Taking the Reader into the Woods: An investigation into the relationship between the act of walking in woodland and the creative process, through the medium of novel writing
This PhD will explore the connections between walking, creative process and fiction with a focus on creative practice as research method. I will be undertaking a series of walks in a number of woodlands, and using the experience to inform my creative practice. I will write a novel inspired by the walks and also non-fiction reading about place. As well as the novel I will write a thesis about the process I have undergone, and how my work fits into the world of place-writing. I will interview some other published novelists who have a strong element of place writing in their work, to ask them about their creative process.
All The Men I Never Married: Poetry and Everyday Sexism
Despite the fact that most women will experience some form of sexism during their lifetime, contemporary poets have been strangely silent on this subject. My research project will address this gap by creating a portfolio of poetry which explores how experiences of 'everyday sexism' (Bates) and micro-aggression can be represented in poetic practice. The ability of the female poet, to use different modes of address, talking both to and about men and masculinity, and with the potential to explore previously ignored or neglected areas of female experience creates the potential for 'critical consciousness' (bell hooks) in the audience and the potential for social change. The project will also consider three other issues: the role of the female gaze, representations of female desire and how these poems are situated in a wider contemporary context of women's poetry.