Sue's Poetry Research

My research focuses on poetry writing and other aspects of poetry learning and pedagogy. I particularly enjoy working collaboratively with other poets and educators to explore key questions about our craft which will enable young people to participate in poetry and to enjoy the genre’s rich and diverse forms of expression.

My most recent (2019) published collaboration is with Yuka Nakai at the University of Shimane. Our paper (written in Japanese) appears in The Science of Reading is: Collaborative research between UK and Japan on poetry writing pedagogy in the global age: Trialling poetry writing workshop techniques and can be downloaded here: 61_97

Currently I am working with Anthony Wilson from Exeter University to investigate young people’s poetry writing development See Wilson and Dymoke 2017 (published in the Journal of Writing Research). Look out, in early 2020, for news of our research project: Young Poets’ Stories.


I have collaborated with Pietro Roversi to write DNA Time, a poetry experiment. The poem adheres to the coding conventions that protein chemists and geneticists have agreed on to describe proteins and DNA. It contains two complementary strands and, like the double helix, follows the rules that translate a DNA sequence into a protein sequence. You can hear us talking about this project on BBC 4 The Art of Now. The programme Recombinant Rhymes and DNA Art, was broadcast in Feb 2019 and seems to have stimulated a lot of interest. It was great to know we are working at the cutting edge of Artsci and to hear about the exciting work that other artists are engaged in. We were delighted with the version of DNA Time produced by Nigel, the sound mixer, and with producer Anna McNamee’s clear explanations and insightful questions. If you missed it, catch up at BBC Sounds

In 2018 Anthony Wilson and I presented our work at BERA conference as part of a Poetry Writing, Reading, Learning and Teaching symposium within the English in Education SIG. Other presentations were given by by Julie Blake (from her doctoral research GCSE poetry anthologies), Gary Snapper (on A level students’ experiences of poetry) and Nicola Marlow from University of Ulster (on a SCOTENs funded project on Teacher Confidence and post-16 poetry teaching in the north and south of Ireland). There was a good deal of synergy between the presentations, particularly concerning the social and cultural contexts in which poetry is experienced by young people and how teachers make choices about poetry text selections.

Bera Poetry Research Symposium 2018
Still smiling at the end of the symposium: Julie, Anthony, Nicola, Sue and Gary.