Painting pictures of hearing loss with poetry and prose

12 Nov 2018 07:45:00.000

The power and potential of creative writing as therapy is to be explored in a new project aimed at people with different hearing loss and hearing related problems. 

The callout for original personal accounts and reflections of this common and life-affecting issue is for a special edition of the BMJ journal, Medical Humanities, to be edited by experts at the University of Nottingham and NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre.   

Drs Bonnie Millar and Derek Hoare are inviting people with hearing problems, their partners or family members to write poems and prose about their experiences of living with the hearing related conditions. Medical professionals working in the field are also encouraged to contribute their thoughts in the form of creative pieces of writing.

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Dr Hoare is Research Lead for Tinnitus and Hyperacusis at the NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre. He said: “Whether you are trying to come to terms with your hearing problem or looking for a way to help a loved one or a patient adapt to living with it, writing can be a helpful outlet. We are interested in people’s thought about how we respond when we meet people who do not hear as we do? What happens when our own hearing function changes? What tools do we have when attempting to communicate about our hearing? 

“By collating, curating and publishing some original pieces of writing from anyone with a personal first or second hand experience of hearing loss we hope to foster exchange and understanding between different groups.” 

Project Manager, Dr Bonnie Millar, added: “We will welcome pieces of writing from those with hearing aids, cochlear implants, tinnitus and hyperacusis as well as parents of children with repeated middle ear infections, audiologists and physicians themselves. We would like people to think about a variety of hearing related topics including deaf culture, hearing and the media, hearing technology and emotions.”

Medical Humanities is an international journal focussed on the conversation around medicine and its engagement with the arts and humanities, social sciences, health policy, medical education, patient and public experience of health issues. These include history of medicine, cultures of medicine, disability studies, gender and the body, communities in crisis, bioethics, and public health.

Creative writing submissions can be emailed to

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Notes to editors: 

The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage, consistently ranked among the world's top 100. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our 44,000 students - Nottingham was named both Sports and International University of the Year in the 2019 Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, was awarded gold in the TEF 2017 and features in the top 20 of all three major UK rankings. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to REF 2014. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally.

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Story credits

More informationis available from Dr Bonnie Millar at the NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre,University of Nottingham on +44 (0)115 823 1754or via email

Emma Rayner - Media Relations Manager

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 74 84413  Location: University Park

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