Writing Well and Writing to Get Well 1 Podcast

What can writers and teachers of Creative Writing learn from psychiatry, neuroscience, and other medical disciplines about the links between creativity and mental illness?

Richard Hamblyn, Dr Sarah Jackson and Robert Power (Photo by Oscar Windsor-Smith

The podcast from the first Friday evening Writing Well and Writing to Get Well event, which took place at Birkbeck on Friday 28th April 2017, can be listened to here:


(Just audio, not video.)

Here’s a little information about it:

Dr Sarah Jackson and Robert Power discuss Creative Writing and Mental Health with Richard Hamblyn

Sarah Jackson is an award-winning poet, short-story writer and critic from Nottingham. She is the author of a poetry collection, Pelt (Bloodaxe, 2012), which won the Seamus Heaney Award and was the readers’ nomination for the Guardian First Book Award, and Tactile Poetics: Touch and Contemporary Writing (Edinburgh University Press, 2015). Sarah has read her poetry, fiction and criticism throughout the UK and abroad, including at the British Library, the Royal Albert Hall and Cambridge and New York Universities. She is a BBC/AHRC New Generation Thinker and Senior Lecturer at Nottingham Trent University, where she is currently writing a book about the telephone.

Robert Power is a geneticist who works to identify the genetic differences that predispose people to illnesses. He has worked on a wide range of health issues, from infectious diseases to psychiatric disorders. Of particular interest is his work on the genetic relationship between creative professions and psychiatric disorders. This Icelandic study showed that individuals with careers as writers, musicians, and painters had a higher genetic risk for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder than that of the general population. This suggested the same genes might be involved in creativity and these illnesses. He is currently a Sir Henry Wellcome Fellow at the Africa Health Research Institute, University College London, and a Junior Research Fellow at St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford.

Richard Hamblyn is a Lecturer in Creative Writing at Birkbeck. An environmental writer and historian, his books include The Invention of Clouds, which won the 2002 Los Angeles Times Book Prize; Terra: Tales of the Earth (2009), a study of natural disasters; and The Art of Science (2011), an anthology of readable science writing from the Babylonians to the Higgs boson. His most recent book, Tsunami: Nature and Culture (2014), is a cultural history of killer waves from the legend of Atlantis to the Fukushima disaster of 2011.

Funded by the Birkbeck/Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund



Please Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.