This oral history interview is an intimate conversation between two people, both of whom have generously agreed to share this recording with Oral History Summer School, and with you. Please listen in the spirit with which this was shared.
This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please inquire about permissions.
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Sarah Hesketh is a London based poet/writer who at the time of the interview was a final year PhD candidate in Creative Writing at the University of Roehampton in England. Her PhD project has involved her working at the intersections of oral history and poetry.
In this oral history interview, Sarah talks about why she attended the 2019 OHSS Workshop: I Am Sitting in a Room Part 1: Oral History and Writing; how her own poetry/writing work developed from an early age; her academic education; how her work began to be published and about selected writing projects she has created.
She discusses in depth ‘The Hard Word Box’—a collection of poems and texts that stemmed from a 2013 arts residency entitled ‘Where the Heart Is,’ where she was poet in residence at a care facility for elderly dementia sufferers.
She also discusses in detail the premise, research practice and creative work of her PhD which specifically used oral history practice at its foundation: a creative work of poetry and writing that focussed on the historical events of the year 2016.
This interview may be of interest to those interested in the process of creation of contemporary poetry and text; the intersections of writing/poetry and oral history; how oral history is accommodated within a Creative Writing PhD program in the UK in 2016-2019, and specifically in Sarah Hesketh’s own work and practice.
Miriam Johnson is an oral historian, artist, writer and filmmaker based in Tasmania, Australia, who attended the 2019 OHSS Workshop: I Am Sitting in a Room Part 1: Oral History and Writing as a way to become aware of the multitude of ways that oral history is used in the written form. She was particularly interested in interviewing Sarah for this archive as she is researching, for her own edification, the relevance of academic work at the intersections of oral history and creative practice.
This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please click here to inquire about permissions.
Oral history is an iterative process. In keeping with oral history values of anti-fixity, interviewees will have an opportunity to add, annotate and reflect upon their lives and interviews in perpetuity. Talking back to the archive is a form of “shared authority.”