I began my study at Keele University in 2012 enrolled on the English & Media, Communication and Culture (MCC) Dual Honours program where I was initially awarded the Keele Excellence Scholarship of £6000 for a result of three A* A-level grades at Newcastle-Under-Lyme College. I completed my Degree with a First Class grading and received the Ken Loach Prize in MCC for outstanding commitment to the course. I stayed on at Keele, where I achieved PSS funding of £10000 to enrol on a Creative Writing Masters Degree. During my MA I specialised in poetry writing and life writing under poet James Sheard and novelists Emma Henderson and Gwendoline Riley. My MA research and practice focussed mainly on poetic responses to late life illness and Dementia. I completed the MA with a Distinction and proceeded onto doctoral study in the department of Creative Writing at Keele in Autumn 2016. During the second year of my PhD I was appointed to the position of the first Poet Laureate for the city of Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire, my home city. Since then I have been introducing myself to the city, with one of my Laureate objectives concerned with raising the awareness of poetry throughout the region.
My doctoral study is comprised of two components; one creative and one critical. The creative aspect focuses on poetic responses to the city of Stoke-on-Trent and growing up as a Midlander in Staffordshire. My critical dissertation uses geopoetics, psychogeography, hauntology and rhythmanalysis to investigate Stoke-on-Trent as a post-industrial, edgeland space.
My research is funded by a Graduate Teaching Assistantship. My principal supervisor is Mr. James Sheard and my secondary supervisor is Dr. Ceri Morgan.
Research and scholarship
My research and practice is split into three distinct strands, often overlapping. The first of these is my doctoral creative and critical writing concerning spatiality, geopoetics and psychogeography/hauntology applied to the Stoke-on-Trent city region and the county of Staffordshire. Another is the creative exploration, through poetry, of masculinity, working class boyhood and the ontologies of manhood in the post-industrial context. The final of these is an exploration of representations of dementia and late life psychological disorder, with particular interest paid to the working-class dementia subject and the interconnection between recollection, place and the memoryscape. Each of these strands is supplemented by my interest in biopolitics/mind-politics, semiotics, nostalgia studies and the cardinal posts: post-structuralism, postcolonialism and postmodernism.
- The Empty Chair: Deconstructing Representations of Dementia Through Creative Practice: In November 2016 Emma Henderson (Lecturer in Creative Writing and author of Grace Williams Says it Loud and The Valentine House) and I undertook a research trip to Weesp, Amsterdam where we toured the Hogeweyk dementia care facility and attended the late-life themed IDFA. Since, we have explored the problematic, declinist narratives of dementia life through the production of poetry, life writing and fiction, using creative practice to investigate trope and cliché in the emerging ‘genre’ of dementia care and experience. This research has also resulted in another conversation exploring the benefits of research between practitioners of divergent generations. In September 2018 this research will be showcased at the Live Age Festival, in association with the New Vic Theatre. This research was funded by the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Keele University and the Keele Postgraduate Association.
- The Dawdlers at Keele: Founded as both a regular social gathering and walking research group, I am a founding member of the Dawdlers walking collective at Keele University, exploring collective responses to space both inside and outside the campus setting.
- Seams and Memories of Mining: I have been part of Dr. Ceri Morgan’s Memories of Mining project (exhibited at Silverdale Library in 2017), celebrating local mining heritage in the Potteries and paying tribute to the 1966 Aberfan disaster through a collaborative performance co-created with Restoke and performed as part of the Social History Society’s annual conference in June 2018 at the Keele University Chapel.
- Shortlisted for the Bangor Literary Prize 2018
- Shortlisted for the Roy Fisher Prize 2018
I teach, or have taught, in the Creative Writing department and the School of English in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences on the following modules:
- Creative Writing ISP (collaborative consultation only).
- Poetry Through Practice
- Fiction Through Practice
- Creative Writing: Poetry and Prose
- Writing Genre and Mode
- Becoming a Critic
Stephen becomes first poet laureate of the Potteries (June 2018), at: https://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/whats-on/stephen-becomes-first-poet-laureate-1655851
Keele student to champion creative writing as city’s first poet laureate (July 2018), at: https://www.keele.ac.uk/discover/news/2018/june/keele-student/citys-first-poet-laureate.php
Stephen to champion creative writing as city’s first poet laureate (May 2018), at: https://www.stoke.gov.uk/news/article/241/stephen_to_champion_creative_writing_as_city_s_first_poet_laureate
MCC graduate Stephen Seabridge accepts the Ken Loach Prize (November 2015), at: https://mcckeele.wordpress.com/2015/12/11/stephen-accepts-the-ken-loach-prize/
August 2017 – Assistant Poetry Editor for the Keele Creative Writing Society.
September 2017 - present. Event organiser and panel chair. Keele Humanities Work in Progress Seminar Series (Keele University). Alongside Aimee Merrydew and Sylvia Crawley.
January - May 2018. Event organiser and panel chair. Humanities Postgraduate Research Symposium (Keele University). Alongside Aimee Merrydew and Sylvia Crawley.
2017. Peer Reviewer for Under Construction @ Keele 4 (1) (Keele University).
2017 - Present. Higher Horizons+ Outreach Seminar Tutor (Keele University).
(Seminars: Introduction to Contemporary Poetry Writing for Year 9 and 10 and Poetry Patronuses: Approaching KS3 Environmentally Aware and Ecocritical Writing through Contemporary Fantasy and First American Totemism.)
Seabridge. S. (2018). ‘Haunting Sites of Political Resistance in Stoke-on-Trent through Psychogeography’, Under Construction @ Keele, 4(2), pp. 12-21.
Selected Creative Publications and Commissions
“The Names” – poem commissioned by the Hartshill and Harpfields Association for the recommissioning of the Holy Trinity Church War Memorial (forthcoming October 2018).
“Apophthegm” – published in the forthcoming Cosmographia Transcendent Poetry Collection (forthcoming Spring 2019).
“Macbeth’s Witches” – poem published in the 2018 Domestic Cherry magazine in association with the 2018 Swindon Poetry Festival (forthcoming).
“39 Shades” – poem, and audio recording, contributed to Joyce Iwashko’s 39 Shades centenary project at Bethesda Chapel (September 2018).
“Curbology/Dust” – poem contributed to Joyce Iwashko’s Dust Rising (September 2018).
“El Djem” – poem exhibited as an art installation piece in the Bangor Literary Prize Exhibition (August 2018).
“The Poppy” – Poem written for the 14-18 Now Weeping Window installation at Middleport Pottery, and the Stoke Remembers centenary project. (commissioned by Stoke-on-Trent City Council, July 2018).
“The Circus” and “Art” – one poem and one piece of performance theatre commissioned by the New Vic Theatre for the Party in the Park event, as part of the Phillip Astley celebration season (July 2018).
“Ginger Biscuit” – poem performed at the Festival in the Factory at the Emma Bridgewater Laureate Launch, and published by The Sentinel Newspaper (June 2018).
“The Picture of Ryan Reynolds” – poem published by Eunoia Review (March 2018).
Selected Conference Presentations and Public Speaking
June 2018: Launch of the Stoke-on-Trent Poet Laureate at the Festival in the Factory at the Emma Bridgewater pottery factory.
June 2018: Laureateship introduction to the Stoke-on-Trent Cultural Forum and City Cultural Champions.
July 2018: Commissioned Performance at Party in the Park in association with the New Vic Theatre.
August 2018: The Poppy Commission Reading at Middleport Pottery in Association with Stoke-on-Trent City council and 14-18 Now.
September 2018: DustRising Opening at the Victoria Hall.
September 2018: The Poppy as Part of Dr. Catherine Burgass’s Great War Writing North Staffordshire Public Lecture.
October 2018 (upcoming): HAHO Hartshill Re-dedication Service with The Names Commission Reading.
Funding and Awards
2016-2020: Graduate Teaching Assistantship (Keele University).
2018: Alongside fellow researchers: Aimee Merrydew, Matthew Mild and Martin Goodhead. Conference Organisation Grant (£1,113). Breaking Walls in Humanities: Narratives of Critical Resistance in the Post-Brexit Research Environment. Funded by the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (Keele University).
2017-2018: Alongside fellow researchers: Aimee Merrydew and Sylvia Crawley Seminar Organisation Grant for the WIP seminar series (£558). Funded by the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (Keele University).
2016: Research trip grant from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Keele Postgraduate Association (£600).
2015-2016: Keele Postgraduate Support Scheme Scholarship (£10,000). Funded by HEFCE and Keele University.
2015: The Ken Loach Prize in MCC.
2012-2015: The Keele Excellence Scholarship (£6000).