M4C Logo AHRC Logo

Helena Hunter

Languages and Literature, Nottingham Trent University

Thesis title:

Algae ecologies: scale, temporality and modes of address in contemporary Anthropocene poetry.

My PhD research project: Algae Ecologies: multiple scales, temporalities and perspectives in contemporary poetry, investigates the creative and aesthetic possibilities of how the complex multi-scalar relations between humans, algae and planetary health can be explored in contemporary poetry. My research draws on algae’s vast and microscopic scales, from minute plankton in the ocean to their role in deep time and present-day planetary systems. My thesis’s creative and critical components include literary analysis of poetry (Hymas 2020; Hadfield 2014; Watts 2020; Yang 2008), poetic writing and practice research with environmental scientists. Motivated by Solnick’s (2016) assertion that poetry must find ‘new ways of thinking about unfamiliar spatial and temporal scales, about how we approach the metaphors and discourses of the sciences’ my practice research examines the interplay between different representations of algae across contemporary poetry and science. The cross-disciplinary nature of my project explores what poetic perspectives might emerge and what new ecologies of practice can be built through collaboration with environmental science.

Research Area

  • Creative Writing
  • Languages and Literature

Publications

'Listening with Eunice', Map Magazine: #66 Tendencies - A Year of Carte Blanche & Other Chimeras, 2022.

'Postnatural Supernatural', The Contemporary Journal: Critical Poetics: Writing with Care, 2022.

'Earthbnb' APRIA Journal, Digital Narrations: Fails and Errors, 2022.

 'Air Morphologies', Wild Alchemy Journal: Air Edition, 2022, pp. 15-18.


Conferences

10-12 Apr 2024, Presentation, 'Fieldwork: practice research across poetry and science', International Conference of Three Societies on Literature and Science, University of Birmingham, UK. 

28 Oct 2023, Presentation, 'Fathoming microbial seas: scaling with algae across poetry and science' part of the Visions of Scale Panel, SLSA Alien Conference, Arizona State University, Phoenix, USA. 

13 Feb 2023, Symposium, 'Spectres in Change: Site-Sensitive Art-Science Research in the Archipelago Sea', Goldsmiths University of London.

14 Mar 2023, Lecture, 'Transmissions' Lecture Series, Sheffield University.  

3 May 2023, Symposium 'Ecological Imaginaries', a research network development symposium in the School of Arts and Humanities at Nottingham Trent University.

8 Jun 2023, Colloquium, 'Translation in Remains' University of Angers, France. 

Public Engagement & Impact

3 Feb – 5 Mar 2023

Solo Exhibition, Field Casting, Titanik Gallery Turku, Finland: an exhibition that draws together ongoing research with marine biologists working with algae at the Archipelago Research Institute in Finland, in partnership with Contemporary Art Archipelago (CAA).

Other Research Interests

The intersections of visual art, science and poetry. 

Memberships

The Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts (SLSA) & (SLSAeu)

The Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE)

British Phycological Society (BPS)

The British Society of Literature for Science (BSLS)

Critical Poetics Research Group (NTU)

Environmental Humanities Network (Warwick)

Environmental Humanities Network (Edinburgh)

Nottingham Creative Writing Hub (NTU)

Teaching

9 Oct 2023, MA Art and Ecology, Goldsmiths University of London, Experimental Laboratory: Site-based workshop on poetry and human-non-human ecologies in Deptford Creek in partnership with Creekside Discovery Centre.

5 Oct & 20 Oct 2022, MA Art and Ecology, Goldsmiths University of London, Experimental Laboratory: Site-based workshop on poetry and human-non-human ecologies in Deptford Creek in partnership with Creekside Discovery Centre.

Readings and performance

25 Jul 2023, Reading and film screening, Encounters, Cafe Oto, London. 

5 Jul 2023, Reading, Shimmer, Attenborough Nature Reserve, Nottingham.

3 May 2023, Poetry Reading with Rachel Bower and Helen Jukes and Annie Cross at Five Leaves Book Shop, Nottingham Creative Writing Hub, Nottingham. 

26 May 2023, Reading at Nottingham Poetry Festival. 

Specialist training and professional development

1 Mar - 1 May Specialist training on the Field Course Module on the Marine Science Course at the Scottish Association of Marine Science, Oban, Scotland, UK. 

1 May - 30 Aug Placement at the Scottish Association of Marine Science, Oban, Scotland, UK.