An open book with nature landscape in the background

The poet as #influencer in Spanish literature

I’m Louise, a first generation academic from Wirral. I’m extremely passionate about languages and poetry. My research analyses the effect of the digital age on contemporary reading and writing in Spain, namely the phenomenon of Instapoesía (Instagram poetry).

Alongside teaching beginners Spanish for the University of Liverpool’s Open Languages programme, I also organise multilingual poetry events in the city. At these events, writers can take the opportunity to share their work in any language - at the last event there were 13 languages spoken and shared! I am also a finalist in the Brain Charity Poetry Prize 2023 for a poem submitted that considered equality in the workplace.  

I feel passionate about equal education and try to inspire A-Level students thinking of continuing study but who may have never considered it as an option. Reaching these audiences is vital to create inclusive communities. 

My research

I am investigating Instagram poetry, a literary trend which some scholars find revolutionary or transformative. However, my thesis draws connections between digital poetry published in social media and poetry published during the patronage economy of Golden Age Spain. By marking comparisons in theme, language, form and context, I analyse the role of the author as celebrity, the reader as an active participant in the reading process and the literary prestige of the poetic texts from both periods. 

I really enjoy the challenge of self-discipline, time management, public speaking, organisation, academic writing, networking and teaching. Research involves so much more than writing your thesis and I enjoy the variety. As my research examines characteristics of social media, it is ever-changing and so there is never a dull day! 

I am the first person in my family to continue in Higher Education. Despite my family and friends being a 'non-specialist' audience, they are nevertheless interested in my research and, as a result, have read academic papers on subjects that interest them. 

What are your next steps? 

I will begin writing and finalising my arguments in my research. In my personal life, I recently attended Glastonbury festival where I got involved in plenty of poetry open mic events. I will soon enjoy a sojourn to the University of Porto for the Association of Contemporary Iberian Studies conference.  

My 3-minute thesis 

The 3MT experience has taught me how to think about my research in a more engaging and inclusive way. It was an incredibly intense experience - presenting to an audience live, with a strict time limit is no easy feat - but the experience was invaluable.  

Thanks to this opportunity I am now a more confident researcher that can better engage with non-specialist or non-academic audiences and get more people interested in Instapoesía  

Watch my 3MT presentation


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