Monthly Archives: August 2020

PhD Viva and Other Stuff

Standard

Viva!

Those of you who are not on social media may not know that I passed my PhD viva last Wednesday, with ‘minor typographical amendments’. This means I was given an A4 list of typos to correct, and I have to insert four paragraphs of text into my thesis to explain/develop what I’ve written. I’ve been given two weeks to do these amendments.

At first when I was given the list, I must admit my heart sank as it sounded like a lot. And I don’t know if anyone else has this but trying to enter into a piece of writing that is finished is a bit like putting on a shoe that is slightly too small – it feels uncomfortable and I have to wriggle around a lot to remember how it fitted in the first place.

Anyway, I can’t complain to much as I’ve done the amendments listed this week, so they were not too onerous. The most annoying thing is that inserting the paragraphs in messes up all my page numbers, which in a choose your own adventure thesis where the reader is directed to turn to one page or another at the end of each section is a bit of a problem! But only an irritating time-consuming problem rather than anything more serious. I’m planning on sorting the page numbers out tonight, in my night-owl working time (after the baby has gone to bed). I usually save this time to do tasks like this, that don’t need too much brain power.

The picture above is of the lovely surprise afternoon tea that my husband ordered, obviously in full confidence that I would pass! I scoffed pretty much everything you can see in the picture within five minutes of the viva finishing.

Other News

Throughout August, I decided to concentrate on preparing for my viva, so I stopped most of my freelance work. However now it is over, I will be running some online workshops, so please watch this space!

I can tell you that there are some spaces left for an online residential course that I’m running on behalf of the Garsdale Retreat. The course runs from the 5th-9th October 2020 and the guest poet is the wonderful Kerry Darbishire.

You can find more information about the course here: https://thegarsdaleretreat.co.uk/course-category/moore-kim/ but the price of £400 includes eight 90 minute workshops, one, 60 minute workshop, one 30 minute individual tutorial, evening readings/entertainment including both a tutor and guest reading plus afternoon chat room. A bargain!

If you missed out on a chance to book a ticket for my event ‘Poetry and Everyday Sexism’ on 29th September and you would still like to come, please add your name to the waiting list, which you can find here
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/poetry-and-everyday-sexism-tickets-116574211605

I’m swithering about whether to upgrade my Zoom plan so that I can have more than 100 people in the audience, or whether to just put on another reading of the thesis at another date, and the length of the waiting list will obviously help me make this decision!

Poetry and Everyday Sexism

Standard
The first two paragraphs of the introduction to my thesis

Evening all! It’s been a few weeks since I last blogged. I’ve been busy revising for my PhD viva – or more accurately, panicking about my PhD viva.

Lots of people kept telling me that I should enjoy my viva, as it’s the only time I will get to talk to people who have read my whole PhD and are interested in my work.

I can see the sense in this, and the truth in it, but the rebellious part of me started to wonder why this is accepted as fact. Why is it the norm that a PhD thesis will not be read by anybody except a few other academics interested in the same topic? I could, I suppose, approach an academic conference of some kind to present my work – or at least, I could have done this before lockdown.

And I have done a few events where I have combined my creative and critical research. However, the thing that I often got frustrated about was that one of the things I enjoyed the most about writing the thesis, and the thing that unlocked the PhD as a whole was structuring it as a ‘reader-directed’ text. This means that there are options embedded in the thesis, and readers have to choose what they would like to read, and look at next.

So I have decided to do an online reading of some of the thesis which will feature online polls so that the audience can decide what they would like to listen to next! This is something that would just be impossible or very unwieldy to make work at a live event, so I’m really excited about the possibility of trying it out over Zoom.

This is an experimental reading – there will be a mix of prose and poems and I have no idea if it will work. I will share as much of what I’m reading as I can on screen, so that people with hearing issues can read along as well. Some of the content may be upsetting and deals with sexual harassment, violence and trauma.

The format of the thesis was partly inspired by my love of ‘Choose your own adventure’ books as a child. I will never forget the sense of power those books gave me, and the sense that language holds possibilities, and that writers wield those possibilities. I really hope some of you can join me on what feels like an adventure into a new way of meeting creative-critical research.

And last thing is – tickets went up this morning on FB and Twitter, and somehow have already managed to sell 50% of the tickets – there is a limit, despite the event being online, due to Zoom capacity. So if you’d like to come, please follow the Eventbrite link below to book a ticket.

If you would like to come, but can’t afford to, for whatever reason, please get in touch. I have three free tickets which have been kindly donated by fellow writers and would really like them to go to a good home. You don’t have to explain personal circumstances or anything – just let me know you’d like one.