2014 Charles Causley Poet in residence was Dr Alyson Hallett. Dr Hallett is a prize-winning poet and Hawthornden Fellow whose latest book of poems at the time of her residency was 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 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.
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.