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Martin Heslop

Doctoral Student in Creative Writing - Martin’s thesis is entitled ‘Transcribing Environmental Sound: The Acoustics of Post-industrial Space’.

Research Project Title:

Transcribing Environmental Sound: The Acoustics of Post-industrial Space



Prof Jacob Polley and Dr Bennett Hogg

Contact Details:



Research Interests:

  • Contemporary Poetry
  • Fragmentary Narratives
  • Prose Poetry
  • Liminal/Interstitial Space
  • Acoustic Ecology
  • Field Recording/Soundscape Composition
a back and white image of a lone tree surrounded by car tyres

Brief Outline of Research Project:

I am writing a collection of audio-poetic works composed using field recordings of former industrial spaces and recorded voice. The research explores an experimental three-stage creative process of listening, transcription and performance. Focusing on poets who explore environmental sound in their composition, writing and performance processes, my accompanying critical thesis investigates poetic responses to and representations of de-industrialised auditory environments.


Using a process of on-site listening and recording as a source of inspiration for the creative writing, I’m focussing on links between properties of sound and poetic text, particularly the temporal nature of sound and the implications of this for writing in post-industrial, liminal landscapes – and crucially, how a creative exploration can draw these out.  I’m looking at ways to realise the work in a fluid combination of text, spoken voice and soundscape/composition, exploring how I can use the interruption of sound (and voice) into written text to fragment, disrupt and also guide narrative.


I’m very interested in the general question of how I define my creative work as research, and consequently, am developing work that attempts to close the gap between the ‘critical’ and ‘creative’ strands of my work.


The project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Research Activities:

Academic Background:

  • MA in Creative Writing at Newcastle University
  • BSc (Hons) in Physics with Astrophysics at University of Manchester