Kerry Hadley-Pryce (chair)
Kerry Hadley-Pryce was born in the Black Country. She worked nights in a Wolverhampton petrol station before becoming a secondary school teacher. She wrote her first novel, The Black Country, whilst studying for an MA in Creative Writing at the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University, for which she gained a distinction and was awarded the Michael Schmidt Prize for Outstanding Achievement 2013–14. She is currently a PhD student at Manchester Metropolitan University, researching Psychogeography and Black Country Writing.
A Tempus Public Foundation fellow, Sonakshi Srivastava is an MPhil candidate at Indraprastha University, Delhi, where she researches Speculative Fictions, Urban Geography, and Emotions. Her works have appeared in OddMagazine, Feminism in India, Potluck Zine, orangepeel and the ESLA journal, and she has been the three-times recipient of TATA LitLive’s MyStory Contest. Her short stories have also been anthologized and she is one of the current recipients of South Asia Speaks mentorship programme where she is working on translating the Hindi novel Titli into English under the esteemed translator Arunava Sinha. She was also selected for a mentorship programme with Deborah Smith, organised by the NTU, Singapore. Her translations have appeared or are upcoming in Rhodora Magazine, Hakara Journal and Swatantra Journal. She is the copy editor (English) at Bilori Journal and the contributing translator columnist at The Bilingual Window.
Rebecca Hearle lives and works five miles from The Wash. She gained an MA Printmaking in 2014 from Anglia Ruskin University, where she is currently a postgraduate researcher. Principally a printmaker, Rebecca also includes bookworks, type, drawing and photography in her work. Her research is examining the process of forming a connection to landscape, in particular a relationship that could be described as more-than emotional, aesthetic, or knowledge-based. In 2019 Rebecca was invited to participate in Cambridge School of Art’s symposium Theorem where she presented her research on place-making in landscape: ‘Smultronställe: Tuan, Massey and me’.
R.M.Francis is a lecturer in Creative and Professional Writing at the University of Wolverhampton. He’s published two novels, Bella and The Wrenna (Wild Pressed Books), and a collection of poems, Subsidence (Smokestack Books). He co-edited Smell, Memory and Literature in the Black Country (Palgrave MacMillan) with Professor Sebastian Groes, and his work on the region’s culture and literature has been published in edited collections and journals. In 2019 he was the inaugural David Bradshaw Writer in Residence at the University of Oxford and is currently Poet in Residence for the Black Country Geological Society.
A Kitchen of One’s Own
Kitchen occupies a central ‘position’ in Sonakshi’s works, both academic and creative. Most of it stems from her own personal interactions with the mentioned space. By referencing works by Indian women writers, and interspersing the same with her own creative works, she will explore kitchen as that liminal space which has influenced and continues to influence identities by offering solace in comfort, in grief and even during the uncertain times of the pandemic.
Emotive Experiences and Landscape Connections
Rebecca Hearle is an artist who makes work about the landscape that borders the Wash. It was here that she had an emotive experience that altered her relationship with that landscape, and consequently the work she makes. Rebecca is researching the process of landscape connection as a PhD student at Anglia Ruskin University, and her work asks what are the processes involved in forming a deep connection to landscape?
Geopoetics re-establishes the connections of human and more than human and re-grounds the self in “earthness”, developing what Kenneth White called “Topological Presence”. In exploring the yogic and shamanic in this method, Francis tracks his poetics during his time as Poet in Residence for the Black Country Geological Society: using pilgrimage, wayfinding and the Earth Sciences to get to the bedrock of place-identity.