I am currently undertaking a creative writing research degree with the Open University, focusing on a life writing project, supervised by Dr Derek Neale and Dr Sally O’Reilly.
The Other Mothers: A Life Writing Project will explore how creative life writing can be used to portray the hidden lives of ’other mothers’ - adopters and birth mothers, mothers through surrogacy and surrogates, and mothers through egg donation and egg donors - whose stories remain largely untold. The research will investigate how life writing can extend our understanding of what it means to be a mother, and how material derived from interviews can fuse with imagination to transform into creative narrative which uncovers and presents ’truths’ through ’versions of a life’ in a different but equally valid way to social sciences research.
The research will combine practice-based and critical approaches, to produce a multi-subject biographical narrative, interweaving autobiographical elements, with a through-line of ‘other motherhood’, accompanied by a critical commentary.
The critical investigation will explore the history and traditions of life writing and its subgenres, the ethics and methodologies of the project, the nature of truth, techniques and debates around transforming life into literature, and reflections on my personal journey through the project.
My life writing piece, Violent Possibility, appeared in issue 3 of Friction Magazine, published by Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts.