Dr John Clarke

Research interests

My practice-based research interests are in the genres of poetry, prose non-fiction, and text in public-art situations. Specific, working-titled projects include:

1. Parliaments of Waste: Poetics and Aesthetics in the context of Sustainability, Pollution and Waste Management. Previous ouputs in this area have been funded by Arts Council, England through their 'Grants for the Arts' funding stream. Ongoing research questions include: where are the limits of description when faced by the mess of the landfill site; is the dump the last (hideous) sublime location in the landscape; how might the shocking scale of our dumps defamiliarise our culture and alter our political perspectives?

2. Blowholes: Romantic Legacies and Marine Ecology. A poetic exploration of human and non-human systems of communication at the coast and in the sea. How can we use poetry to address the impact of climate change on the way aquatic organisms communicate? How far do previous representations still shape the way we read the sea? Can we speak for the sea? And if so, how might we do this in a way that animates and contextualises scientific methods of description? Previously funded by Callustie Gulbenkian, Invisible Dust & Arts Council England. 

3. Natural Histories of the Self: a series of prose autobiographical essays exploring identity, being and place, with a specific focus on West Cornwall and the relationship between religion (Methodism) and art. 

4. Playing Places, Performing Heritage: an on-going exploration of the role creative writing can play in place-shaping and enhancing well-being in specific locations. Previous and on-going examples include; the Cultural Olympiad multi-disciplinary project Sea Swim, which combined creative practices with bathing in the sea (Arts Council funded); Dictionary of Stone, a poetry and performance exploration of the Cleveland Ironstone strata of the North Yorkshire Coast (Arts Council funded); In betweena poetry and sound exploration of the 'snickleyways' (or alleys, passageways, ginnels or snickets) of York for York Curiouser (Arts Council funded). New projects include a commission from the Shakespeare's Schoolroom and Guildhall Trust and an AHRC-funded project with Newcastle University & Brighton University titled Wastes and Strays: Urban Commons in Britain, Past, Present and Future. 





Research collaborations

Co-investigator on Wastes and Strays: Urban Commons in Britain, Past, Present and Future, a collaboration between The Universit of Exeter, The University of Newcastle and The University of Brighton.