I am a writer and academic who has been teaching Creative Writing and English Literature since 2004. I joined the University of Surrey team in 2018, and before that taught at a variety of universities and schools including University of Sussex, Brighton Museum, The Open University, Central Sussex College, and Royal Holloway, University of London where I completed my doctoral research on the polyphonic poetry sequence in 2017. I have been an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy since 2014.
Current writing and research projects including two writing residencies at the Hambidge Center for Arts and Sciences in the mountains of northern Georgia, USA, where I was a solo Writer-in-Residence in Spring 2018 and a collaborative Resident in Summer 2019 with the ceramicist Martha Cook. I am a member of an international Multi-narrative research group (based at University of Kiel, Germany), and I regularly present my work at conferences including the International Conference on Narrative: Pamplona, Spain (2019), McGill University, Montreal (2018) and University of Kentucky (2017), the Inaugural UK Narrative Studies Symposium, University of York (2019), Corroding the Now: Poetry + Science / Science Fiction (2019), The Place for Poetry Conference, Goldsmiths University (2015), and Oxford English Faculty’s Graduate Conference (2014).
In 2008 I was co-founder of the Sussex cooperative of writers, Needlewriters, organising local live literature events, and where I remained a board member through 2015, and became an editor of the anthology, The Needlewriters Companion (2015).
Recent publications include, Stay Bones (Pindrop Press, 2020) and Greyhound Night Service (Maquette Press, 2018). My poetry has been widely published elsewhere in international magazines and journals including Envoi, HARTS & Minds: The Journal of Humanities and Arts, The Interpreter’s House, Iota, Magma, Mslexia, The North, The Rialto, Southword, The Still Point Journal, Wasafiri, and Visual Verse. Poetry and microfiction have placed or been highly commended in the Mslexia Women’s Poetry Competition (2015), The Fool for Poetry Chapbook Competition (2015), Literary Kitchen Flash Fiction Contest (2015), Magma Judge’s Prize (2014), Wasafiri New Writing Prize (2013), and the Troubadour International Poetry Prize (2011).
I am the Festival Director of the Surrey New Writers Festival in Guildford. I write poetry reviews for Frogmore Press and blog regularly about life as a writer, the process of creative writing, and literature at: whenyoureadtome.blogspot.co.uk
Areas of specialism
University roles and responsibilities
- Director of Surrey New Writers Festival
- Languages and Literature rep for the LGBT Equality Group
- Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Staff Rep for Literature and Languages
Affiliations and memberships
The main focus of my research is on poetry sequences, in particular poly-vocal and polyphonic sequences from Robert Browning to present, with a special author focus on three contemporary poets: Gabrielle Calvocoressi, Amanda Dalton, and Jackie Kay. This topic, along with the jointly narrative and lyric progression of such sequences formed the body of my doctoral research, a thesis titled (with homage to Mikhail Bakhtin), On the Threshold: the Polyphonic Poetry Sequence. I am now reworking this thesis into a monograph.
Other active research areas include:
- Multi-narrative in all forms of media, in particular series, serials, sequences, poly-vocal prose and poetry
- Collaborations between science and poetry
- Creative nonfiction / nature writing / contemporary travel writing
- LGBT representation in narratives.
At the 2017 conference of the International Society for the Study of Narrative in Lexington Kentucky, André Schwarck, Liz Bahs, and Corinne Bancroft met over a book called The History of Love (Nicole Krauss). They discovered that they share an enthusiasm for literature that juxtaposes distinct narrative strands. For several years, André Schwarck has organized a research group at the Christian-Albrechts-University, Kiel that investigates the abundance of artifacts in contemporary media that consist of multiple and seemingly disjointed narratives. Meanwhile, in the U.K., Liz Bahs wrote her own poetry as she studied the polyphonic and polyvoiced nature of contemporary poetry sequences. At the same time and across the ocean, Corinne Bancroft traced the outlines of a novel genre called the braided narrative, where authors twine together distinct, often conflicting narrative threads. Since Lexington, these scholars have continued to collaborate to research the delightful, troubling, and mysterious aspects of the multi-narrative.
Postgraduate research supervision
I am currently open to receiving proposals from PhD applicants in the following areas of literature and creative writing:
- Poetry sequences or extended narratives, including hybrid forms
- Multi-narratives in all forms, including series, serials, poly-vocal prose and poetry
- Collaborations between science and poetry or visual art and poetry
- Projects exploring the connections between music and literature / writing
- Creative nonfiction, especially nature writing or contemporary travel writing
- Introduction to Creative Writing
- Thinking Like a Writer
- Contemporary Storytelling
- Science Fiction
- Understanding the Novel
- Postgraduate Research & Writing Skills
- Understanding Poetry / Introduction to Reading Poetry
- American Literature
- Dramatic writing and adaptation from page to screen / stage / radio
- MA Creative Writing Workshops
- Narrative Theory