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Writing the West Midlands: A GeoHumanities Approach to the Poetry of Place

How does creative-critical practice open up new ways to imagine and understand the complex geographies of the post-industrial urban West Midlands? My research will produce a substantial body of original poems drawn from field-work; review post-1960 West Midlands place poetry; examine the creative approaches used to highlight geographical themes; plus expand regional knowledge and understanding, using existing spatial theories and auto-ethnography.

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.

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