Fiona Hamilton is a poet, writer and facilitator. ‘Fractures’ (2016) is the book of poems arising from the project described here and ‘Two Voices’ was performed to audiences at Llwyn Celyn in October 2018. Other recently published work includes a piece for the BBC Radio 3 series ‘Cornerstones’, published in book form by Little Toller Press in 2018. Fiona is Honorary Research Associate at the University of Bristol UK and Tutor on an MSc in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes at Metanoia Institute London. Her writing includes a story in poems ‘Bite Sized’ (2014) and poems etched on glass at Blaise Castle in Bristol UK.

Structures and spaces

Poetry of buildings

This essay describes responses of a poet to medieval farm buildings in a state of disintegration and on the brink of re-construction in a rural environment in Wales. Themes of space, time and belonging emerged as the author, a poet, worked with artists, local inhabitants and the place itself. Focusing on ‘spaces’ or fractures in the structure, and noticing absences as well as presences, the writer engaged with both physical and metaphysical dimensions of ‘habitation’ and found ways to engage wider audiences in collaborative spoken word performances on site, as well as in a book of poems with accompanying drawings. The author considers the collaborative and flexible forms the writing took and why these were chosen, raising questions about how poetic responses to buildings relate to genres of nature writing, documentary history and ecopoetry.

Keywords: Poetry – buildings – built environment – nature writing – collaborative art