Willo Drummond is a Sydney poet, early career researcher and tutor in creative writing at Macquarie University. Her interdisciplinary research draws upon theories of distributed cognition to illuminate the performative materiality of creative writing cognition and practice.
Willo’s recently completed, award-winning PhD research set out to address an age-old question ‘what role does influence play in the process of literary writing’ from a little addressed perspective: that of the working writer. Using a blended methodology comprised of archival research, textual analysis and creative writing practice, this project examined the early notebook practices of US poet Denise Levertov, with a focus on a personal index Levertov created to Selected Letters of Rainer Maria Rilke 1902-1926 (trans. Hull, 1946) at the outset of her career. The project sought to expand often unquestioned methodological foci outward from practices of reading, to the more iterative and inclusive cognitive practices of composition (practices that involve reading but are more than reading alone); offering a set of tools intended to be of real use to writers, rather than attending to the needs of readers and critics (Webb).
The critical work was accompanied by a volume of original poetry, Quiet Deputies, in dialogue with Levertov and her personal index to Rilke’s Selected Letters.
Previously a poetry reader for Overland Literary Journal and an executive committee member for the Australasian Association of Writing Programs, Willo’s writing is published in TEXT, Cordite, Mascara Literary Review, Meniscus, Writing from Below, Australian Poetry Anthology 2015, Bukker Tillibul and the US-based little magazine, Yellowfield.