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Natalie Haywood

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Course studied: MA Creative Writing
Graduating year: 2020

Biography

Natalie is a photographer, writer and artist from Burnley, Lancashire. Having completed her BA in Photography, for which she combined visual arts with the written word, she decided to focus on her poetry from within the security of an MA. Coming into the course mainly writing prose poetry, she gradually expanded her style to also include lyric poems within her final manuscript. Her poetry is the epitome of her—no frills, brutally honest, and wrapped tenderly in the darkest of humour.

Synopsis

Having been a victim of childhood abuse, Natalie used her time on the MA to comfortably and safely explore not only her experiences, but also her deteriorating mental health through the written word as opposed to visual arts. Her final manuscript submission consisted of poetry sculpted out of the victim statement her mother wrote for a trial against the man who groomed her when she fifteen; giving a voice to the groomed, exploited character of Sierva María in Of Love and Other Demons by Gabriel García Márquez; and a series of prose poems dedicated to de-romanticising mental health issues. Having grown up in the forgotten, deprived shadow of the Pennines, Dichotomous Thinking is the culmination of twenty-three years of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse that has manifested itself in the life-threatening condition known as Borderline Personality Disorder.

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