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Dr Siobhan Campbell

Profile summary

Professional biography

I am an Irish poet and critic working within a poetics of social literary interventions and arts based research.  Educated at University College Dublin and at Lancaster University, I also pursued post-graduate study at NYU and the New School, New York. I joined the OU from Kingston University London where I was Associate Professor in English Literature and Creative Writing. I am the author of five collections of poetry and co-editor of the first commissioned book of essays on the work of Eavan Boland.  I collaborate with other artists on community-based arts projects including Art at the Heart of the Peninsula (Peace IV-funded) and the British Council's Peace and Beyond project.  My 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. I publish 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). I appear 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).

Research interests

I am interested in the place of the political poem in contemporary poetics and in re-exploring the prisms for looking at ‘socially engaged poetry’ with a focus on the ‘ethics of aesthetics’ as well as on perceived personal/political divides.

Coming from the perspective of ‘thinking through writing’, my outreach work is rooted in two decades of experience of developing bottom-up, grass-roots-driven projects that have had impacts in knowledge creation and in behavioural change as well as feeding into policy. . I devise new Creative and Expressive writing methodologies to investigate how applications of literary thinking along with writing practice can play a role in the reclamation and development of civic imagination through work with refugees, military veterans, human rights defenders, and charities.

Projects, partnering with co-researchers in a variety of organisations, look at how participatory practice can enable participants to recognise their own personal potential as well as their potential for creating cultural cohesion, particularly after divisive conflicts, involuntary displacement or traumatic events. Recent partners include UNDP, Iraq, Participation and Practice of Rights, Northern Ireland, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust, The Royal Trinity Hospice, London and Beyond Borders, Scotland.

Selected Publications:


2018:     The Expressive Life Writing Handbook (Beyond Borders/The Stabilisation and Recovery Network)

2016: Heat Signature (Bridgend: Seren Books)
2010: Cross-Talk (Bridgend: Seren Books)
2009: Darwin Among the Machines (Wales: Rack Press)

That Water Speaks in Tongues  (Derbyshire: Templar Poetry)

Winner of the Templar Award for Poetry, Shortlist: Michael Marks Poetry Award

2002, 2000: The Cold that Burns (Blackstaff Press/Dufour Editions)
1997, 1996: The Permanent Wave, (Blackstaff Press/ Dufour Editions)

Edited Collections:

2016:     Inside History: the work of Eavan Boland (co-ed Nessa O’Mahony) (Arlen House/ Syracuse University Press)

2012:     Courage and Strength: Stories and Poems by Combat Veterans, KUP/ Combat Stress UK

2011:     Forces Stories and Poems, SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen Family  Association) /KUPress

Journal and Anthology publications (selected)

2020    ‘Discord’ and ‘Unattended Crossing’ in Cyphers no. 89 ISSN 1303-2985

2020     April 29th for Poetry Day, ‘Vigilance’ in The Irish Times (in memoriam Eavan Boland)

2019     ‘Longboat at Portaferry’ as part of the ‘Art in the Heart of the Peninsula’ Peace IV-funded project in with the Institute for Conflict Research. Poem appears on the art/poetry bench by artist Eleanor Wheeler ( at Portaferry, Co. Down. ‘Longboat at Portaferry’ also selected for the Poems for Places anthology, ed. Paul Farley, Oneworld Publications (2020)

2018    'When all this is Over', with the British Council ‘Peace & Beyond’ initiative, photomontage by Bernardette Lynn, performed and recorded for the Peace & Beyond Conference.

             'When all this is Over' also recorded for ' What Else...' a curation for Belfast's Poetry JukeBox, to mark the 20th anniversary of the Belfast Agreement. 

2016    Periwinkles’ in Poetry Ireland, no 120 Dec 2016 ISSN 0332-2998              

            ‘Warrenpoint’ in Cyphers magazine, no. 28, Dec 2016  

            ‘I was born in a will o the wisp’ Communion Literary Magazine, Australia, June 2016 ISSN 2208-2263

            ‘The Blessing’ in Forage magazine – poetry of tragedy issue Nov 2016 

             In The Stinging Fly : ‘1916 in 2016’ edition, ed. Sean O’ Reilly, ‘War has been given a bad name’ and ‘The same people living in the same place’ Spring 2016, 33

2015     ‘Weeding’ and ‘Lace’ in The Hopkins Review, 6.4: 500-501, (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press) 2015 ISSN 1939-9774 (Peer-reviewed) 

             ‘Interference’ in Magma, 62, ‘violence’ issue, Edited by Chris Kerr & Kayo Chingonyi, June 2015. ISSN 1352-9269 (Peer-reviewed)

2014      ‘Ravens’, in Berryman’s Fate: poems on the centenary of the birth of John Berryman,  ed. Philip Coleman (Arlen/Syracuse University Press)

              ‘The Shame of our Island’ in Cyphers, No. 76, Ed Ni Chuilleanain, ISSN 1303-2985

              Featured poet, six poems (‘Photos of the Islanders’, ‘About Cows’, ‘Piebald’, ‘Colonial Drift’, ‘Convexed’, ‘In Their High Cheekbones Run the Veins of Nation’)

              The New Hibernia Review, Winter 2014 (University of St Thomas, Minn) (Peer-reviewed) ISSN 1092-3977 


Teaching interests

I have been privileged to supervise English Literature and Creative Writing theses at MA, MFA and PhD levels. Interests include poetic ekphrasis, the stylistic and ethical considerations around life-writing/memoir and contemporary poetries and poetics. I have supported many student writers towards publication across a range of creative practice including poetry, eco-critical post-apocalyptic fantasy and the re-working of folklore and legend into stories that speak ‘truth to power’.

Consistently engaged by the development of pedagogies which support a diverse range of distance students, I am actively working on the creation of materials for the new OU MA in Creative Writing.

I am glad to hear from prospective students who wish to explore possible writing,research or critical-creative projects at the above contact email.

External collaborations

Funded Projects

  1. AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund award as Principal Investigator (149K) for ‘Expressive Writing and Telling in Crisis: Addressing urgent needs in the Aakar Valley, Lebanon’ (Project Jan to Dec 2021)
  2. 2.Principal Investigator on ‘Creative writing with frontline Health Care Workers in Covid 19’ in partnership with the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust, co-funded by the Trust and PVC RES OU funding Sept 2020 - April 2021
  3. Co-I on the Viaro Ltd (Italy) funded project using the Expressive Writing methodologies in English, Arabid and Italian: Psycho-social support for health-care workers after COVID-19, £10k (2020)
  4. AHRC Standard Grant (Co-I with Dr. Carville PI, Reading) Dying Well: Beckett, Writing and End of Life Practice, £630K (2020, Result  -Fundable (5,5,4,4)
  5. Partnership with Participation and Practice of Rights (PPR) to research the place of creative writing in supporting civic resilience, OU SRIF Funding, £1.6K (2019).
  6. Creative Writing After Conflict, Global Challenges Research Fund (two tranches of £20K via KUL) for year-long project with Syrian refugees partnered with NGO, AND, Lebaon, leading to (Oct 2019) £12.8K GCRF grant (PI, S. Campbell) to expand this curriculum to Syrian families and young people
  7. The Expressive Writing for Resilience with Military Veterans project (2017-19) included the delivery of expressive writing curriculum in partnership with Veterans Outreach Support (VOS UK - £4K). Additional funding sourced from The Open University PVC REF and FASS Strategic Research Fund (£5.3K).This generated an invitation for workshops with the Forgotten Veterans charity, with myself as PI, and part funded by Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.
  8. Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Gulf Region Fellowship programme, funded by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office via Stabilisation and Recovery Network, £10K, plus £2K consultancy stipend. Use of writing-based interventions in prevention of radicalisation (2016-17).
  9. The Implications of Life Story in tackling Stigma after Sexual Violence Against Stigma project (2016), funded by the FCO Human Rights Fund (£7760), to research expressive writing methodologies. Consultancy stipend £1.Expressive Writing in Documenting Sexual Violence (2015-16) Funded by Beyond Borders (Charity, Scotlan£11K. Outputs include chapter in Research Methods for Auto/biography Studies, (Routledge) and The Expressive Life Writing Handbook.


Expressive Writing and Telling and Participatory Action Research: Developing a Relational Ethics of Practice for Story-based Interventions in Crisis (2024)
Campbell, Siobhan and Jensen, Meg
Journal of Poetry Therapy ((In press))

Expressive writing and telling and participatory action research: developing a relational ethics of practice for story-based interventions in crisis settings (2024)
Campbell, Siobhan and Jensen, Meg
Journal of Poetry Therapy ((Early access))

Tackling the NHS mental health crisis of working through the COVID-19 pandemic; pilot creative writing programme has potential to support wellbeing of recovering healthcare workers (2023)
Wakefield, Donna; McEvoy, Mel; Blackburn-Daniels, Sally and Campbell, Siobhan
Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, 53(1) (pp. 81-82)

New Poetry | Filíocht Nua (2021)
Campbell, Siobhan
New Hibernia Review, 25(2) (pp. 76-88)

Writing-based interventions: from Communities of Practice to Life Stories (2020-12-10)
Campbell, Siobhan and Jensen, Meg
Writing in Education(82) (pp. 54-60)

Writing in a Time of Violence: Padraic Fiacc’s Demotic Aesthetic (2020-03-01)
Campbell, Siobhan
PNReview, 46(4)

Crossing the Lines: Borders, Transgressions, and a Spot of Smuggling (2017-12-06)
Campbell, Siobhan
New Hibernia Review, 21(4) (pp. 11-19)

Periwinkles (2016-04)
Campbell, Siobhán
Poetry Ireland Review(119) (pp. 88-88)

Seamus Heaney's 'Casualty' - Causal or Casual? (2014-09-27)
Campbell, Siobhán
Poetry Ireland Review(113) (pp. 133-134)

Filíocht Nua: New Poetry (2014-02)
Campbell, Siobhán
New Hibernia Review, 18(4) (pp. 36-43)

The Expressive Life-Writing Handbook (2017-04-18)
Jensen, Meg and Campbell, Siobhan M.
ISBN : 978-1-5262-0260-4 | Publisher : Beyond Borders Scotland in association with The Stabilisation and Recovery Network | Published : London and Edinburgh

Heat Signature (2017-02-23)
Campbell, Siobhan
ISBN : 978-1-78172-367-8 | Publisher : Seren Press | Published : Bridgend, Wales

Eavan Boland: Inside History (2017-01-17)
Campbell, Siobhan and O'Mahony, Nessa
ISBN : 978-1-85132-150-6 | Publisher : Arlen House | Published : London, Dublin and New York

Negotiated Truths and Iterative Practice: The Women in Conflict Expressive Life Writing Project (2019-06-03)
Jensen, Meg and Campbell, Siobhan
In: Douglas, Kate and Barnwell, Ashley eds. Research Methods for Auto/Biography Studies. Routledge Auto/Biography Studies (pp. 115-129)
ISBN : 9780429288432 | Publisher : Routledge

‘Bygone canon, bygone spleen’: Richard Murphy as a conflict poet in The Battle of Aughrim (2019)
Campbell, Siobhan
In: Keatinge, Benjamin ed. Making Integral: Critical essays on Richard Murphy (pp. 111-126)
ISBN : 9781782053231 | Publisher : Cork University Press

‘Bygone canon, bygone spleen’: Richard Murphy as a conflict poet in The Battle of Aughrim. (2019)
Campbell, Siobhan
In: Keatinge, Benjamin ed. Making Integral: Critical essays on Richard Murphy (pp. 111-126)
ISBN : 9781782053231 | Publisher : Cork University Press | Published : Cork, ROI

Eavan Boland and the development of a poetics: ‘It may be beauty/but it isn’t truth’ (2017-07-30)
Campbell, Siobhan
In: Campbell, Siobhan and O'Mahony, Nessa eds. Eavan Boland: Inside History (pp. 155-176)
ISBN : 978-1-851321-50-6 | Publisher : Arlen House