have the potential to transform awareness and thinking.
Poetry, like psycho-social research, provides a medium for the expression of multiple voices, with multiple layers of meaning, and challenges the status quo: ‘tell all the truth but tell it slant’  which additionally rests on the capacity to choose what to say, and with what effect. Noticing where one’s ‘gaze’ is falling, and amplifying that gaze, through bringing, empathy, imagination and potential new meaning is part of the skill set in both disciplines.
Examples to illustrate this interlinking will come from my experience of writing some 25 poems during the course of undertaking my D.Phil. Some of these poems were themselves researched, but most re-present aspects of my experience which were coming to the surface, in particular the dislocations of time and place being evoked by the research, and as such, offer a further level of analysis.
This presentation will be accompanied by 2 additional ‘drop-in’ sessions when conference participants can join me in writing a few lines to illustrate where their ‘gaze’ has been falling, and to connect with the ideas of others to form a response to the conference in poetry form.
I’ll also be performing any new material that emerges from the conference, along with some of my own poetry at the conference Cabaret on Friday 6th April.
Download the programme
For more about the conference see: http://aps2018.bournemouth.ac.uk
 Tell all the truth but tell it slant – The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Reading Edition (The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1998)