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MRes English Literary Research student works with Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature to evaluate the Young Poet Laureate programme

Victoria Zoe Callus worked with the organisation to evaluate the success of the first Young Poet Laureate in the city

Victoria Zoe Callus
Victoria Zoe Callus

MRes English Literary Research student Victoria Zoe Callus has recently completed a placement with Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature to analyse the impact of the Young Poet Laureate programme. This comes as part of the Symposia module, which has launched a new placement option this year in order to link research to working environments, and connect students with creative organisations in the city.

Victoria compiled a report, analysing data that had been collected relating to the programme and researching its impact through measurable outcomes. Victoria also designed surveys that will be used by Nottingham City of Literature to gather feedback from its partners and supporters.

Georgina Wilding was named Nottingham’s first Young Poet Laureate in 2017, in a scheme supported by Arts Council England. The aim of the programme was to promote poetry to young people, and as part of her role Georgina wrote poems to commission, delivered workshops to the local community and performed at cultural events. She has since become the Creative Director of Nottingham Poetry Festival.

We spoke to Victoria about her experience at Nottingham City of Literature and how it’s helped her success in her course. She told us: “This placement has allowed me to work with some truly inspiring people within Nottingham’s literary arts scene. This has been beneficial to both my Masters research and upcoming PhD which have creative elements at their core. This placement strengthened my research skills, particularly online, I however I also learned more about balancing my time and applying my organisational skills to the workplace”

The element of the placement she enjoyed most was working with the City of Literature team. She commented: “The Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature team is extraordinary. They are such dedicated, talented people and immediately made me feel included. I enjoyed getting to know them and learning more about how a creative organisation of this kind operates while also being directly involved in their work.”

Victoria has secured funding to complete a PhD following her course. She told us what she’s enjoyed most about studying the MRes: “I like the flexibility of being in charge of my own research, particularly the fact that I was able to choose my own project and pursue a critical-creative route. Forming part of a cohort where each person’s strand of research is entirely different means still being exposed to various theories and points of view. Further, the lecturers and supervisors are all immensely approachable and make the course all the more enjoyable.”

Course leader Dr Catherine Clay discussed the benefits of including a placement in the course: “The placement opportunities offered by UNESCO Nottingham City of Literature have made a fabulous contribution to enriching the student experience on the MRes course. Working with a local creative organisation such as this has enabled Victoria to develop valuable contacts as well as the opportunity to apply her research skills in a real-world context and to develop and enhance her professional skill-set.”

Published on 3 May 2019
  • Category: Current students; School of Arts and Humanities