Poet in Residence announced by Hull Maritime project

To mark National Poetry Day, the Hull Maritime project team is delighted to announce its first poet-in-residence.

Robin Diaper, Curator of Maritime and Social History and Rebecca Drake.
Robin Diaper, Curator of Maritime and Social History and Rebecca Drake stood next to the North Atlantic right whale within the Hull Maritime Museum

Rebecca Drake, a second year PhD candidate in English Literature in the Department of English and Related Literature at the University of York, will join the Hull Maritime project as its first Poet-in-Residence.

Organised as part of the White Rose College of the Arts and Humanities (WRoCAH) Researcher Employability Project and fully funded through a scholarship from the Wolfson Foundation and with the support of the Arts and Humanities Council of England, this one month placement spread across 2021 will enable Rebecca to develop skills that lies beyond the scope of her normal PhD activities. 

Her poetry on the theme of seascapes and cultural memory has been published in The Looking Glass Anthology and Black Bough Poetry and she has experience in writing blog articles, as well as leading workshops and seminars. As part of the project, Rebecca will lead a number of creative workshops with young people and work with them to produce creative literary responses to the city’s maritime stories.

In addition, Rebecca will use the Hull Maritime Museum and its collections, as inspiration for a brand new body of poetic works for the Hull Maritime project, which will tell cultural stories in an exciting and accessible way.   

Rebecca’s previous works explore the relationship between people and maritime space. Her poetry takes as a departure point her research into the intersection between poetic descriptions of maritime environments and the practicalities of medieval maritime industries, such as whaling, the stockfish trade, ships and navigation. All of these industries have, at some point, played a role in Hull’s development as a maritime city.

Councillor Daren Hale, Portfolio Holder for Economic Investment, Regeneration, Planning, Land and Property, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Rebecca to Hull and the Hull Maritime project as our first poet-in-residence.

“Poetry is a powerful tool for interaction, creativity and education, and will help us to gain different viewpoints on our significant collections and maritime treasures. We’re looking forward to working with Rebecca and using her material in our future plans.”

Rebecca Drake, said: “I am thrilled to be able to work with the Hull Maritime team to find new ways of thinking about Hull’s relationship with the sea and what it means to the city’s culture and its people.

“The Maritime Museum is such a special place in the city, and I am excited to use poetry to tell its stories about sea journeys, sea creatures, and Hull’s past as an international port of trade to a wider audience. I am hugely grateful to the Hull Maritime team for welcoming me on board and encouraging this creative practice.”

The first Poet-in-Residence has started her research to enable her create her new work.

The Hull Maritime project, funded by Hull City Council and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, will see exciting changes at the Grade II* Hull Maritime Museum, the Dock Office Chambers, the North End Shipyard and two historic vessels, the Arctic Corsair and Spurn Lightship.

[Anna Marshall – Hull Maritime Project]