Items where Subject is "Creative writing"

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Number of items at this level: 20.

C

Zine, self and micro-publishing has seen a spectacular resurgence in the
last decade, with individuals within tight communities pushing the boundaries of the practice in terms of form, content and process.

This paper will examine ways in which this reinvestment of illustrative authorship
has been stimulated by the iterative and performative aspects of zines, self and
micro-publishing, through the discussion of varied publications’ genesis with their
illustrators – including my own self-published book The House.

This paper will consider how performance underpins both the motivation and
creative process of such publications so as to highlight potential contributions of
the scene to wider illustrative authoring practices.

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G

"Fortunes of War evolved through an enquiry led (pre-internet) approach that focused on a Lamarkian preoccupation with the potential impact of an environment on collective and individual behaviour. The intention was to create anticipatory photographic images. A ‘retention vanish’ approach to composition placed the emphasis on framing the subject of the image from the perspective of the distraction and not the scene. Through this an attempt was made to counter pre-occupied states of mind, circumventing a censorship of expectation relating to the form of both the work itself and significantly that of its maker."

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H

There are many dynamic communities of practice within the arts but not all of them can claim to have their own research culture. Consequently, many researchers become adept at co-opting theoretical frameworks, research methods, and language from other disciplines. But what happens when we use concepts and language developed elsewhere to address our own particular disciplinary concerns? Language matters, and as the Swiss
linguist Ferdinand de Saussure noted, language is not a nomenclature—it is not simply a question of linking a set of words to a pre-existing set of things; different languages
divide up the continuum of the world differently.
It follows that the ways that we engage with other disciplines potentially has a bearing on how we see, think and talk about our home discipline. This conference explores the
challenges and benefits of research that features significant interaction between two or more disciplines. It will explore [even contest] ‘trans-’, ‘cross-’ and ‘multi-’ disciplinary approaches to research.

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K

qualitative research inquiry sets out to investigate the active interplay of design
poetry with users, designers and the objects of design. The outcome of this thesis has
contributed to the field of design by expanding the concept of design poetics and
developing design poetry as another dimension of design writing. It examines the
relationship between poetry and design against the backdrop of a growing interest in
the ways in which we write about the designed world. It proposes design poetry as a
compelling and immersive form of design engagement, one which is as yet underresearched.
This research has also shown that, with its capacity to encompass social, political and
cultural factors, design poetry can be a significant vehicle in shaping our view of the
objects of design. The plastic chair became a focus for this research gaze, as an
object of design importance, with both social and cultural relevance; as an object that
is mundane and quotidian but one that can achieve iconic status as a design classic.
The research adopts methods that support the critical-creative approach which
underpins an arts-based inquiry. A significant outcome of the research is in the
development and synthesis of new creative research methods: the creative
conversations facilitating a dynamic collaborative dialogue with the key protagonists
i.e. designers, poets and users who remain at the heart of this inquiry; the synthesis of
individual and group critique on design poetry practice, employed as a method to both
share, evaluate and contribute to the development of the researcher’s creative work;
the creative output itself, a book of original poetry that reflects the research endeavour
and captures the dynamic interplay of making, consuming and narrating.

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M

Deploying a customised embodied poetics (after Lorde 1984; Cancienne & Snowber 2003; Peary 2018) and primarily drawing upon a two-week coast-to-coast walk across the north of England undertaken during the summer of 2019, this article is structured as a walk in 5 stages (i. Setting Out; ii. View from a Hill; iii. Drifting; iv. Back-bearing; v. Returning). It explores the effectiveness of this experiential approach for the composition of poetry. Walking can be in itself a form of creativity, an act of subversion, or deep reflection — a way of going inward as much as outward. The poem written in situ can be a form of qualia-capture for the little epiphanies of secularised pilgrimage. Sister methodologies such as the psychogeographical dérive (Debord 1954) are drawn upon, but a customised approach is forged: the way of the dériviant who transgresses borders and forms. Extending this approach, a multi-modal approach is discussed, included Twitter poetry, audio recordings, and artwork. Restricted from further long-distance walks during the Covid-19 Lockdown of Spring 2020, Nan Shepherd’s ‘deep mapping’ approach (2011) is adopted, continuing the practice-led exploration within the local universe of the Wiltshire Downs. Finally, the benefits of such an embodied praxis are suggested.

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Weaving history, literature, and environmental humanities with sections of life-writing (travel-writing based upon various long-distance walks), this hybrid form explores narratives of Climate Change from the very earliest (eg, Ruskin's observation in the 19th Century) to the very latest (eg news reports from the summer of 2019). It is the culmination of a wide range of research from the archival to the experiential.

This was a creative keynote for the Gothic Nature symposium, University of Roehampton, September, 2019. It was edited and published in the peer-reviewed Gothic Nature journal in Spring, 2021.

Manwaring, K. (2021) HEAVY WEATHER: A Creative Intervention.
Gothic Nature. 2, pp. 285-294. Available from: https://gothicnaturejournal.com/

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Since ancient times literature has been awash with tales of strange weather; accounts of nature’s real destructive power blending into mythology, fantasy and folklore. This new collection gathers the best stories of ecological upset, nightmarish meteorological extremes and inexplicable atmospheric phenomena from the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, when pioneering authors began to weave the otherworldliness of environmental disturbances into supernatural or uncanny experiences.

With stories from Algernon Blackwood, Herman Melville, Mary Shelley, Daphne du Maurier and many more, this foray into severe winters, stifling heats, roiling oceans and piercing gales offers the perfect read on a rainy day – or night.

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This creative writing PhD thesis consists of a novel and a critical reflective essay. Both articulate a distinctive approach to the challenges of writing genre fiction in the 21st Century that I define as ‘Goldendark’ – one that actively engages with the ethical and political implications of the field via the specific aesthetic choices made about methodology, content, and form. The Knowing: A Fantasy is a novel written in the High Mimetic style that, through the story of Janey McEttrick, a Scottish-Cherokee musician descended from the Reverend Robert Kirk, a 17th Century Episcopalian minister from Aberfoyle (author of the 1691 monograph, The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns and Fairies), fictionalises the diasporic translocation of song- and tale-cultures between the Scottish Lowlands and the Southern Appalachians, and is a dramatisation of the creative process. In the accompanying critical reflective essay, ‘An Epistemological Enquiry into Creative Process, Form and Genre’, I chart the development of my novel: its initial inspiration, my practice-based research, its composition and completion, all informed both by my practice as a storyteller/poet and by my archival discoveries. In the section ‘Walking Between Worlds’ I articulate my methodology and seek to defend experiential research as a multi-modal approach – one that included long-distance walking, illustration, spoken word performance, ballad-singing and learning an instrument. In ‘Framing the Narrative’ I discuss matters of form – how I engaged with hyperfictionality and digital technology in destabilising traditional conventions of linear narrative and generic expectation. Finally, in ‘Defining Goldendark’ I articulate in detail my approach to a new ethical aesthetics of the fantasy genre.

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Taking a phenomenological approach, this article explores the benefits and challenges of writing long-hand, and how this has significant qualitative impacts upon the early stages of the creative process. I will consider exemplar from famous practitioners; the benefits of archival research; and the implications on my own praxis. I will argue the efficacy of this aspect of practice-based research, one that aligns with Frayling's research through and into practice. As an experiential and kinaesthetic approach, long-hand writing can act as both a form of critical cultural resistance to the digitisation of daily life and also complementary to other technologies (e.g. ‘smart’ devices with styluses). The pedagogical effectiveness of this approach (e.g. timed writing activities within a workshop; use of notebooks for qualia-capture in the field) is explored and evidenced with particular focus on a series of ‘Wild Writing’ workshops led between 2015 and 2017 in England and North America.

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'Lost Islands: inventing Avalon, destroying Eden' is a monograph published by Heart of Albion Press in 2008. It asks whether narratives of place can affect not only our perception of actual locations, but also our treatment of them: whether imaginary geographies can have real world consequences.

In this interdisciplinary examination of the cultural history of islands, the author draws upon folklore, mythology, literature, popular culture, and environmental science to delve into humanity’s long fascination with islands. Drawing upon extensive field research undertaken exploring islands off the coast of Britain (Iona; Lundy; Bardsey; Isles of Scilly; Isle of Man; Holy Island; St Michael’s Mount; Isle of Wight; the Western Isles), which included a week’s solo writing retreat on the tiny Bardsey Island off the tip of the Llyn Peninsula, northwest Wales; as well as archival research pouring over early accounts of explorers; the experiential research as a professional storyteller enthralling audiences with tales of magical islands; and the latest climate science on the impact of Global Warming on sea levels and migration; Lost Islands attempts to understand our collective fascination with islands, real and imaginary. The way we have tendency to narrativize islands, projecting our desires and fears upon them (a tendency with antecedents back to the earliest of literature, such as the immramas of the Celtic saints), show that the island can be an act of the imagination as well as a geographical fact. Interweaving an erudite analysis with personal embodied anecdote, the text challenges the islandization of disciplines and traditions. A study of the littoral and the liminal, the monograph adopts a hybrid style blending the creative and critical to bring alive the ‘threshold’ quality of such places, sometimes described as ‘thin places’. The result is a kind of palimpsest of different texts and modes of thinking, and as such Lost Islands (illustrated throughout by the author’s own photographs) is research ‘for’ islands as well ‘through’ and ‘into’ them, via a creative-critical practice (Frayling, 1993).

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The Hidden Stories app delves deep into the untold history of Leicester’s Cultural Quarter, bringing the area to life through poetry, plays and narrative non-fiction.

The app operates via locative technology that triggers fragments of writing at specific locations; the texts are effectively connected with the location and history they are exploring, with content being unlocked as the user moves around the area.

Each text is displayed differently within the app, taking advantage of the framework to emphasise the ideas being presented by the writers and reflecting the concept of hidden stories.

Hidden Stories was commissioned by Phoenix and developed by Cuttlefish Multimedia as part of Affective Digital Histories, a research project investigating how communities change with urban decline and regeneration. The five pieces of creative writing used in the app were commissioned and edited by Corinne Fowler, director of the University of Leicester’s Centre for New Writing. To find out more visit affectivedigitalhistories.org.uk.

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Is it possible to achieve authenticity in the fictionalisation of a historic figure? To research my novel, The Knowing – a Fantasy, extensive experiential and archival research was undertaken. Having covered the experiential approach elsewhere (2020), here I focus primarily upon the archival. In this palaeographic enquiry I describe the discovery of a possible lost manuscript by the Reverend Robert Kirk – a version of his famous monograph, The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns, Fairies (1691). I analyse its provenance and content in a comparative study with extant MSS, contemporary accounts, and scholarship. I situate this enquiry within my own practice-based research undertaken for my PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Leicester (2014-2018) and what this potential discovery means for Kirk scholarship. I draw upon the work of Scott (1815), Lang (1892), Rossi (1957), Sanderson (1976), Stewart (1990), Hunter (2001; 2012) and Warner (2006), as well as more recent scholarship by Maxwell-Stuart (2014), Baker (2014), DeGroot (2015), and Temple (2019). How the archival discoveries revealed secrets of Kirk’s life (through painstaking textual analysis and transcription), and how the context of these discoveries (research libraries; a Scottish castle; a winter’s writing retreat and long-distance summer walks) all fed into the portrayal of Kirk and his world, will be discussed.

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This article explores the benefits and challenges of experiential research for a PhD novel in the contemporary fantasy genre and how this has significant qualitative impacts upon the “early drafting” stage of the creative process (Neale 2018). Drawing upon the extensive field research undertaken in the Scottish Borders, with its rich palimpsest of oral tradition, traumatic historicity, and touristic gilding, the article shows how this informed the emergent multimodal approach, resulting in a transmedia novel – one that ‘performs’ the liminality experienced according to a reader-response model. The Scottish Border ballad of ‘Thomas the Rhymer’ (Roud 219: Child 37) is used as a map – both in the field trips to associated locations, and in the creative-critical process itself. Within the ritualised landscape of the ballad three roads offer three ontological choices for not only the protagonist, but also the researcher-writer. Layered over this is Walter Benjamin’s three-step model of the musical, the architectonic, and the textile. How does one negotiate the various tensions of different disciplines? How does one avoid displacement activity in a protracted research project that embraces different modes of enquiry? When and how does one ‘return’ from this crossed threshold? And in what form can one’s findings withstand critical scrutiny, while retaining faith with the initial vision, the demands of the narrative, and the expectations of the reader?

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In this article I would like to discuss Robert Holdstock’s Mythago Wood Cycle – Mythago Wood (1984); Lavondyss (1988); The Bone Forest (1991); The Hollowing (1993); Gate of Horn, Gate of Ivory (1998); and Avilion (2009) – in the context of creative writing praxis. I will argue that Holdstock’s Mythago Wood Cycle offers a powerfully resonant metaphor for the creative process: how stories are created and written (informed by the oral tradition), and how we, as readers and listeners, interact with them. As a novelist, scholar of folklore and folk tales, and professional storyteller it is something I am familiar with and fascinated by, and it dove-tails with my current Creative Writing PhD at the University of Leicester: a dramatization of the creative process in novel form, and so this is a reflection on my ongoing investigation into creative writing research through practice.

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Focus: Researching and writing an ecological short story about endangered species.

‘We Are a Many-Bodied Singing Thing’ is an anthology of speculative fiction and poetry inspired by endangered species, commissioned by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds ‘Back from the Brink’ project and published in 2020. The brief was for positive speculative writing that raised awareness about 28 threatened species highlighted by the project, including the Violet Click Beetle, the Royal Splinter Cranefly, Eagle’s-claw Lichen, Coral-tooth Fungi, Knothole Moss and the Noctule Bat. Using the ‘Back from the Brink’ resources as a starting point, the author researched a cross-section of endangered species. He combined this with field research, visiting ancient oaks in situ, various botanical gardens, the insect house at Cotswold Wildlife Park, and the Eden Project in Cornwall. The challenge was to then turn this scientific information into a creative narrative. When contemplating current and imminent species extinction it is very easy to slide into despair. As with much contemporary fiction that contemplates the stark existential threat of the Climate Emergency the predictable pathway (in terms of the storyworld paradigm) is one of dystopia. Utopia is a lot harder to imagine. But perhaps a more nuanced and realistic conceptualisation is one Margaret Atwood called ‘ustopia’. And so, this is the approach the author takes. His near-future narrative imagines a world with many problems, but like Pandora’s Box, there is also, critically, hope. ‘The Rememberers’ in Kevan’s story are a group of ecological resistance fighters who use their memories as storage for the minutiae of endangered species. This co-opts Cicero’s ‘method of loci’ (from De Oratore) and turns it into a kind of ark. As a professional storyteller and performance poet, the author has made a study of mnemonic devices and has used them extensively in his performance to memorize text (see The Bardic Handbook, Gothic Image, 2006). This long-term experiential research (1998-) has informed the story in this anthology. The story has been ‘tested’ out on live audiences (via virtual open mics during the 2020 lockdown), including during ‘Writing the Earth’ (AUB, April 2021), the 2-day symposium exploring creative writing and the environment organised by the author, in which creative responses to the climate crisis were extensively discussed with students and a range of guest speakers. ‘The Rememberers’ encourages readers to commit to action, while demonstrating the power of words, especially when embodied. The effort required to learn something by heart is an act of honouring. As a regional organiser for the national annual recitation contest founded by former Poet Laureate, Andrew Motion, ‘Poetry by Heart’, the author has seen this first hand: how committing a text to memory can be very empowering – which is the dramatic arc of the story’s main protagonist. Thus, the story itself explores the mnemonic process and the valuation of ecological knowledge within ‘storied’ communities. The short story that resulted from this range of research was included in the published anthology from the RSPB.

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Practice as Research (PaR), and Practice-led Research, as studied by Hazel Smith, Roger T. Dean, and Graeme Sullivan, are increasingly being implemented in a wide range of disciplines. In this article, I will report on the methodological trajectory of my creative practice, an autoethnographic work that used film forms as research. The process progressed on three levels of investigation: the narrative, the epistemological, and the ontological. It developed from my personal experience and research in the archive, as a network of references supporting and responding to the needs of producing films through the exploration of prior film methodologies, and elaborating novel forms of mediation of history, memory, and postmemory

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Lunch with Family is a short film (30’) on postmemory that was shortlisted in the Inspiration category at the AHRC Research in Film Awards held at BAFTA in London in 2016. Judges thought the film to be "visually and thematically engaging and called it strong".

The film reveals the tension between Slav-silenced history in Trieste and its impact on personal life and identity in a city-symbol on the former Iron Curtain, in Italy. The film intertwines the author's own story with the history of forced Italianisation of half a million Slavs, their persecution, their organisation in anti-Fascist groups, and the final attempt to delete this ethnic group, which, in Trieste in 1918, was more substantial than in Ljubljana – the capital of Slovenia.

As part of the wider discourse of postmemory, the films aligns with the work of other scholars: Anne Karpf's The War After: Living with the Holocaust (1997) and Marianne Hirsch's Family Frames: Photography, Narrative and Postmemory (2004), but also Eva Hoffman's After Such Knowledge. However, Lunch with Family goes further. It uncovers the long history of resistance and the fight for the existence of a community that does not see its history acknowledged in Italy.

Based on interdisciplinary research, archival material and interviews, the film establishes the use of research-by-practice on film as an adequate epistemological methodology to uncover long-buried events and to explore the loop of existential questions the situation provoked and continues to stir in Trieste's Slav inhabitants. A paper published in Screenworks (Vol.8, No.1) in January 2018 explored the context, methods and outcomes of the research enquiry, and Turina presented conference papers and screenings at events in Sheffield, York and Cambridge during 2016-17.

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San Sabba is a short film (29‘ 50”) that debates the way we conceive of sites of memorialisation, the way they represent people and who they were in the past. The Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards gave the film the Recognition Award in June 2017 and screened the film at the Awards event in Los Angeles, US, in March 2018.

Building on the method tested with Lunch with Family, this film displays the archival research and personal engagement in the discovery of the Axis Concentration Camp of the Risiera di San Sabba in Trieste, Italy, which was active from 1943 to 1945. The film debates the alignment of the Museum of the Risiera di San Sabba to the narrative of the Holocaust, as the site was predominantly used for the detention, interrogation and killing of freedom fighters and their families.

San Sabba aligns with known works within the Holocaust film tradition, as it explores events that took place within the same logic of genocide. Especially relevant are filmmakers as Alain Resnais, Night and Fog (1955), and Claude Lanzmann, Shoah (1985), because they tackle the unseen issues related to the depiction of genocide. Equally important is the work of Jeremy Hicks, The Unseen Holocaust of WWII (2014), which casts questions on the predominantly camps based narrative of the Holocaust. However, San Sabba opens the discussion to the concept of memorialisation in Italy, as the camp in Trieste fails to reveal the documented purpose of the site.

Full screenings of the film took place in York and Athens in 2017, and at the Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards, in March 2018. Turina presented conference papers and particle screenings at peer-reviewed events in Sheffield, York and Cambridge during 2016-17.

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This article explores the use of animation in the essay film and analyses how screenwriting animation becomes a complex process of translation of the message the film wishes to address. With a focus on issues encountered in the development of two short essay films, Lunch with Family (2016) and San Sabba (2016), the article maps the process that in both cases guided the scripting of animated sequences, and analyses why in the editing room the director chose to use stills from the animations, instead. An example of the narrative techniques applied to mediate silenced history and postmemory in film, this contribution intends to add to the larger discussion on the current state of the art in screenwriting non-fiction.

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The chapter considers elements at play in the establishment of our current historical knowledge. Looking at past events as complex adaptive systems, it demonstrates why the current mediation of history is oversimplified. By formulating the possibility of a complex narrative matrix (environment), it explores its potential in offering both an archive of evidence drawn from multiple agents, and presenting the evolving relationship between them in time. This matrix aligns itself with a simulation of a CAS, the primary interest being the VR matrix' ability to be both an interactive interface enabling exploration of the evidential material from different points of access, and a construction able to reveal its procedural work; a dynamic that elicits the creation of meaning by including the reasoning behind the chosen archival material, the product of the process, and the process itself.

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