The Devon and Exeter Institution and Quay Words are pleased to announce Davina Quinlivan as our shared writer-in-residence in March and April, focusing on the theme of Threads. Davina will spend time at both venues, diving into Exeter’s rich textile history and present day connections, as well as delivering workshops and events for the public.

Davina writes:

“It is a great honour to be a Writer in Residence at these two venues in Exeter, a place where I have lived and worked for several years. I want to celebrate the city and reveal it in a new light, using a wide range of creative practices and forms in order to rethink this landscape, as well as build on the narratives of the community, our voices and our shared histories, which are multiple and richly textured.

Davina’s first session will be a creative writing workshop on 18th March, which will lead to the creation a long form piece of poetry, written in collaboration with members of the public. You can find out more and book here. We are pleased to announce that this piece of writing will be published online as part of a special issue of Little Toller’s blog, The Clearing.

Forthcoming workshops at the DEI:


Saturday 8 April 10.40 – 12 noon – free and open to all / book here

Davina Quinlivan, Writer in Residence – Children’s workshop 5+

Finding Stories: The Museum of Me

Come along to learn more about a few of the exciting objects held in the Devon and Exeter Institution followed by a workshop which will encourage young writers to think about the role of objects in their own lives and the stories they might represent. We will bring all of our ideas together through a large, printed map of Exeter, connecting our narratives to various places and sites along the way. Please bring along a photo (printed or via a device) of an object you want to write about. This could be a favourite item of clothing or even something you have recycled.


Weds 26 April 5pm – 6.30pm – free and open to all / booking here

Davina Quinlivan, Writer in Residence – Author reading:

‘Waterlines: Real Places, Mythology and Poetry at the margins’

Davina Quinlivan is a Lecturer in the Department of English and Creative Writing at The University of Exeter. Her memoir, Shalimar: A Story of Place and Migration, was recently published with Little Toller Books (2022) and her creative non-fiction essays and short stories have appeared in The Willowherb Review, Litro, Arty, The Clearing, Caught by The River, and in collaboration with The Countryside Alliance and The Museum of English Rural Life. Her work has featured as part of programmed, public events with The Wallace Collection, The Wellcome Trust, The Urban Tree Festival and The Serpentine Gallery. For several years, she has run the popular seminar series F: For Flânerie at The Freud Museum and is part of the founding teaching ensemble at The New School of the Anthropocene, alongside Marina Warner and Robert Macfarlane. Shalimar was selected by Spiracle Audiobooks as one of stories which would launch their new audiobook platform in 2022. Prior to moving to Exeter, she taught for 12 years as a Senior Lecturer in The School of Art, Kingston University. She is currently working on a follow-up to Shalimar entitled Waterlines, on rivers and migration, trauma and healing, and a novel set between Cornwall and the Black Sea.