A Place for Ingenuity: re-imagining the life of James Watt in a esquence of poems
This short essay gives an account of my current work writing a long sequence of poems centred on the life and times of the engineer, scientist and businessman James Watt. Material from Birmingham’s extensive Boulton & Watt archive has assisted decisions on form, language and content, and guided me to write poems using things left unsaid, half-formed ideas and dreams. The three poems which conclude the article demonstrate different engagements with the archival material; one draws on a catalogue entry, one derives from several years of family correspondence while the third employs a record of fruit picked by James Watt in 1813 to frame Watt’s retrospection.
This article includes both critical and creative work.
Citation : Bell, K. (2017) A Place for Ingenuity: re-imagining the life of James Watt in a sequence of poems. Life Writing, 14 (2), pp. 267-275
- School of Humanities