Ways of Understanding – tells the life story of disabled artist Colin Hambrook

portrait photo

Colin Hambrook with Tanya Raabe’s portrait of him in the NDACA archive at Bucks University

Ways of Understanding’ is a cycle of transcription poems based on a series of interviews with Colin Hambrook, an artist, poet and journalist who is one of the key figures in Disability Arts.

The poems cover Hambrook’s childhood, his mother’s mental distress and eventual sectioning (later the subject of his book ‘Knitting Time’), the damage done to his family by Jehovah’s Witnesses, Psychiatry – and his own childhood psychosis and depression..

Hambrook describes his development of an artistic practice that drew upon his personal experiences of mental health issues, particularly aided by his education as a student at Dartington College. He describes his involvement with the survivors’ movement, and Survivors Poetry in particular, including his work on their first anthology ‘Under the Asylum Tree’.  The poems chart his subsequent role as editor of Disability Arts in London magazine, and as founding editor of Disability Arts Online, a position he still holds.  They also describe his work on his two self-illustrated books of poetry, ‘100 Houses’ and ‘Knitting Time’.

Hambrook is also a Co-Investigator on the D4D Project.

You can download a PDF copy of the cycle of transcription poems by clicking on Colin-Hambrook-Ways-of-Understanding

More information about my work in transcription poetry can be found in the conference paper ‘Transcription poetry as a vehicle for documenting the lives of disabled people’. You can download a PDF copy by clicking on DSC Paper 2010 D2

Previous examples of my transcription poetry work can be found on Disability Arts Online

Other outcomes of this piece of work include archive materials such as sound recordings and interview transcripts.  We also plan readings.  With its distinctive voice and clear narrative line, transcription poetry lends itself well to live reading.

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