Dr Catherine Burgass is Lecturer in English and Honorary Research Fellow at Staffordshire University. She has published internationally on literary theory and taught widely on modern British and American literature. Research into regional literary heritage has led Catherine to work on various community-directed projects in Stoke and she has given many public talks on local authors and artists. She is currently working on the Arnold Bennett 2017 Centenary – a year-long programme of events marking the birth of the city’s best-known writer. Catherine’s agenda is to promote Stoke’s literary culture – past and present – and to celebrate regional identity.
Literature is a rich resource throughout a reader’s life, but there has been significant recent research on its capacity to help in healing and emotional rehabilitation. In particular, there has been much interest in the potential of poetry to prompt memory and communication in people with Alzheimer’s. This talk looks at the various ways in which literature can benefit readers at different life stages with a focus on recollection in old age. Catherine Burgass will draw on her expertise in the regional literature of Stoke-on-Trent to discuss the special value of works which describe a familiar past and place.
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