British Animal Studies Network
One of the current highlights of Susan’s writing life is her ongoing residency with the British Animal Studies Network, facilitated by the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. The Network’s themed conferences always attract a fascinating range of participants and attendees including animal historians, geographers, artists, writers, sociologists and vets.
Since 2016, Susan has been commissioned to write and perform animal-focused poems on such subjects as emotion, violence, sex, hearing and smelling, and she has also run writing workshops on the conference themes.
World Animal Day
Susan also enjoys her annual writing residency with World Animal Day, helping to raise awareness of, and generate support for, this global animal welfare initiative. Each year on October 4th, the new poem that she is invited to write and perform is unveiled and circulated online.
Subjects with which she has engaged include endangered species and extinction, animal experimentation, the controversial issue of de-extinction and the catastrophic consequences of ocean debris.
Marine Conservation Society
Over the course of her residency with theMarine Conservation Society, Susan was commissioned to write thirty poems for thirty threatened ocean species, all of which were later included in her Ted Hughes Award-shortlisted collection, Words the Turtle Taught Me.
In addition, she performed at a number of events, including the Hay Festival Winter Weekend, and ran workshops that encouraged participants to engage with vulnerable marine wildlife through poetry.
Dylan Thomas Boathouse
Susan also relished her period as writer-in-residence at theDylan Thomas Boathousein Laugharne during which time she was given permission to work on a series of new poems inside Thomas’ famous writing shed.
She offered Poetry Walks too, with groups joining her for wanders through Laugharne’s woody and watery fringes with pauses for performances of poems on wildlife and environmental themes.
Based for a six-month period in the Department of Adult Continuing Education, Susan ran intensive one-to-one writing surgeries on campus, offered workshops in the wider community and performed her work in a variety of settings including on board mobile libraries.