Creative approaches

Lisa Matthews of The Poetry Fold has been a professional writer for nearly 15 years. As a published and respected poet, Creative Writing researcher, Lisa is known for her innovative and collaborative techniques. Here are the four main approaches that underpin most of what Lisa and The/Poetry/Fold do.


The Poetry Fold cannot imagine a life without music and offers writing courses and events that centre around popular and classical music. To explore how music can influence creativity, our e-newsletter, The Fold, will periodically contain a piece of contemporary classical music from a composer and/or sound artist.

Lyrics and melody have been a fundamental part of Lisa’s own creative practice, and music informs a great deal of her professional and creative output. Recently Lisa’s Songbirds column in Mslexia magazine (for creative writers) examined the craft and writing techniques of a variety of women songwriters. Bespoke playlists form the backdrop to her writing, and Lisa has performed her own poetry to specially-commissioned soundscapes. Lisa is an experienced self-taught rhythm guitarist, mandolin and keyboard player interested in alternative tunings and the effect they have on both playing and listening styles: if you can tune a guitar to sound like an oud, then maybe you can make a stanza read like a paragraph….

Lisa has played rhythm guitar in several bands and is currently one half of the art-band Birds On Aerials (with visual/aural artist, DJ and Yogi, Helen Collard). Birds On Aerials compose their own songs and experiment in cross-art collaborations that incorporate data mapping, sound programming and poetic tesserae.

Visual art

Lisa has collaborated with U.S.-based photographer, Phyllis Christopher over a number of years and – as with music – The Poetry Fold, will offer creative writing courses that use visual art as their focus. One of our signature courses, The Horse & Tomato, has been inspired by a quote from the surrealist artist Andre Bréton and we actively transgress artistic boundaries – not to become visual artists, but as a way of gaining new insight and finding fresh approaches.


Here at The Poetry Fold we love putting unrelated ephemera, artefacts and works of art together. Another of our signature courses – Strange Bedfellows – utilises our huge library of reference books and technical manuals. We specialise in encouraging creatives to take considered imaginative leaps, employing the power of juxtaposition in our facilitation, teaching and research practice.


The Poetry Fold loves swimming in lines and being immersed in water and Lisa has an ambition to collaborate with other water-obsessed individuals and organisations. Our waterproof MP3 player takes us into whole new worlds of underwater creativity and combines Lisa’s dual loves of music and water (salty, fresh and chlorinated). Lisa is an experienced snorkeler and has been free swimming in many Mediterranean sites. Currently Lisa uses water to create raw material for her own writing and teaching techniques. If you work in the marine sector and have a passion for sci-art collaboration and innovative research then contact Lisa at The Poetry Fold for a discussion of what may be possible.