Lisa Matthews of The Poetry Fold is the founder, co-founder or major collaborator of the following projects/collaborations:

How Gay are your Genes?

Based at Newcastle University’s Policy, Ethics & Life Sciences Research Institute (PEALS) this 3-year, Wellcome Trust funded sci-art. community engagement and creative writing project asked the LGBTI people of the northeast of England one question: “How do you feel about the search of a gay gene?” We utilised a number of creative approaches and participants articulated their responses with creative writing, debate and discussion. The project engaged with over 20 local LGBTI groups, ran a programme of creative writing workshops and lectures – speakers included Jenny Kitzinger, Qazi Raham, Catherine Donovan and Sue Stenhouse – and with artist, Predrag Padjic, a major exhibition of film, writing and artefacts was held at The Hatton Gallery in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Museum of My Life

Lisa was Lead Artist on this major creative writing and museums project working in a variety of northeast cultural and educational venues. Managed by New Writing North, Museum of My Life partnered writers with artists from other media and placed them in term-long residencies in local primary schools.

The Poetry Experiment

With the support of The Poetry Society, and sponsorship from Arts Council England and the Northumbria Branch of the British Association, the Literary & Philosophical Society brought together poets and scientists to work creatively on various areas of scientific interest, looking at what they might hold for the future. The result was lively debate, new writing – and a thought-provoking and entertaining project.

The Blue Room

A performance space for new women writers in the northeast of England. The Blue Room met in several Newcastle city-centre pubs and provided an exciting new stage for emerging writers and established/published writers keen to experiment with new forms and genres. (Co-founders Ellen Pethean, Jane Wood and Sheila Mulhern)


ProudWords was the only creative writing and literature festival run by and for LGBTI people in the northeast of England. Starting as a small weekend of events the festival quickly grew into one of the most respected and successful events in the LGBTI and creative writing calendars and featured major performances and workshops from a wide array of LGBTI writers including Alan Hollinghurst, Sarah Waters, Jackie Kay and Patrick Gale. (Co-founder Julia Darling)


Lisa Matthews has a track record of innovation in sci-art within Medical Humanities and Science Education. The Poetry Fold has delivered CPD modules and training in medical and nursing schools and continues to explore and cross over the Science-Humanities boundaries and intersections. Contact The Poetry Fold if you are interested in discussing sci-art engagement and/or research collaborations. More details of Stemistry can be found in the case studies section.