About the researcher

Mat’s a writer, visual artist and MA lecturer in Falmouth School of Art. He’s co-director of the eco-arts research collective Art.Earth with whom he convened a 2021 online summit on ecological grief and death cultures, Borrowed Time: on death, dying & change. His most recent poetry pamphlet The Black Madonna’s Song was published by Atlantic Press in 2020.  

External links

Mat Osmond headshot
Mat Osmond

PhD abstract

Thesis title

Borrowed Time: fostering adaptive response-ability to socioecological collapse through poetic practice. 


Ecological grief, civil resistance and hope - a reflection on The Magnitude of All Things 

Taking the political and the spiritual to be inseparable aspects of human ecology, my practice-based PhD approaches anthropogenic ecological collapse as an intrinsically spiritual crisis. In this context it seeks to weigh the reparative potentials of poetic practice, discursive reflection, and socioecological activism. As a creative writing project it foregrounds a prose and poem project blog whose specific role is to open an appropriately non-linear and integrative space for this broader inquiry: one which necessarily welcomes self-contradiction, dissonance and unease, and which assumes an inevitable failure to produce any definitive answer to the question it addresses. This text offers an indicative sample of the blog: the first half of a draft essay on Canadian director Jennifer Abbott’s 2021 study of ecological grief, The Magnitude of All Things (NFB Canada 2021). As a theoretical framing for this sample of practice I refer to Brazilian academic Vanessa Machado de Oliveira’s 2021 pedagogic project Hospicing Modernity (North Atlantic Books 2021). 

Interests, honours & awards

Key research interests

  • Climate & ecological emergency (CEE)
  • Ecological grief
  • Eco-spirituality
  • The Anthropocene
  • Creative writing
  • Authorial illustration  

Honours and awards

  • Michael Marks award for Poetry Illustration, 2015