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The Spoken Word Wales website is a directory to poetry readings open mics and storytelling events in Wales.

In October 2016 I was interviewed by Spoken Word Wales as part of their podcast series. We discussed the process of writing; its discipline, freedom and purpose. We spoke of hedgehogs, haiku and heritage, standing thoughts between R.S.Thomas and Seamus Heaney. To listen to the podcast then click the iTunes button below.

Rethinking the Conversation:

A Geomythological Deep Map

For: TAG'15, 'Rethinking the Archaeological Map'

 Bradford, 14th-16th December 2015.

Writing Wonders – Poetry as Archaeological Method?

 

For: TAG'15, Tyrannical Tales? Fiction as Archaeological Method.

Bradford, 14th-16th December 2015.

Y BONT/THE BRIDGE

This short film was created in response to my deep mapping projects set in Cardigan Bay. The collaborators came from a broad sweep of disciplines (philology, art, storytelling, folk music, film, geology, archaeology) under the umbrella of geomythology, which is the study of landscape and story. Each commissioned response was integrated into this short film to show how an interdisciplinary approach to site specific representation can be achieved in a format that is equally accessible to all sides. It was first aired at the University of Vienna in November 2015 and has since triggered a plethora of offshoot projects, both academic and non-academic, equally balanced between science and arts funded contexts.


Contributors:
Film - Jacob Whittaker
Narration - Peter Stevenson
Song - Lynne Denman
Flute - Diarmuid Johnson
Geoscience - Martin Bates
Production - Erin Kavanagh

(i) Archaeopoetry

"A poet, a prehistorian and a podcaster sit down to Skype. That's not a joke, that's what happened for this episode where my guests were Erin Kavanagh, a geomythologist, and Gavin MacGregor, an archaeologist and we talked about the incredible power of poetry to express how we feel about the past, our jobs and to inform research."

In November 2016 I applied my geomythological head to a new challenge, that of searching for King John's Lost Jewels in The Wash, Eastern England. This was for The Travel Channel, via Expedition Unknown.  You can view the resulting episode via the link below wherin I left the Medieval manuscripts in the temperate archives and ventured out into the cold with Dr Martin Bates, an auger, some dowsing rods and a boot full of geophysics. 

(ii) Mezolith

"Mezolith is a graphic novel set loosely in the Mesolithic period (with shades of the Palaeolithic) somewhere in northern Europe. Written by Ben Haggarty, a storyteller steeped in legends of many cultures, which all come through in the book, and drawn by Adam Brockbank, an artist who has worked on X-Men and the Harry Potter films, it packs a punch stylistically but does the content match? Guests helping us decide this are Matt Ritchie from the Forestry Commission Scotland, John Swogger, archaeological comic artist and Erin Kavanagh, geomythologist and poet."

The day before Britain ceased to be Great, June 22nd 2016, two comedians met two archaeologists on a beach, with a boat and a boring kit. Together, we considered the evidence for a Welsh Atlantis, hidden out in Cardigan Bay.

The two comedians were, of course, Mike Bubbins and John Rutledge. The crew, Zipline. The archaeologists? Myself and the ever intrepid Martin Bates. You can listen to what adventure ensued by the link below...

For: TAG'15, 'Political Agendas and Sponsorship

in Archaeology.' 

 Bradford, 14th-16th December 2015.

Transmedial Archaeology:

a deep map of regenerating narratives

Shaping Words: Narrating Shapes

“People think that stories are shaped by people. In fact, it is the other way around. Stories exist independently of their players. If you know that, the knowledge is power.”

Pratchett (1992)

 

When stories become identity, their words assume a different shape to that of marks on an otherwise blank page. Communities and individuals lay claim to (or a claimed by) myths of place and space, they are worn as cultural narratives that unify and distinguish one from ‘the other’. Re-presenting such stories to those who have assumed ownership can be contentious. Collaborations between academic and non-academic partners reveal the spaces between knowledge and belief, where politics resides in an ethical guise.

This paper explores the challenges of facilitating participatory culture in narrative projects, as platformed by Tourism and Heritage. The case studies come from a long-running deep mapping project in Ceredigion, which (in part) has aimed to connect both visitors and locals to the land they are walking upon. Giving equal voice to disparate perspectives through creative collaboration requires an awareness of the many shapes that stories can form. Working with, rather than for, an audience can also dissolve the boundaries which commonly separate these expressions, merging the performer with the performed – when the author becomes the reader and the storytelling becomes a shared experience (Barthes, 1977).

Barthes, Roland (1977). Heath, Simon (transl). Image, Music, Text. London: Fontana Press.

Pratchett, Terry (1992), Witches Abroad. London: Corgi. P8

The Unexplainers, BBC Radio Wales
Expedition Unknown
Pre/History Podcasts (i) and (ii)

(iii) Early Man

Another podcast for Kim Biddulph, this time with James Dilley on the topic of Aardman's film 'Early Man'. 

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