Who We Are

Editor and Convenor Charlotte Gann: I’m a poet and editor with a keen interest in groups. I have an MA from the University of Sussex in Creative Writing and Personal Development, and have published four poetry collections – two pamphlets, and two books – all written from my Understory. These are The Long Woman (Pighog, 2011), shortlisted for the 2012 Michael Marks Award, Noir (HappenStance, 2016), The Girl Who Cried (HappenStance, 2020) and Cargo (Mariscat Press, 2023). I’m especially interested in shame and how it operates; and I’m passionate about personal and group development. I’m currently exploring these through SCT (Systems-Centred Training). I also love film and walking.

I’ve always pictured this imaginary set of rooms where people come and meet and talk. I’ve been there forever, and am somehow pivotal. It combines all my passions – writing, expression, group work, and therapeutic heartful communication practices.
This is The Understory Conversation.

Charlotte Gann
photo by David Green

Contributing Editor Sarah Barnsley: I’m a poet and academic. Long-term creative and research interests in literature are complemented by developing interests in neuroscience and positive psychology – and how such fields might be applied in creative/critical contexts.   Particular enthusiasms include ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), meditation and Mindful Self-Compassion. My lived experience of psychological pain is the focus of my first full collection of poems, The Thoughts, published in January 2022 by Smith|Doorstop.  I am committed to mental health activism and advocacy in service of the greater good and to this end am a member of the Goldsmiths Compassion Initiative Network, inspired by Compassion in Education.