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Lighthouse, Poole’s centre for the arts, is delighted to introduce Jack Thacker, its new Writer-in-Residence.

Over the course of the next year Jack, who teaches English at Bristol University, will absorb all aspects of life at Lighthouse and respond to what he hears and sees before publishing his work through the writer development agency, Artfulscribe as part of the DO: Write literature development project in Dorset, supported by Arts Council England.

“I’m delighted to be awarded this residency at Lighthouse,” he says. “It presents a unique opportunity to immerse myself in its rich programme of events, to establish lasting creative partnerships and to make the most of its cultural importance to the region.”

Jack’s poems have appeared in numerous online and print magazines including PN Review, Stand and The Clearing, as well as on BBC Radio 4. He recently completed a PhD on contemporary poetry at the Universities of Bristol and Exeter and now teaches English at Bristol.

In 2016, he won the Charles Causley International Poetry Competition and was the poet-in-residence at the Museum of English Rural Life in Reading from October 2017 to March 2018. His debut pamphlet, Handling, was published by Two Rivers Press last year.

“To write about any place properly a writer must first spend time observing and – most importantly – listening,” Jack explains. “This residency is incredibly important to me in terms of my development as a writer. I am essentially a poet, but I’m open to the writing taking me in other directions.

“I have this idea of presenting Lighthouse as a place of listening. It has four auditoria and the Latin word auditorium means a place where something is heard so I’m keen to explore what I might listen to in each space, what words I might make and other sounds as well, so maybe making field recordings to play back in those spaces and seeing how they work with words.”

Having visited Lighthouse as a film student at AUB a decade or so ago Jack is also planning to explore Poole and the wider area to see how it relates to Lighthouse and its programme.

“I don’t really know Lighthouse, but I used to go there to watch films and I remember it is something of an isolated beacon for the arts in that landscape so I’m interested in exploring how it relates to the region and how it fits into that cultural heritage – for instance there’s a writer I really admire called Sylvia Townsend Warner who was based in a tiny coastal village west of Poole called Chaldon Herring.

“I should be spending a day a week on average at Lighthouse and the relationships I establish there with people at work and production companies and artists will determine what I write. I’m particularly looking forward to a degree of backstage access and observing what goes on behind the scenes, I think that will be fascinating.”

Published 24 September 2019