Siobhán Campbell is a poet and critic. She was born in Ireland, where interests in post-conflict and cross-community work developed into her outreach in creative writing with military veterans. Her more recent foray into the research of creative writing as a social practice has let her to investigate the value of expressing creativity in palliative care. She has lived in Dublin, San Francisco, London and New York City.
With an MA from University College Dublin and a PhD from Lancaster University, she also pursued post-graduate study at NYU and the New School, New York. She joined The Open University, Dept. of English from Kingston University London, where she was Associate Professor in English Literature and Creative Writing and Course Director MA and MFA, Creative Writing.
Author of six books of poetry and co-editor of Eavon Boland: Inside HIstory, the 2016 book of essays on the work of Eavan Boland, Siobhan Campbell's work has received awards in the National Poetry Competition and the Troubadour International Competition and is the recipient of an Arts Council award and the Templar Poetry Prize. She publishes regularly in the literary journals of the US and the UK/Ireland including Poetry and The Hopkins Review (US) and Agenda and Magma Poetry (UK). She is featured in the canonical anthologies of the past two decades including Identity Parade: New British and Irish Poets (Bloodaxe), Women’s Work: Modern Women Poets writing in English (Seren) and The Field Day Anthology of Irish Literature (NYU Press).
Campbell's creative work addresses questions of societal violence and responsibility and interrogates the tension between aesthetics and violence. She has been privileged to present her work at major readings and festivals including at Johns Hopkins University, Berkeley University, Glasgow Arts Festival, Ottawa International Festival and Poetry Now.
In tandem with creative work, her outreach project – since founding the Military Writing Network – is to adapt creative writing pedagogy for work with veteran soldiers, sailors, airmen and others in post-conflict situations. She has worked with SSAFA and with Combat Stress UK with outputs including an anthology and an exhibition which form part of a Research Excellence Framework University Impact Narrative and which feed into an early-stage archive of post-combat work.
Meg Jensen's research focuses on representations of human rights violation and/or traumatic experience in narrative form, and the social, cultural, gendered and familial contexts in which such works are produced.
As a development of this interest in auto/biographical materials, in 2007 she developed the Centre for Life Narratives at Kingston University (now the Life Narrative Research Group), the hub of an international research network that brings together scholars, practitioners and writers of all genre of life narratives for funded research projects, seminars, conferences and readings.
Her most recent research is in the area of life story-writing and telling for the support of well-being for survivors of trauma, and investigates whether form is an influential factor in the success of such interventions.
A recent applied project, funded by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, assessed the effectiveness of Expressive Writing methodologies in supporting the well-being of women victims of sexual violence in conflict in Iraq.
Her current critical analytical work (Negotiated Truths: The Art and Science of Trauma and the Autobiographical, Palgrave 2018) evaluates a range of life narrative forms that represent traumatic experience (memoir, testimony, poetry, graphic novels, monuments, autobiographical novels, etc) and considers the relationship between such works and current behavioural, psychological, and neurochemical approaches to diagnosing and treating traumatic disorders.
Finally, her practice-based research takes the form of creative non-fiction and autobiographical novels concerned with representations of traumatic experience.