Katrine sat on a pebble beach.

Katrine Lynn Solvaag

Alumni postgraduate research scholar

Katrine Lynn Solvaag

Katrine is an Alumni Postgraduate Research Scholar studying for a PhD in Poetry: Text Practice as Research. Her work entails transforming the entirety of Herman Melville’s classical novel Moby-Dick into a sequence of prose poetry, while simultaneously researching similar such literary transformations among fellow contemporary female writers.

The accompanying poem (below), created through a blend of found poetry and confessional poetry, utilises the language found in the fourteenth chapter of Moby-Dick to express her emotions while reminiscing on Dungeness, a location she once used to visit with a former partner.

When asked what inspired her to undertake this project, she highlights how throughout the majority of literary history women have predominately been excluded from the act of storytelling. As a result, recently there’s been a trend of female writers taking it upon themselves to rewrite canonical texts, in particular ancient Greek classics, in order to infuse a female voice within a narrative where it’s previously been missing.

She continues by explaining that her poetry is jointly inspired by the concept of translation within a single language from one literary format and into another, alongside the found poetry tradition of using the words of another to tell a story about oneself. What she hopes to achieve with the poetry collection is primarily to highlight the poetics already present in Melville’s language, potentially inspiring more people to read and enjoy the novel she has personally fallen in love with, and secondly to establish literary transformation as an accepted technique within the academic world. However, she also is aspiring for the collection to take on a similar emotional journey to the one experienced in the original, tackling parallel themes of grief, loneliness, companionship and adventure in order to showcase that regardless of how much our exterior world might change across time, we will always continue to tell the same stories.

“I just want to extend my most heartfelt thank you to all of you who donate to the Alumni Fund. Without your support I wouldn’t have been able to embark upon this degree, and more importantly, to receive the time and support needed to undertake this poetic journey. I look forward to the day I can share the finished collection with each and every one of you.”