Sonia teaches on the Creative and Professional Writing programme.
Sonia writes fiction and poetry and explores experimental creative forms. She is an avid psychogeographer and draws on walking practices, psychogeography and place-based methods in her writing and research.
She is the founder of Peregrinations: Walking and Landscape Research Group in the School of Humanities, and of an international network of walking creatives and academics, Women Who Walk - www.women-who-walk.org @womenwhowalknet #womenwhowalknet
Sonia is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Research and knowledge exchange
Sonia's interests include the relationship between walking and creativity, labyrinths, intertextual writing, crossover forms and formal experimentation, and the use of constraints, game-playing, randomness and chance to generate text.
Sonia constructed a mown labyrinth in the grounds of CCCU's priory in September 2015. The labyrinth is available for use by staff and students and can be visited by the public during university hours. Sonia's work with labyrinths gained her a Faculty of Arts & Humanities Teaching Innovation Prize in 2016.
In 2016, Sonia delivered a public research project and series of walks, Walking Heritage, grant-funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Teaching and subject expertise
Sonia has developed and delivered the following BA modules:
- The Craft of Writing (CPW Level 4)
- Persuasive Writing (CPW Level 5)
- Crossing Form and Genre Boundaries (CPW Level 5)
- Creative Writing (English Literature Level 6)
Sonia also supervises students on the CPW Final Year Independent Study Module (Level 6).
Sonia has also delivered research days in psychogeography and labyrinth use for the Institute's MA in Myth, Cosmology and the Sacred.
Sonia often gives public readings, talks and writing workshops. She is keen to support new writers through community engagement, acting as a judge for various competitions in Kent.
Sonia was the Armchair Artist in residence at The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge, Jan-April 2016. Read her residency blogs here: http://canterburymuseums.co.uk/category/artists/
Recent academic conferences:
- ‘Walking Backwards: psychogeographical approaches to heritage’, paper, Rurality: CHAT 2016, Contemporary and Historical Archaeology in Theory, University of the Highlands and Islands, Kirkwall
- ‘Walking making thinking’, performance paper and pecha kucha, Walking Women, Utopia Festival, Somerset House, London
- ‘'Women Who Walk'. Beyond the Centre Faculty of Arts & Humanities conference, Canterbury Christ Church University, 2016
- 'Walkshop & Soundshot - a derive and participatory performance'. A Forum on the Art of Participation: what are the aesthetics of taking part? University of Kent, 2016
- 'The Walking Dead: or why psychogeography matters' and 'The labyrinth: contained walking, creative thinking'. Re-enchanting the Academy conference, Canterbury Christ Church University, 2015
- 'Walking against the current: generating creative responses to place'. Place-Based Arts conference, University of Brighton, 2015
- 'Sex in Eden: reading, writing and inhabiting fictional worlds'. Beyond the Sheets conference, Goldsmith's Writers;' Centre, University of London, 2014
- 'The Writer's hunger: considering a novel in progress'. Fashioning the Fictive conference, University Paul Valery, Montpellier, 2013
Sonia has a strong interest in live literature and performance-based approaches to text and storytelling. She was an active member of the ReAuthoring Project and has been involved in writing residencies, performances and installations. She has also written and abridged text for street theatre.
- The Storytelling Project, outreach project with storyteller Emily Hennessey and Kent schools, The University of Kent, 2014
- Upon a Painted Ocean, joint residency with artist James Frost. Readings, text installations and performance, The Old Lookout Gallery, Broadstairs, 2012
- Cut-up, writing residency, installation & readings, Whitstable Festival, 2012
- Lounge Stories, writing residency, Lounge on the Farm festival, 2012
- John Taylor’s Journey, interactive story performance, performed on LV21, Cultural Olympiad, 2012
- Water, poem commissioned for sound installation Lone Broadcast by radio artist Magz Hall; Untitled BCN, Barcelona; The Old Lookout Gallery, Broadstairs; broadcast on Boat Radio, 2012
- Crossings, interactive performance poem, ReAuthoring Project, 2011
Publications and research outputs
Recent academic publications:
- 'Writing and walking the labyrinth'. In Learning with the Labyrinth: Creating Reflective Space in Higher Education. Sellers & Moss, eds. Palgrave, 2016
- 'Walking against the current: Generating creative responses to place'. In PLace-Based Arts. Moriarty & Aughterson, eds. Journal of Writing in Creative Practice, Vol 8, no1. 2016
Sonia’s novels A Likeness (shortlisted for the Author’s Club Best First Novel Award) and The Realm of Shells are published by 4th Estate/HarperPerennial. Her poetry has appeared in various anthologies and most recently in Shearsman magazine. Her book The Art of Walking (Shearsman 2015) is a collection of poetry drawing on her interest in psychogeography and creative responses to place.
Sonia is publishing her experimental novel Cruel Brother: a novel in parts in serial form online as part of Shakespeare 400. Access it for free via www.soniaoverall.net/cruel-brother