December 3rd Warwick University Writer’s department hosted poet Michael Farrell from Australia. I liked the narrative style of his most recent stuff. Had a conversation with him at the end about the poem Juggle which I thought was called Jungle, as I heard lots of jungle imagery in it, and was carried away by my own internal narrative and his words. It was fascinating hearing him talk about his techniques as a writer (which sometimes involve chance, like throwing a dice). I was interested in poetry as a verbal language… in my experience of hearing poetry it comes to life in a way that it doesn’t on the page. However Farrell challenged this perception because his form is very visually represented on the page.

I was also lucky to attend storytelling performances by MA students of Drama and Theatre Education on 5th December at Warwick’s Avon studio.  

The performed stories were The Good Daughter, Rapunzel, Persephone, Nezha, Emperor’s New Clothes and Bluebeard. I particularly liked the creative quirks in The Emperor’s New Clothes and Bluebeard. The students are going to perform to children. The students work interested me because I have been thinking of my PhD, more recently, in terms of the emotional language of stories, the values and meanings hidden in their verbal expression, and how adolescents could construct an idea of the emotional “norms” of society from this. This has links with work by Arlie Hochschild on “feeling rules”. From now until January I will be focusing on reading more around this area to formulate a paper considering how the ideas of Hochschild could be used as part of an interdisciplinary approach to my work on storytelling with adolescents.

Emma Parfitt

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