28th Jun, 2022

Compelling spoken words festival at Coventry's Warwick Arts centre will explore families affected by inherited genetic conditions

A COMPELLING spoken word festival will take place at the Helen Martin Studio, Warwick Arts Centre, at 6.30pm on Saturday, January 22.

The event has been inspired by research into the experiences of families affected by genetically inherited conditions by Warwick Medical School professor Felicity Boardman.

The free event is part of the Resonate Festival’s ‘Being Human’ series and Coventry’s UK City of Culture year.

Prof Boardman has explored the lived experiences of families affected by inherited genetic conditions such as Haemophilia, Thalassaemia, Cystic Fibrosis, Fragile-X syndrome and Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

Touring art installation, I:DNA, was created directly from this research. It comprised of a large helix sculpture, a film, and an audio soundtrack, using the direct words and views of people affected by genetic conditions speaking about their lives.

The poetry event began with a writing workshop at Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum last December where creative writers, of all degrees of experience, were invited to share their ideas and reactions to I:DNA, staged at the gallery last year with the support of published poet Nigel Hutchinson.

Writers and poets are also invited to be part of Saturday’s event which will be hosted by BBC CWR broadcaster Sandra Godley MC and feature poetry, live music and spoken word.

Anyone wanting to contribute to the evening should email catherine@stamproductions.co.uk and it will also be live-streamed so participants across the world can be part of it.

The themes of the work are based on identity, individuality and DNA.

Works produced during and following the writing workshop will be collated by Hutchinson and published in an anthology, to be made available both online and in hard copy.

Prof Boardman said: “This spoken word event is an exciting opportunity to use poetry as a creative gateway into the world of genetics and screening, and to consider the impacts it has, and will have in the future, for all members of our society.”

Tickets are free but people need to visit resonatefestival.co.uk/events/dna-our-stories-spoken-word-event to register in advance.

Go to resonatefestival.co.uk for more on the Resonate Festival.

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