Are our thoughts and feelings really our own? Take part in a creative writing course at Medical Museion to explore how the written word might engage with ‘gut thinking’.

Recent research into the human microbiome suggests that the trillions of microbes that inhabit our guts are not just crucial for digestion – they may also play a role in regulating our moods and mental health. In other words, we might think of humans not as singular beings but as fundamentally interwoven with non-human life. Creative writing has a long history of representing human consciousness; how might it change if we start seeing ourselves as ecologies, communities, or ‘holobionts’?

Investigate new ways of writing inspired by microbiome research and Mind the Gut, an exhibition exploring the multiple connections between brains, bowels and bacteria. Through a process of reading, experimental writing exercises and group discussions you will produce your own texts written ‘from the gut’, and be invited to contribute to a zine documenting the workshop outcomes.

The course consists of four weekly evening workshops, led by UK poet and writer James Wilkes, and takes place in English, but you may write in any language you choose.

We will be running two courses:

Course A is for open to anyone with an interest in creative writing, microbiology or related fields; no prior experience is required. Dates and times: Tuesdays 10., 17., 24. Septemper and 1. October at 18.30-20.30.

Course B is open to people with prior experience in creative writing, microbiology or related fields (e.g. published writers, students, researchers). Dates and times: Thursdays 12., 19., 26. Septemper and 3. October at 18.30-20.30. 

All workshops are free but places are limited and are likely to be oversubscribed.

To apply to take part, please send an email to by midday on July, 1st. Please write “Writing from the Gut Course A” or “Writing from the Gut Course B” in the subject field.  You will be asked for a short statement of interest of no more than 150 words, stating the reason for your interest and any relevant background experience.
Please also indicate, if it’s ok, that we save your application a year in order to ask, if you are interested in participating in the same course next year. We will let you know if you have been accepted to the course the 5th of July at the latest.

‘Writing from the Gut’ is part of Medical Museion’s ‘Microbes on the Mind’ project, funded by the Velux Foundation and supported by the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research.

The course is primarily an experiment in new ways of engaging our audiences, focused on giving participants an enjoyable experience. We also hope to learn about perceptions of mind-gut-microbiome relations, but will not record the sessions and participants will retain the rights over their written work. No text will be used in research publications without permission, and any observations will be anonymised.  All participants will receive further info and sign a brief participation agreement before the course begins.

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