On November 14 2018, Keele University organised an event called ‘Food Unwrapped’ as part of the Economic and Social Research Council’s (ESRC) Festival of Social Sciences 2018. Speakers and delegates considered issues such as food poverty, food and well-being, food and waste, and recycling. The event was led by Emma Surman, Community Animation and Social Innovation Centre (CASIC). Ceri Morgan led a geopoetics activity whereby participants could choose a writing prompt and respond to it if they wished. Prompts included food memories, smellscapes, and a visit to Keele allotments.
In November 2017, Deirdre McKay and other members of the Hacking Plastic team at Keele University put on two days of workshops at B-Arts, Stoke-on-Trent for Being Human (a Festival for Humanities). Ceri Morgan led a creative writing workshop aimed at getting participants to think about (and rethink) their relationships to plastic.
In a (partial) challenge to Guy Debord’s infamous assertion, ‘wandering in open countryside is naturally depressing’ (1956), participants were invited to take part in a psychogeographic game. Players were able to choose a folded creative prompt or two (or more) and follow it or them if they so wished, with the only rules concerning safety, respecting other people’s desire for silence if signalled, and stopping if the game ceased being enjoyable.
In November 2016, Ceri Morgan led a geopoetics workshop in Silverdale Country Park to commemorate the anniversary of the Aberfan Disaster. In October 1966, a colliery spoil tip collapsed on Pantglas Junior School in the South Wales village, killing most of the pupils and teachers inside. Having a family connection to the event, Morgan wanted to pay tribute to the victims and survivors of Aberfan and other mining disasters. She also wanted to celebrate the cultural heritage of the coal-mining industry. A small group of undergraduate and postgraduate students, lecturers, parish councillors, an archivist, a former miner and his wife spent an hour at Country Park, former site of a coal mine. Afterwards, several participants wrote, revised, or composed texts based on the experience.
In November 2017, extracts from the revised creative texts, along with photographs and extracts from informal oral history interviews with some of the participants were exhibited at Silverdale Community Library. A launch with readings and performances was attended by a mixture of Keele staff and students, local residents, and former miners.
Supported by a British Academy small research grant (2016-17), Ceri Morgan and media artist Philip Lichti made a digital map of fictional Montreal featuring some of the city’s best-known writers.
This day-long workshop featured paper presentations, a geopoetics walk, readings, a writing retreat and a zines workshop by Molly Drummond.
The Dawdlers took up the practice of collective tweets undertaken by colleagues at la Traversée (with permission). In Summer 2017, we collectively tweeted creative writing on the themes of parks and gardens, using #dérive. These were often retweeted by our Montreal colleagues at La Traversée.
I wanted a garden. So my father made me one. July days; a gift of love (Ceri Morgan)
As part of the Back to the Drawing Board exhibition held at Keele University (Autumn-Winter 2016-17) to pay tribute to Pat Albeck and Peter Rice, Ceri Morgan led a geopoetics workshop hosted by Emma Bridgewater Factory, Stoke-on-Trent. Texts produced following the April 2016 workshop were displayed at Keele University alongside photographs and extracts from informal interviews with former pottery workers. Viewers of the exhibition were invited to take part in creative writing workshops led by novelist Jen Campion. There was also the opportunity to share memories of the Potteries via a live video booth.
In March 2015, Ceri Morgan led a field trip to the Spode Works in Stoke-on-Trent for students on her final year module, Writingscapes. Participants had an hour at the former factory site and then returned to Keele University campus for a creative writing workshop with novelist, Christopher Prendergast.