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Words & Thoughts at the University of Western Australia

Words & Thoughts began as a post-graduate creative writing seminar series at UWA in March 2008 within the Faculty of Arts. The focus was on critiquing writing. Between 2012-2014, Susan Taylor Suchy led the group. During her tenure, the focus expanded to help emerging and recognized writers achieve professional outcomes, to share creative works with a larger community, and to document the achievements of the group’s members.

Currently there are over seventy active members on the mailing list. The group meets monthly, develops creative projects, maintains a newsletter, and has an online group. Words & Thoughts is student-run but includes and invites staff and guests from outside the group for various events and activities.

Some of the Words & Thoughts sessions have been recorded. In this half-hour interview, Susan introduces Siobhan Hodge and Gabrielle Everall who share their thoughts, research, and poetry on Sappho. During the conversation Everall and Hodge take turns reading poems of their own creation that have been written about or are inspired by Sappho. This interaction reveals the value of creative research to communicate beyond theory. Importantly, the speakers unearth the dialectic between practice and research to create an experiential knowledge for the audience. In this session, we can witness what Hecq refers to as a ‘triangulation of two seemingly mutually exclusive discourses, one recognizing the reality of the unconscious, and the other the importance of rational and critical process…the (tacit) knowing and [the] (explicit) knowledge.’ (2014: 3)

To listen to a recording of the seminar, visit here.

The poetic exchanges between Everall and Hodge create an original way to enter into the world of Sappho. The experience demonstrates that no matter what direction taken or language spoken (whether a feminist, lesbian or classical approach, whether in English or Aeolic Greek) the common language of poetry transcends all and is something of beauty.


If you’re interested in joining Words & Thoughts, visit their website here.



Audio Production Coordinator: Lewis Umbrellahem

Program Coordinator and interviewer: Susan Taylor Suchy

Many thanks to Susan for providing this material and gathering consent for its release.


Work Cited:

Hecq, Dominique, ‘Beyond the mirror: On experiential knowing as research mode in creative writing’. TEXT Special Issue 14, 2014. http://www.textjournal.com.au/speciss/issue14/Hecq.pdf

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