Find out about the Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre internships 2021-22.
Maleeha Saad, a second year English Literature and Criminology student, and Rhiannon Parker-Nicholls, a second year English Literature and Creative Writing student, were both awarded a year-long internship with the Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre, beginning in October 2021, and overseen by the Poetry Centre’s director Dr Niall Munro.
Rhiannon writes, “often seen as highbrow when compared to prose, poetry is frequently discarded as something for academics or the upper classes. However, this is not the case, as demonstrated by the increasing popularity of Rupi Kaur. The aim of the internship is to not only promote poetry and poets, but to inspire more people to become interested and involved in the genre. Projects such as scavenger hunts, monthly writing prompts on Instagram, showcases, podcasts, and even the possibility of an ice skating show have all been proposed for the next 12 months.”
Read what Maleeha and Rhiannon have to say about their internships.
Why did you apply?
Maleeha: As my first year was mostly online, I had returned home for my second semester. Despite knowing that I wasn’t the only person who was far away from the university, I still felt as if I was completely detached from Brookes. The Poetry Centre Internship seemed like the only star on a dark night and I was more than eager to apply. Initially, I had very little hope in myself on bagging this opportunity as the role came with responsibilities such as event planning and executing, which I had never done. However, I did have a love for poetry, not just reading it but writing it too, and used that as my tool to get me further. Luckily, it was enough.
Rhiannon: I am always on the lookout for opportunities, both within and outside my studies, and when I saw the internship advertised, it seemed perfect. Despite initially saying, in my first year, that I preferred prose to poetry, I found myself growing increasingly interested in the genre, and began writing poetry myself. I was particularly fascinated with poets’ depictions of the pandemic and the effects on society. As someone who has chronic health conditions and has had a stroke, I spent most of 2020 locked inside, and this gave me the thought about those who are usually cut off from society for some reason, and how this could be incorporated. I proposed the idea of exploring poetry through movement to Dr Munro. As a GB figure skater, movement is very important to me as a form of expression, and thankfully, Dr Munro liked my idea and agreed to explore it throughout the internship!
What are you hoping to get out of the internship?
Maleeha: From this internship, I hope I am able to further nurture my love for the art, whilst also picking up skills that I can use outside of the poetry centre. I’ve been given a fair amount of responsibility that has aided me in being more prepared, thus helping me organise myself better for university. Ultimately, the internship is my way of connecting with Brookes. It’s my way of feeling more involved and making up for the lost time. By committing to the Poetry Centre, I have now built a multitude of bridges for myself connecting me to people and social groups I never thought I would ever interact with.
Rhiannon: My hope is to gain first hand experience in organising and running projects, similar to those we have planned for the next year. I am very interested in pursuing a career which includes involvement from outside academic circles, and, hopefully, continuing to demonstrate the fact that poetry can be accessible to everyone. It is a great opportunity to connect with both students and staff who are equally passionate about poetry and literature as myself.
We wish Maleeha and Rhiannon all the best of luck in their internship!
You can find out more about the Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre here, including its recent international poetry competition, the fantastic success of its poetry press ignitionpress at the Michael Marks Award for Poetry Pamphlets, and its podcast series.