photo: Ranald Mackechnie
Victoria Field works as a writer and poetry therapist.
As a creative writer, she has published and won awards for poetry, short fiction and drama.
Her new poetry collection is A Speech of Birds , published in October 2020.
Her most recent book is an acclaimed memoir Baggage: A Book of Leavings (2016) from Francis Boutle.
She has published three collections of poetry: Olga’s Dreams (2004), Many Waters (2006) and her third collection, The Lost Boys ,published by Waterloo Press in 2013, won the Poetry and Drama Category of the 2014 Holyer an Gof awards. She also co-authored a pamphlet with Caroline Carver and Penelope Shuttle, October Guests (2007).
As a playwright, she has had two plays produced by Hall for Cornwall, Blood and Glass Heart. Her play Benson, based on the life of Bishop Benson, who was responsible for the building of Truro Cathedral and subsequently became Archbishop of Canterbury has had rehearsed readings in Truro and Canterbury. A documentary about the production is available here. The Marlowe Studio Canterbury hosted a seminar on drama in sacred spaces, and a rehearsed reading of a new version of the play in May 2014, with Arts Council support.
A new community play, Manwood to celebrate the 450th anniversary of Roger Manwood’s almhouses in St Stephens, Canterbury has been in rehearsal and was due to be performed on Saturday 9th May 2020. It is now postponed.
She qualified as a Certified Poetry Therapist, with the US International Federation of Biblio-Poetry Therapy, the credentialing part of the US National Association for Poetry Therapy, in 2005. There is currently no equivalent training in the UK and Victoria is active in developing the field and has received both a Pioneer Award and International Fellows Award from NAPT.
In 2015, under the training and supervision of Geri Chavis and Sherry Reiter, she became a fully-qualified Mentor-Supervisor for trainees working towards the qualification of Certified Applied Poetry Facilitator. She has trained seven practitioners, six based in the UK and one in Japan.
She is a graduate member of the British Psychological Society.
She is a regular tutor on the Writing in Health and Social Care programme at Ty Newydd, the National Writers Centre for Wales (www.tynewydd.org.uk ) and a Visiting Lecturer on the Metanoia Institute’s MSc in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes (www.metanoia.ac.uk ).
She is researching pilgrimage and writing as tools for transformation for a PhD at Canterbury Christ Church University where she has been a sessional lecturer since 2014. From 2016-2019, she was a Fellow at Canterbury Christ Church University’s England Centre for Practice Development which explores innovations in health care.
She has also been a short-course tutor at Falmouth University and a visiting lecturer at Sussex and Bristol Universities on courses relating to therapeutic writing.
She has extensive experience of working in health and social care settings with many different client groups, including in primary care, in care homes for the elderly, on a stroke unit, with learning disabled adults and a wide variety of voluntary organisations. She has led many workshops and training courses, nationally and internationally, most recently in Kuwait.
My special interests as a practitioner are in working in the public library network and with people living with a diagnosis of dementia. Here’s a clip of a recent project with Bright Shadow – a wonderfully joyful and innovative local charity.
A film of work for Bright Shadow, together with physical theatre practioner, Sachi Kimura is available here.
She is a former Director of Survivors Poetry and has had two periods as Chair of Lapidus, the Association for Literary Arts in Personal Development (www.lapidus.org.uk) and recently served as its Treasurer. She initiated Lapidus Cornwall and delivered a three year programme of training and experimentation that is documented in Prompted to Write, the second edition of which was financed by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly NHS trust.
She has co-edited three books on therapeutic writing, most recently Writing Routes (Jessica Kingsley, 2010, see www.jkp.com ).
With Sarah Salway, Helen Stockton and Jon Sayers, she co-coordinates leads the Kent and Sussex Writing and Well-being Network.