Lisa Matthews is a poet studying part-time for a doctorate at Northumbria University. With her fourth full-length collection of prose-poetry Callisto due for publication in the UK in spring 2018, she is currently exploring the concept of sequentiality in poetics.
An experienced freelance writer and sci-art practitioner with a successful 20-year portfolio career, and from an archive and information background, Lisa is a long-time reader and admirer of the writings of US marine biologist and “mother of the modern environmental movement” Rachel Carson. Carson, of her own writing humbly said, “if there is poetry in my books about the sea, it’s not because I deliberately put it there, but because no one can write about the sea and leave out the poetry”, and one strand of Lisa’s doctoral research focuses on Carson and will act as the foundation for a new biography that Lisa plans to research and write post-PhD.
For the past two years Lisa has been collaborating with fine artist and digital developer Melanie Ashby on a series of coastal and Carson-inspired eco-poetic events and interventions including the seasonal field residency A Year in Beadnell. Elegy, another of their collaborative works, is an installation that Lisa has presented and performed (with Ashby) in a variety of contexts including at Newcastle Poetry Festival, Newcastle University; Scottish Poetry Library and at Durham International Book Festival, where it was reviewed as “one of the highlights of the weekend”.
With new scholarly work on multi-aspect prose-poems recently published in the Australian Creative Writing journal TEXT (Oct 2017), Lisa is particularly interested in practitioner-led discourse that explores the practice-research ellipsis. She is keen to explore new collaborations with other artists, makers, researchers and activists and to take Elegy, and her Carson-focused work to literary events, festivals, conferences and symposia.