Ian McMillan examines voice-hearing with Charles Fernyhough, writer and professor of psychology at Durham University, and poet SJ Fowler.
Ian McMillan's guests include Charles Fernyhough, author of 'Pieces of Light' (Profile). Charles is Professor of Psychology at Durham University, where he is leading the 'Hearing The Voice', an interdisciplinary research project that aims to better understand the experience of hearing voices.
The poet SJ Fowler celebrates the avant garde in his work and he has written a new piece for us inspired by the work of 'Hearing of the Voice'. Fowler's latest collection of poetry is 'Enthusiasm' (Test Centre).
Charles Fernyhough’s interest in voice hearing began when he was studying child development. He leads the interdisciplinary research project ‘Hearing the Voice’ that aims to better understand an experience that has been stigmatised as frightening but can often be positive. Charles’ new book ‘The Voices Within: The history and science of how we talk to ourselves’ (Profile/Wellcome Collection) will be published in April.
After visiting the grave of the poet John Clare, David Morley found himself inhabited by a character from Clare’s notebooks, Wisdom Smith. David explains that this was a physical sensation, and how even those present at his poetry readings have experienced the presence of Wilson Smith. Happily, David found that Smith was a much better writer than himself!
We commissioned the poet SJ Fowler to write a poem about the experience of hearing voices for us. SJ’s piece ‘The Worm in its Core’ was written on a train journey, when he was not concentrating on the creative process he found that the words flowed out of him. Fowler’s latest collection of poetry ‘Enthusiasm’ is available from Test Centre.
Jennifer works with Charles on the ‘Hearing The Voice’ project. Her research ‘Writer’s Inner Voices’ focused on the experience of voice hearing by writers. She found that often voice hearing is central to writing, and that many authors cannot begin to write until they hear the voice.