Catch Your Breath: Writer-in-Residence Evaluation

Author(s):*Listed Alphabetically
McLusky S, Stavropoulou N, Westerman J

Year of Publication:

University of Durham

Publication Type:


This report evaluates a creative writing programme in response to the exhibition Catch Your Breath (24 November 2018 – 17 March 2019) at Palace Green Library, Durham University. Catch Your Breath explored the work of Life of Breath, a medical humanities research project, jointly led by Durham University and the University of Bristol, and funded by Wellcome. Bringing together medical history, philosophy, art, literature and music, the exhibition combined new artist commissions with objects from the Durham University collections and beyond to discover new ways of thinking about breath and breathlessness, and their relationship to both illness and wellbeing.

The creative writing programme was facilitated by Northumberland poet and writer-in-residence Christy Ducker, funded by Durham University’s Research Impact Fund. Christy led a series of workshop sessions responding to the exhibition and inviting participants to think about their relationship with their breath. Over a period of five months, Christy collaborated with a total of 45 individuals: 29 general public members and 16 Breathe Easy support group members. The project involved visits to the Catch Your Breath exhibition and 6 writing workshops.

Employing mixed methods (participant observation at workshops, interview and feedback cards among others), this evaluation examined the extent to which the project offered individuals the opportunity to develop a new language to allow them to communicate and make sense of their experiences while feeling heard and validated.

Evidence Type: Qualitative Research

Main Focus: Wellbeing / Quality of life

Research Purpose: Outcome Evaluation

Context: Community

Participant Group: Adults

Art Forms: Literature

Access Type: Free Download

APA Citation:

Stavropoulou N., McLusky S., Westerman J. (2019) Catch Your Breath: Writer-in-Residence Evaluation. Durham: Durham University.