Critical Poetics Summer School 2021: Care Of...

How has the global pandemic changed care? What does care now mean in light of the social injustices and inequalities foregrounded by Black Lives Matter? What does it mean to be charged with the care of animal, vegetal and mineral lifeforms during the sixth mass extinction and the care of the environment in the ongoing climate crisis? And how has care, both as a concept and an experience, changed for writers, artists, critics and readers? In 2021, the Critical Poetics Summer School will be delivered care of a group of internationally recognised artists, writers and thinkers whose work addresses current and pressing issues of care and caring.

Organised by the Critical Poetics Research Group at Nottingham Trent University in partnership with Nottingham Contemporary and Curated & Created at NTU. Broadcast technical support from Nottingham Contemporary and Metronome.

Raymond Antrobus was born in London to an English mother and Jamaican father. He is author of The Perseverance (2018), To Sweeten Bitter (2017) and the children’s picture book Can Bears Ski? (2020) illustrated by Polly Dunbar. In 2019 he was a recipient of the Ted Hughes Award and won the Sunday Times/University of Warwick Young Writer of the Year Award, and became the first poet to be awarded the Rathbone Folio Prize. His next poetry collection All The Names Given is published in September by Picador (UK) and Tin House (US).

Maya Chowdhry is a writer and a multidisciplinary artist. Her work explores issues such as seed sovereignty and climate justice. Maya’s poetry collections are The Seamstress and the Global Garment and Fossil (2009). She creates immersive and democratic live art experiences for participants, drawing from creating work in poetry, radio, video and installation. Recent work utilises the online space for transmedia storytelling and augmented reality artworks. Maya’s award-winning writing includes Butterfly Orchid, highly commended in the Forward Poetry Prizes, 2017. Tales from the Towpath, an immersive story for Manchester Literature Festival, was shortlisted for the International New Media Writing Prize, 2014. Galvanising Change, an interactive audio installation which utilises sensors to examine climate change, is currently exhibited online with Digital Art Studios and The British Council.

Marion Coutts is an artist and writer. Her work has been exhibited widely nationally and internationally, including solo shows at Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool, Chisenhale Gallery, London, Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Foksal Gallery, Warsaw. She has held fellowships at Tate Liverpool and Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge and was a Rome Scholar at the British School at Rome. Her first book, The Iceberg (2014) won the Wellcome Book Prize in 2015. It was shortlisted for the Costa Book Award, the Samuel Johnson Prize and was a finalist in the US National Book Critics Circle Awards, 2017. In 2018 she was the recipient of The Islands Arts Writing Residency, Fogo Island, Canada. A new publication, Pluton, will come out with Art Metropole, Toronto in 2021. She is a Reader in Art at Goldsmiths College, University of London.

Eva Haifa Giraud is a Senior Lecturer in Media at Keele University. Her research has two strands. In empirical terms, she is interested in the ways that activists negotiate tensions associated with the media platforms they use, particularly the challenges posed by social media. Her work has engaged with this theme in the context of environmental, animal, and food activism, with more recent research focusing on anti-racist politics. She also has a broad conceptual interest in non-anthropocentric theoretical work, which explores ways of thinking and acting in the world that move beyond the treatment of (some) humans as exceptional. Her publications include What Comes After Entanglement? Activism, anthropocentrism and an ethics of exclusion (2019), Veganism: Politics, Practice, and Theory (2021) and articles in journals such as Theory, Culture & Society, New Media & Society and Social Studies of Science.

Seán Hewitt was born in 1990. He is a book critic for The Irish Times and teaches Modern British & Irish Literature at Trinity College Dublin. He won a Northern Writers’ Award in 2016, the Resurgence Prize in 2017, and an Eric Gregory Award in 2019. In 2020, he was chosen by The Sunday Times as one of their ‘30 under 30’ most promising artists in Ireland, and his debut collection, Tongues of Fire, was shortlisted for The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, 2020. His book J.M. Synge: Nature, Politics, Modernism (2021) is published with Oxford University Press, and his memoir, All Down Darkness Wide, is forthcoming from Jonathan Cape in the UK and Penguin Press in the USA in 2022. He is currently the first poet-in-residence at the Irish Queer Archive, in partnership with National Library of Ireland and Cúirt International Literature Festival.

Bhanu Kapil is the author of six full-length collections, most recently How To Wash A Heart (2020), and Incubation: a space for monsters (2006), forthcoming in a new edition with essays on performance and shame, and a preface by Eunsong Kim.

Astrida Neimanis is a cultural theorist working at the intersection of feminism and environmental change. Her research focuses on bodies, water and weather, and how they can help us reimagine justice, care, responsibility and relation in the time of climate catastrophe. Her most recent book, Bodies of Water: Posthuman Feminist Phenomenology (2017), is a call for humans to examine our relationships to oceans, watersheds and other aquatic life forms from the perspective of our own primarily watery bodies, and our ecological, poetic and political connections to other bodies of water. Often in collaboration with other researchers, writers, artists and scientists, Neimanis’ work features in academic publications, exhibitions and catalogues. She has recently joined UBC Okanagan on the unceded Syilx and Okanagan lands, in Kelowna, Canada, as an Associate Professor in Ecofeminism and Environmental Humanities.

Maggie Nelson is the author of several books of poetry and prose, most recently On Freedom: Four Songs of Care and Constraint (2021). Other nonfiction titles include the New York Times bestseller and National Book Critics Circle Award winner The Argonauts (2015), The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning (2011), Bluets (2009), The Red Parts (2007), and Women, the New York School, and Other True Abstractions (2007). Her poetry titles include Something Bright, Then Holes (2007) and Jane: A Murder (2005). She has been the recipient of a MacArthur “genius” Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an NEA Fellowship, an Innovative Literature Fellowship from Creative Capital, and an Arts Writers Fellowship from the Andy Warhol Foundation. She currently teaches at USC and lives in Los Angeles.

Nat Raha is a poet and activist-scholar based in Edinburgh. She is the author of three collections and numerous pamphlets of poetry, including of sirens, body & faultlines (2018), countersonnets (2013), Octet (2010) and four dreams (2020). Her creative and critical writing has appeared in South Atlantic Quarterly, Third Text, Poetry Review, MAP Magazine, The New Feminist Literary Studies (2020), and in the 2020 anthologies ON CARE , The Weird Folds: Anthropocene in the Everyday, and We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics. Her writing has been translated into French, Galician, German, Greek, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish and Slovenian. Nat co- edits Radical Transfeminism Zine.

Michael Rosen is one of Britain’s best loved writers and performance poets for children and adults. He is currently Professor of Children’s Literature at Goldsmiths, University of London where he co-devised and teaches an MA in Children’s Literature. Michael is also a popular broadcaster and has presented BBC Radio 4’s acclaimed programme about language, Word of Mouth since 1998, as well as regularly presenting documentary programmes for BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 3, including the Sony Gold Award-winning On Saying Goodbye. Michael has published in the region of 200 books for children and adults and appears regularly at literary festivals all over the UK and Ireland. For outstanding contribution to children’s literature he received the Eleanor Farjeon Award and was Children’s Laureate 2007-2009. In recognition of his contribution to the profile of French culture in the UK, he was made Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

Laura Salisbury is Professor of Modern Literature and Medical Humanities at the University of Exeter, where she works in the Department of English and Film and in the Wellcome Centre for the Cultures and Environments of Health. Laura is currently co-PI with Lisa Baraitser from Birkbeck on a 5-year Wellcome-funded project called Waiting Times. This multi and interdisciplinary project examines what it means to wait in and for healthcare. She is President of the Samuel Beckett Society.

Mama D Ujuaje is a Community Researcher and Facilitator whose background is in Food and Nourishment Practice and artistic advocacy around Food Justice. She currently curates, within Community Centred Knowledge, Learning Journeys, exploring the interfaces of community, modernity and systemic justice through the routes of art and culture. She uses embodied and action research methods to interrogate the interfaces of community and academic knowledge construction. She is interested in how humans navigate justice issues over time and space and manage personal and social trauma in embodied ways, across the territories of the Anthropocene. In traversing from the physiology to the psychology of nourishment, Mama D encourages storytelling and the coaxing out of withheld stories from a wide range of bodies, bringing them to the loom. She encourages each participant to pick up the threads and interweave with each other, even getting beneath the skin of the everyday. Mama D is an alchemist of the ordinary.