Writing from the Margins of Myself


  • Luci Gorell Barnes


In my doctoral studies at the University of Bristol, I took part in an experimental process of free writing, and my paper begins with the short story that emerged from this. During the taught unit we discussed ethical dilemmas that might arise from writing as inquiry, and in the commentary that follows my story, I reflect on how this practice requires an awareness of care for self and others. I describe my process, and discuss how it allowed me to transcend my dominant voice and restructure some of my ideas about what I study. I propose that by writing fiction I was able to consider complex issues in a way that opened up multiple meanings for me, and offered different views into social experience. I was guided by my practice as a visual artist and inspired by the writings of Ursula Le Guin (2004), Miller Mair (1989), and Ronald Pelias (2004), who encouraged me to listen in an empathic way, and write from the heart.

Author Biography

Luci Gorell Barnes

I am a visual artist and I am particularly interested in working alongside people who find themselves on the margins for one reason or another. My work revolves around themes of childhood and belonging and I write and make paintings, artists’ books, and animations exploring these ideas. I sometimes collaborate with performers to show my work in theatrical contexts, especially to small audiences, offering people heightened, individual experiences.