Dr Alyson Hallett is announced as the new Charles Causley Poet in Residence

Credit: Sean Malyon

Credit: Sean Malyon

The Charles Causley Trust is delighted to announce Dr Alyson Hallett as the new Charles Causley Poet in Residence. Dr Hallett will be based in Launceston for six months from October this year, in the newly refurbished Charles Causley’s House.

Alyson Hallett is a prize-winning poet and Hawthornden Fellow whose latest book of poems is Suddenly Everything. Previous books include The Stone Library and Towards Intimacy. She won first prize in the Scintilla long poem competition and has been awarded major grants from the Arts Council of England to pursue her work. As well as publishing poetry in book form, her poetry is also embedded in public spaces: she has a poem carved into Milsom Street pavement in Bath, text etched into a library window in Bristol, and she runs an international poetry-as-public art project called The Migration Habits of Stones.

Alyson says: “I am delighted to be offered the Charles Causley Residency. It’s a real honour and privilege to be able to work under the guiding spirit of such a great poet as Causley. I’m going to be completing a book of poems and am hugely grateful to be given the time and space in which to do this. I am also looking forward to working with poetry in different communities throughout Cornwall – it’s already a county that’s rich with poetic voice and vision, and it will be great to continue to be an active part of this.”

Alyson has held many prestigious residencies. She was the UK’s first poet-in-residence in a Geography Department, at the University of Exeter on the Cornwall campus. This was funded by The Leverhulme Trust’s artist-in-residence scheme. During this time she published a book of poems, photographs and scientific text, Six Days in Iceland, with Professor Christopher Caseldine and created an installation of carved granite boulders with the sculptor David Paton. Alyson was poet-in-residence for the Caravanserai Project on the Roseland, and also for the radical and innovative Small School in Hartland for three years. Prior to this she was Visiting Writer at the University of the West of England for two years and poet-in-residence for South West Arts during the Year of the Artist.

Cornwall Council cabinet member for Economy and Culture Julian German said: “I’m delighted that the help given by the Council to support the Causley Trust in its endeavours to refurbish the house and to develop the poet in residence programme has yielded such excellent results. Cornwall Council continues to be an active supporter of the project and I wish Dr Hallett all the best in her role as poet in residence.”

In addition to poetry, Alyson has published a book of short stories, drama and an audio diary for BBC Radio 4, and drama for Sky Television. She has collaborated with dancers, musicians, visual artists and sculptors and this has led to performances, installations and artist’s books. In 2010 Alyson completed a practice-based PhD in poetry and for the past three years she has been working as a Fellow for the Royal Literary fund. She has taught poetry for the Arvon Foundation and currently offers one to one poetry mentoring through the Poetry Society.

Cornwall Council member for Launceston Central Alex Folkes said: “I am delighted that this beacon of excellence in Launceston continues to be used as a centrepiece for the literary arts in Cornwall.”

The residency will give Dr Hallett the opportunity to work on a third collection of poems, whilst engaging a range of participants through a programme of events and activities that will encourage and inspire creative writing and poetry appreciation.

Literature Works (the literature development agency for the South West) is working closely with the Trust to support the residency project, which has attracted funding from Arts Council England and Cornwall Council.

CEO of Literature Works Tracey Guiry said: “We are delighted to continue our support to the Charles Causley Trust and excited to welcome Dr Hallett as the next poet in residence. The project is a rare opportunity for individual writers to find time and space for their work.”

This is an exciting time for the Trust; successful in raising a £162,000 funding package to support urgent repairs to Charles Causley’s House and its refurbishment, the poet’s house will open in July this year.

Trustee of The Charles Causley Trust with the residency portfolio Ronald Tamplin, said: “The Charles Causley Trust is overjoyed to see the residency project continue and looks forward to welcome Dr Hallett to Cyprus Well to carry on the fine work of our outgoing writer, Kathryn Simmonds.”

For interviews with Dr Hallett about the Residency, please contact: