Call for Poems on male ‘disordered’ eating
Men and boys - just like women and girls - can have concerns about weight, body shape, diet and exercise which may lead to problems around food including over- or undereating or overexercising. However, they may find these things very difficult to talk about as eating disorders and related mental health issues are often perceived as ‘female only problems’ in the wider social, cultural and even medical view.
Dr Heike Bartel is leading ‘Hungry for Words’ an AHRC-funded (Arts and Humanities Research Council) interdisciplinary research network on male eating disorders at the University of Nottingham. This research network considers literature in general and poetry in particular an important tool that can help significantly in articulating, communicating and understanding issues with food and food consumption, the body, exercise etc. that affect men and boys.
Writing or reading poetry that address these topics can
- allow those concerned to tell their individual story or pluck up the courage to do so,
- enable carers, family and friends family to share their experiences,
- enable doctors and health practitioners to understand, relate to and communicate with affected boys and men,
- promote greater awareness for and understanding of the topic amongst the general public.
The research network would like to feature poems about male ‘disordered’ eating on the ‘Hungry for Words’ website - as printed material and/or as audio or video recordings.
We understand the topic of male ‘disordered’ eating very widely including topics such as body shape, exercise, diet, masculinity, adulthood, shame, taboo, thrill, addiction, mental health as well as questions of what is ‘normal’ and ‘orderly’ eating and experiences of clinically diagnosed eating disorders and encounters with health professionals. We are interested in all perspectives - sufferer, relative, friend, GP, teacher, distant or close observer, male, female or transgender.
We are encouraging writers of poetry – in English or any other language (ideally with a ‘translation note’) – to submit their own poems to us by 18 May 2018.
We will read all poems with great interest but reserve the right to make a selection for the website. We will award £100 to the author of the poem we consider the most suitable and £50 each for the two runner up poems. Unfortunately we cannot pay any other fees and every submission should include permission to feature the poems in print and/or audio/video on the project website as well as at related events.
If you have suggestions for poems on the topic by other authors we would also like to receive them but they won’t be eligible for the award.
Please e-mail your poems as a Word document or PDF file by 18 May 2018 to firstname.lastname@example.org