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News Archive 2008-2011
Graham Mort's Touch wins Edge Hill Short Story Prize 2011
Professor Graham Mort's Touch has won the Edge Hill University Short Story Prize 2011. Now in its fifth year, the unique prize, worth £5,000, is the UK's only literary award that recognises a published collection of short stories. His name was unveiled at a special awards ceremony on 7th July at Blackwell bookstore in Charing Cross, London. Presenting the first prize, judge Jeremy Dyson said: "Graham Mort's collection is so vivid and evokes character in just a few lines...He won this prize for the sheer range of stories in his collection. I fell into so many places in one book and saw into so many lives, for me it was so wonderful to read."
Ugandan Writer Shortlisted for Caine Prize
Ugandan writer Beatrice Lamwaka has been shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing - one of the leading prizes open to African writers. Beatrice has participated in both the British Council 'Crossing Borders' programme, directed by Professor Graham Mort from Lancaster. and the recent 'Lancaster/Uganda Friends Writing Project' organised by the Centre for Transcultural Writing and Research and funded by the Lancaster University Friends Programme. Monica Arak de Nyeko, also a participant on Crossing Borders, won the prize in 2004. Graham Mort is currently Guest of Honour at the Femrite 'Reading Uganda' literature festival in Kampala, where he has been featured in The Observer newspaper.
Bode Asiyanbi wins African Performance playwriting competition
We are delighted to announce that Nigerian writer Bode Asiyanbi has won the 2011 BBC African Performance playwriting competition. Bode is just completing his first year of the Lancaster Distance Leaarning MA in Creative Writing. He is a recipient of one of our International Scholarships for 2010-12. It is the second time he has won the accolade - he was selected as the winner in 2005. This year's winning play, Shattered, addresses the subject of rape, exposing in a powerful way the silence that often surrounds this crime. This year's judge, Ugandan American actor and writer Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine, said, "Shattered, for me, was the most layered story technically speaking and the most suspenseful...It dealt with a theme that is being wrestled with not just on the African continent but globally, and it did it in a way that...shed light and heart on what is a complex issue."
Creative Writing MA: Visiting Authors, June 2011
In mid-June, our campus MA in Creative Writing gave students the opportunity to talk to three visiting authors: Helen Mort, Wordsworth Trust poet-in-residence from July 2010, winner of the Foyle Young Poets competition, recipient of an Eric Gregory Award in 2007 and winner of the Manchester Young Writer prize in 2008; Andrew Forster, Literature Officer with the Wordsworth Trust, whose first full-length collection of poetry, Fear of Thunder, was published by Flambard in 2007; and novelist Ali Shaw, who studied English Literature and Creative Writing at Lancaster University, and whose debut novel, The Girl with Glass Feet, was the Winner of The Desmond Elliott Prize, as well as being shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and longlisted for both the Guardian First Book Award and the Dylan Thomas Prize.
Launch of A Queen Too Many
Professor Alison Findlay, Department of English and Creative Writing, was featured in the Northern Echo in connection with a book written by her late Father (A Queen Too Many by Ken Hayton) about the imprisonment of Mary Queen of Scots. Professor Findlay gave a a talk about letters she has transcribed from the Hesketh family relating to the queen's imprisonment at the launch of the book on 14 June.
'Spreading the Word: English Bibles and Early Modern Readers'
On Saturday 4 June, the University hosted a study day entitled 'Spreading the Word: English Bibles and Early Modern Readers' in celebration of the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James (Authorised) Version of the Bible. The event was organised by Marion McClintock and Professor Alison Findlay in association with Blackburn Cathedral as part of the year long 'Year of the Bible' events. The programme featured lectures on 'The Social Universe of the Bible' by Professor Naomi Tadmor and on 'The Bible for the People' by Professor Emertius Michael Mullett. Professor Findlay led a workshop on 'The Impact of Bible', and the study day culminated with a visit to the University Library's special exhibition on the printed Bible, curated by Helen Clish and Liz Fawcett, and to the Rare Book Room where early editions of the Bible and items such as John Foxe's Book of Martyrs and William Blake's illustrations were on display.
Night Waves BBC Radio 3
Was Marx right? asks Professor Terry Eagleton, on Night Waves BBC Radio 3 Tuesday May 31st 2011. Following the publication of Why Marx Was Right (Yale University Press), Professor Eagleton explains why he believes Marx has been a victim of mistaken identity and why he was a peace-loving democrat who hated the state and loved the middle classes. Listen to this Night Waves broadcast on BBC iPlayer.
ICA: 'A Gothic Story'
Dr Catherine Spooner is participating in a panel discussion entitled 'A Gothic Story' at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London on June 11th. The session is part of a weekend of events celebrating the influence of Horace Walpole on contemporary Gothic art and culture. Read more about the ICA event.
Re-Reading William Shakespeare
At a colloquium on Saturday 7 May 2011, organised by Professor Alison Findlay, academic speakers from across the UK met to outline the debate with responses from Professor Terry Eagleton. The event, which commemorated the publication of Professor Eagleton's book William Shakespeare, twenty five years ago, was opened by Dr Robert Appelbaum. It featured papers by Professor John Drakakis, Mr Steven Gregg, Professor Marion Wynne-Davies, Dr Liz Oakley-Brown, Dr Kathleen O'Leary, Professor Richard Wilson and Professor Peter Womack. Read a full account of the colloquium.
The LRB Seminar at Lancaster University
The Department of English & Creative Writing is delighted to announce a new and unique collaboration with The London Review of Books. The internationally acclaimed journal of literary, cultural and political comment is to sponsor a termly postgraduate seminar which will launch in Autumn 2011. The LRB Seminar, presented by leading writers from the review and chaired by colleagues in English & Creative Writing, will give MA and PhD students the opportunity to work with a number of major figures in contemporary literature. The first seminar, entitled ‘The Essay’, is scheduled for October will feature Chris Tayler, a Contributing Editor at the Review, as guest speaker.
John Schad on BBC 3
Ian McMillan presents Radio 3's language cabaret with a Verb commission from Sarah Hall, the author of The Electric Michaelangelo and How To Paint A Dead Man. Singer-songwriter Emmy The Great and poet Jack Underwood celebrate the Dewey Decimal classification system in an excerpt from a new show. Professor John Schad, Lancaster University, champions experimental writing and reads from GodotOnSea.
Renaissance Prince to Infamous Tyrant
On Thursday 31st March 2011, Dr Liz Oakley-Brown, lecturer in Shakespeare and Renaissance and Council Member of the Society for Renaissance Studies, hosted the Society’s 2011 annual public lecture at the Storey Institute, Lancaster. This year’s talk, ‘‘Renaissance Prince to Infamous Tyrant: What Changed Henry VIII?’, was delivered by Dr Suzannah Lipscomb.
PhD success for Tariq Mehmood Ali
Congratulations to Tariq Mehmood Ali for successfully defending his Creative Writing PhD thesis at his viva on 17th March.Tariq was one of the PhD students attached to the 'Moving Manchester' project. His submission was a novel, The Last Act of the Terrorist. We are delighted to announce that the day after his viva Tariq was offered the position of Visiting Assistant Professor for two years at the American University of Beirut.
Gary Younge event
Distinguished Guardian international journalist Gary Younge spoke about his new book 'Who Are We: and why should it matter in the 21st century?' on March 8th at a lunchtime seminar in IAS organised by the Centre for Transcultural Writing and Research. The event was chaired by Dr. Lindsey Moore and led to a wide discussion about culture and identity attended by about 60 members of staff and students. Download the poster for the Gary Younge event.
Edgelands on BBC Radio 4
Professor Paul Farley has written a new non-fiction book, published by Jonathan Cape: Edgelands: Journeys Into England’s True Wilderness. Co-authored with fellow poet Michael Symmons Roberts, it has been serialised as a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week, which will be broadcast throughout the week of 25th April (9.45am Mon-Fri). Edgelands has already received widespread attention: reviews from The Financial Times, The Telegraph and Evening Standard are summarised in the Guardian's Book Reviews Roundup (19 February 2011): "…a highly inventive survey and celebration of landfill sites, wastelands, sewage plants, retail parks, golf ranges and other features of 'England's true wilderness'"; "The prose sparkles with arresting phrases and images, as one would hope from such well-established poets"; "this is an original, surprising and rather wonderful addition to our literature of place." Paul and Michael will also be appearing at many national and international festivals and events throughout the year.
Women's Life Writing Network
A new website, the Women's Life Writing Network, has been established by a Lancaster student, Amy Prodromou, who recently gained her PhD in the Department of English & Creative Writing. The aims of WLN are to create a cross-institutional, national and international community of women's life writing scholars and practitioners, to foster collaboration, to advance research and debate, to facilitate the exchange of information, and to raise awareness of the importance of women's contributions to the field of life writing.
The Ravenglass Poetry Press Competition 2010
Two former Lancaster Creative Writing MA students have been awarded prizes in the 2010 Ravenglass Poetry Press Competition, judged by John Burnside. The winner of the competition was Anita Sivakumaran, and Kate Horsley was a runner up. They will have their poems published in The Ravenglass Poetry Press Anthology in 2011, and a collection of Anita's poetry will be published in paperback by The Ravenglass Poetry Press. In January Kate also won the Adoption Matters Northwest Poetry Competition. Both Anita and Kate gained Distinctions in the Creative Writing MA in 2006/07.
English student Samuel Holland to attend Academy Awards ceremony
English Literature student Samuel Holland is to attend the Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles on February 27 after starring in a short film “Wish 143” which has been nominated for an Oscar. Samuel makes his screen debut in the film, which was produced as part of BBC Film Network's Drama Shorts 2009 commission, in conjunction with Lighthouse Arts and Training and BBC Writersroom. The film has already picked up Best Short Film at The British Independent Film Festival 2010 and the Audience Award at the Palm Springs Film Festival 2010. To watch the film follow the link.
PhD success for Harry Whitehead
Congratulations to Harry Whitehead for successfully defending his Creative Writing PhD thesis at his viva on 27th January. Harry's submission was a novel, The Cannibal Spirit, which re-imagines the life of George Hunt - the shaman Quesalid, a First Peoples Canadian who lived between 1854 and 1932 on the coast of British Columbia. The novel follows the events surrounding the trial of Hunt on charges of cannibalism. We are delighted to announce that The Cannibal Spirit has been sold as part of a two-book deal to Penguin Canada. Harry is now a Lecturer in Creative Writing at Leicester University.
Robert Appelbaum at the University of Miami
Robert Appelbaum, Professor of English Literature, Uppsala University, Sweden, and Head of the Lancaster Department of English & Creative Writing, will speak at two events this February at the University of Miami. On February 16, at the Center for the Humanities, he will be reading from his new book, Dishing It Out: In Search of the Restaurant Experience. On February 19, he will be delivering a keynote address to the Nineteenth Annual Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque Interdisciplinary Symposium. The topic for this year is ‘Food for Thought, for Writing, and for Art’, and Professor Appelbaum will deliver a lecture entitled ‘Judith Dines Alone’, an account of the legend of Judith and Holofernes as it appears in sixteenth-century French literature.
PhD success for Joanne Reardon
Congratulations to Joanne Reardon for successfully defending her Creative Writing PhD thesis at her viva on 21st January. Joanne's submission was a novel, Pleasure Land, and 'Talking to the Dead: A Reflection on Pleasure Land'. Set in a small seaside town in North West England, Joanne's novel is about an investigation of a brutal murder and a detective who has to come to terms with the death of his daughter and how far his own actions might have contributed to it.
Sophie Duffy wins Luke Bitmead award
On 20th January Sophie Duffy was awarded the Luke Bitmead award for her novel The Generation Game. The Luke Bitmead Bursary Award was set up shortly after Luke’s death in 2006 by his family to support and encourage the work of fledgling novel writers, with the top prize being a publishing contract with Legend Press, as well as a cheque for £2500. Sophie gained her MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University, and also won the the 2006 Yeovil Literary Prize.
PhD success for Ren Powell
Congratulations to Ren Powell for successfully defending her Creative Writing thesis on 10th January. Ren's PhD submission was an ambitious sequence of poems that offers an imaginative self-portrait of the nineteenth-cenury writer and social reformer Dorothea Dix. "An Elastic State of Mind" is modeled on the pre-Islamic form of the qasida, adapting the form to create a psychological and emotional portrait that aims to recover the female voice. "An Elastic State of Mind" is to be published in Norway, where Ren lives. Read more about Ren's other published poetry collections.
Honorary Research Professorship
We are pleased to announce that Roger Ebbatson, currently an Honorary Research Fellow in the Department, is about to be made an Honorary Research Professor.
Congratulations! Degree successes for English and Creative Writing students
This year's Princess Alexandra Medal was awarded to Naomi Kruger (left) for her outstanding portfolio of short stories, which achieved a Distinction in the 2008-10 Distance Learning MA in Creative Writing. Naomi's portfolio was the best submitted in an exceptionally strong cohort of Distance Learning MA students, eight of whom were awarded Distinctions. The Department is also delighted to announce that the degree of PhD was awarded to Kim Wiltshire, a writer of short fiction and plays who submitted a joint Creative Writing / English Literature dissertation; and to Jacquline Wilkinson for her study of Thomas Hardy, which has just been accepted for publication by Ashgate Press. Over three dozen Lancaster MA and PhD students received degrees in English Literature and Creative Writing at the degree ceremony held on Wednesday 15th December 2010. Click here for a page of graduation day photographs.
Cath Nichols' play shortlisted for International Student Writing Competition
Cath Nichols' new play, 'Birdie', has been short-listed for the International Student Playscript Competition (ISPC). The short-listing judge, Peter Thompson, Emeritus Professor of Drama at Exeter University, said "What a very bold play 'Birdie' is! You've take on an enormous challenge... in defiance of probability, though, you've made it work." Full results of the ISPC will be announced next spring to coincide with the National Student Drama Awards.Cath has recently submitted her dissertation for a PhD in Creative Writing. The area that she has been researching includes poetry out loud, and methods and means of bringing contemporary poetry into stage and radio drama. In mid-December 2010, Cath successfully defended her Creative Writing PhD work in her viva. Many congratulations!
Catherine Spooner speaking at the Barbican Art Gallery
Dr. Catherine Spooner will be speaking at the Barbican Art Gallery, London, on 13th January on the theme 'Fashion Looks Back', to accompany the exhibition Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion. The talk will encompass Gothic, Steampunk and neo-Victorian styles in contemporary Japanese and western fashion and precedes an evening of entertainment provided by Steampunk impresarios White Mischief. Dr. Spooner is working on Steampunk, Gothic Lolita and neo-Victoriana in fashion and fiction as part of her current research project, Post-Millennial Gothic. Read more about 'Fashion Looks Back' at the Barbican Art Gallery.
Creative Writing MA student wins Telegraph ghost story competition
Richard Crompton, a student on the Distance Learning MA in Creative Writing, has just won the Telegraph ghost story competition. His story, "Friends", was the overall winner and will be published in the print edition of the Telegraph on Saturday 11th December. The judges, including Susan Hill and the Managing Director of Profile Books, called it "a terrific, well-realised idea". Richard currently lives in Nairobi, Kenya, and has worked as a reporter and journalism trainer in many countries in sub-Saharan Africa.Read Richard's story online in The Telegraph, Sunday 4th December 2010.
Hilary Hinds awarded major research grant
The Department is delighted to announce that Hillary Hinds has just been awarded a major research grant from the Wellcome Trust, for their programme in Medical History and Humanities. The £44,895 award will allow Hillary to take a year off from teaching while she develops her new project, ‘Twin Beds: From Hygienic Homes to Healthy Marriages, 1870-1970’.
PhD success for Kym Brindle
Congratulations to Kym Brindle for successfully defending her thesis on 19th November. The title of Kym's thesis is “Epistolary Encounters: Pastiche in Postmodern Victorian Fiction”. Her study was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and she was supervised by Kamilla Elliott and Sally Bushell.
Sally Bushell's Wordsworth manuscript project featured in The Times
After the recent REF impact pilot results were published, The Times 'Education' section featured Sally Bushell and her book, Text as Process, in an article (17th November 2010) entitled "Study of draft material offers new insight": "Can the study of Wordsworth's poetry written more than 200 years ago have impact today? Research by an academic at Lancaster University shows how it can...To open up manuscript study to a wider audience, Dr Bushell helped to publish digital manuscripts of two Wordsworth poems...This involved collaboration with the Wordsworth Trust and was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council..." Full article available in the Times online.
Graham Mort highly commended in National Short Story Awards
The BBC National Short Story Award, now in its fifth year, is one of the most prestigious awards for a single short story. Graham Mort’s ‘Daniel’ was one of two stories, alongside Edna O’Brien’s ‘Inner Cowboy’, to be "highly commended by the judges": "for the first time we felt we must add a commended category for stories from Edna O'Brien and Graham Mort" (BBC Radio 4). 'Daniel' is one of the stories in Graham's collection Touch (published by Seren), which also includes the Bridport prize-winning story ‘The Prince’.
Paul Farley's new piece for the BBC’s From Fact To Fiction
Professor Paul Farley has written a new piece for the BBC’s From Fact To Fiction series (broadcast on Radio 4 6th/7th November). From Fact To Fiction presents writers with the opportunity to work in a bold and instinctive way as they respond to events in the news, beginning on a Monday when an idea is selected at a meeting with News editors and producers, through to Friday when the programme is recorded and edited. Paul collaborated with fellow poet Jo Shapcott; writers who have featured in From Fact To Fiction include Will Self, Kate Mosse, A.L. Kennedy, Tom Stoppard, Stewart Lee and David Edgar.
Terry Eagleton and Archbishop Rowan Williams
On Friday 19th November 2010, at 5.30 p.m., at Great St Mary's Church, Market Square, Cambridge, Terry Eagleton will be responding, alongside Archbishop Rowan Williams, to the claims of the 'new atheists' through conversation with one another, and with the audience. The Faraday Institute Seminar: Friday 19th November 2010, 5:30pm.
Graham Mort awarded Chair
The Department is delighted to announce that Graham Mort has been awarded a personal Chair, effective from 1st December 2010. He will be Professor of Creative Writing and Transcultural Literature. Graham has worked as a poetry specialist, educational writer, editor, and tutor in a wide range of settings throughout the UK and overseas. He is director of the PhD programme in Creative Writing at Lancaster and Director of the Centre for Transcultural Writing and Research. He has published seven collections of poetry and also writes short fiction and radio drama.
PhD success for Jacqueline Wilkinson
Congratulations to Jacqueline Wilkinson for successfully defending her thesis on 12th July 2010. The theme of Jacky's thesis is "Thomas Hardy and the Carnivalesque," which involves an examination of Hardy’s use of such carnivalesque concepts as the choric element, the Wild Man, Devils, the ‘woman on top’, masking, music, feasts and the grotesque.
PhD success for Amy Prodromou
Congratulations to Amy Prodromou for successfully defending her thesis on 2nd November. Her dissertation, "'That Weeping Constellation': Narratives of Loss and Recovery in Contemporary Women's Writing," argues that the grief memoir fills a gap left by the professional literature of bereavement and itself contributes to "that weeping constellation" or community of mourners missing from contemporary grief practices.
'Imagining Islamism: Literature, Film & Politics in the Arab World'
'Imagining Islamism: Literature, Film & Politics in the Arab World' is a one-day conference at the Storey Creative Industries Centre in Lancaster on Saturday 12 February 2011. The event features an outstanding line-up of experts on the contemporary Arab world and its literature and other creative media. It promises to be a stimulating day of critical reflection on a topical yet much-misunderstood phenomenon. The event is part of the AHRC/ESRC-funded project 'Islamism in contemporary Arab fiction and film'. As places are limited, please pre-register via email to Lindsey Moore. The event costs £20 (£10 student/unwaged). Morning and afternoon tea will be provided. Please download our poster for full details.
Lake District Literature Event at Barrow Library
Dr David Cooper will be discussing the literature of the Lake District with Dr Ian Thompson – Reader in Landscape Architecture, Newcastle University – at a special event to be held at Barrow Library. Dr Thompson will talk about his new book, The English Lakes: A History (London: Bloomsbury, 2010), before joining David in conversation about the multi-layered cultural history of the Lakes and the influence of the poet and topographer, Norman Nicholson, on his own writing about landscape and literature. This event – which has been organised by the Norman Nicholson Society in partnership with Bloomsbury and Cumbria County Council – will take place on Friday, 26 November 2010 at 7.30pm.
Paul Farley's The Electric Polyolbion, BBC Radio 4
Part-poetry and part-national topological survey with a rich seam of encounters along the way, The Electric Polyolbion is Paul Farley's reimagining of Michael Drayton's sprawling, extraordinary Poly-Olbion, first published in 1612. As he travels the country, Paul writes his own long-form verse in and around the places and references of Drayton's original - the same landscapes but two wildly different time frames. Broadcast on Sunday 31st October, 4.30-5.00pm, on BBC RADIO 4. Listen to The Electric Polyolbion on BBC iPlayer.
Two New Winners of International Scholarships for the Distance Learning MA in Creative Writing
In 2009 the Faculty introduced two International Scholarships for the Distance Learning MA in Creative Writing (worth £8,000 over two years) to be awarded annually to applicants who need assistance in financing their studies and who are resident outside the EU. We are delighted to announce that the recipients of the awards this year are Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva (Uganda) and Bode Asiyanbi (Nigeria). Read more about their backgrounds, their writing and their plans for working on the Lancaster MA.
New Royal Literary Fellow Appointed
The Department wants to welcome our new Royal Literary Fund Fellow, Kathleen Jones. Kathleen's published work includes radio journalism, articles for magazines and newspapers, poetry, short fiction and eleven books - a mixture of biography, general non-fiction and two poetry collections. Her biographies include: A Glorious Fame (Bloomsbury), A Passionate Sisterhood (Virago), a life of the Victorian poet Christina Rossetti (OUP), a best-selling biography of Catherine Cookson (Time Warner), and The Story-teller, which is about the life of Katherine Mansfield and was published by Penguin in August 2010.
Student Publications and Prizes in Creative Writing, May-October 2010
During the last half year several past students on the Lancaster Creative Writing postgraduate programmes have received nominations and prizes. It was just announced that Sheila Hillier's collection, A Quechua Confession Manual (Cinnamon Press), is one of six shortlisted for the 2010 Aldeburgh Prize for First Collection. In May-July, Ali Shaw was the winner of the Desmond Elliott Prize for his debut novel; Jacob Polley was longlisted in the same competition; Monique Roffey was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction; and Kate Horsley won the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition. Our students' recent and forthcoming publications include: Christina Lloyd's chapbook publication of 26 poems she worked on during the DLMA (forthcoming); Deborah Swift's The Lady’s Slipper (Macmillan New Writing, June 2010); Heather Richardson's Magdeburg (Lagan Press, June 2010); and Ray Robinson's Forgetting Zoe (William Heinemann, June 2010). Read more about the many publications of Lancaster Creative Writing students.
"Natural Lore": Andrew Tate's interview with Margaret Atwood
Andrew Tate interviewed Margaret Atwood in the September 2010 issue of Third Way magazine. The interview, "Natural Lore," opens with a discussion of Atwood's emphasis on the urgency of environmental problems.
Two new Teaching Associates appointed
Following interviews which took place on Monday 2nd August, David Cooper and Simon Marsden were appointed to the two new 0.8 Teaching Associate posts in the Department of English & Creative Writing. Many congratulations to both.
Lancaster/Leicester University Collaboration
Researchers at Lancaster and Leicester Universities will be collaborating from January 2011 on a new literature project – Grassroutes - to document the work and influence of migrant writers in Leicester. The project is funded by the Arts Council of England and will be led by Dr. Corinne Fowler of Leicester University (former researcher on Lancaster’s AHRC- funded Moving Manchester project) in collaboration with Dr. Graham Mort. The project will lead to an electronic catalogue, a new online Writers Gallery, a £1,000 creative writing commission, a new exhibition and a blog on the Literature Network. Dr. Kate Horsley will also participate in the project, mounting new resources on Lancaster’s Centre for Transcultural Writing and Research website, to complement existing provision.
Congratulations to all our Finalists!
Results Party for English & Creative Writing Undergraduates, 25th June 2010. The Department wants to congratulate all of its finalists. There were some excellent degree results, celebrated at the annual strawberries and punch party in County College quadrangle.
Lancaster graduate Ali Shaw has scooped the 2010 Desmond Elliott Prize for his debut novel The Girl with Glass Feet. His competition included another Lancaster Creative Writing graduate, Jacob Polley, whose Talk of the Town was also shortlisted for the £10,000 prize. After gaining a first class degree in English and Creative Writing at Lancaster University, Ali Shaw took the Department's MA in Creative Writing (2004) and has since worked as a bookseller and at the Bodleian Library in Oxford. He began writing his novel while he was at University. It has also been shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and longlisted for both the Guardian First Book Award and the Dylan Thomas Prize. Elizabeth Buchan, chair of the Desmond Elliott judging panel, commented: 'This is an extraordinary first novel...bold, original, tragic and endlessly surprising'.
Leverhulme Visiting Professorship awarded
The Department of English and Creative Writing is pleased to announce that, following an application made by Professor John Schad, it has been awarded a Leverhulme Visiting Professorship to bring Professor Simon Critchley of the New School, New York, to Lancaster for Lent Term 2012. The theme of Professor Critchley’s visit will be ‘Religion-Literature-Politics’ and will add to the Department’s existing strengths in the area of literature and religion. His visit will include a series of open seminars, as well as two public lectures and a public dialogue with Terry Eagleton, the Department’s Distinguished Professor of English Literature. The visit will conclude in a day conference organised in association with Professor Mick Dillon and the Journal for Cultural Research (Routledge).
Liz Oakley-Brown awarded Leverhulme Research Fellowship
Dr Liz Oakley-Brown (Lecturer in Renaissance Writing) has been awarded a 6-month Leverhulme Research Fellowship to complete work on her book-length study, Thomas Churchyard: Travel, Translation and Tudor Identity.
Monique Roffey in The Guardian
Monique Roffey's article, "I wanted what my parents had," was published in The Guardian on Saturday 8 May 2010: "Growing up in Trinidad, Monique Roffey liked being the child of a dashing alpha couple. They gave her a prototype of what a marriage could be: strong, happy, equal. Without conscious thought, she set out to replicate that remarkable union." Read Monique's article.
Terry Eagleton on BBC Radio 3
Philip Dodd talked to Professor Terry Eagleton about his new book, On Evil, in which he defends the reality of evil, suggesting that it is a palpable force in the modern world. Broadcast on Thursday, 6th May, on BBC Radio 3. Listen to the discussion online.
Friends Funding for Lancaster/Sudan Women’s Writing Link
Dr Graham Mort has been successful in his bid to the Lancaster University Friends Programme with a proposal for linking Sudanese women to postgraduate mentors here in the UK, who will deliver monthly online tutorials in response to their work. The project will enable PhD students to widen their teaching experience and will be an invaluable developmental experience for the African women writers. It will also leave an archive on the website of the Centre for Transcultural Writing and Research of interest to other researchers in Creative Writing and in African literature and society.
Friends Fund success for Popular Fiction Archive
Because the Lancaster Department of English & Creative Writing has a strong interest in popular fiction, Nigel Algar, Senior Curator of the British Film Institute, has donated to us the popular fiction collection of the late Tom Milne. The collection is particularly strong on hard-boiled fiction of the 1940s and 1950s and on the writers whose work formed the core of canonical film noir. The collection constitutes a substantial addition to the Department's undergraduate and postgraduate studies of film and popular culture. A successful bid to pay for the archiving of the collection was submitted by the University Librarian, Clare Powne, in collaboration with Dr Lee Horsley, who will create an online portal for the collection.
Crossing Borders participant Blessing Musariri: The Guardian's Saturday Poem
"Mitu's Spice Tour," by Blessing Musariri, featured as The Saturday Poem in The Guardian on Saturday 17 April 2010 (read the poem in The Guardian online). Bessing's poem and those of other poets involved in the Crossing Borders programme are published in Sunflowers in Your Eyes: Four Zimbabwean Poets, edited by Menna Elfyn (Cinnamon Press, £7.99).
One of Lancaster's recent Creative Writing PhD graduates, Monique Roffey, has been shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2010. The White Woman on the Green Bicycle, her second novel, is the story of a couple who arrive in Trinidad from England, where the wife, Sabine, becomes fixated on the leader of the country's new national party, Eric Williams.
"Shakespeare in Love" at the Storey Institute
On Friday 12 February 2010the Storey Institute hosted Lancaster University's "Shakespeare in Love" as part of its Lunchtime Classics programme. They invited people in to explore Shakespeare’s sonnets with Professor Alison Findlay and Dr Elizabeth Oakley-Brown. Afternoon tea – including sandwiches, cakes and pastries - was provided by the Storey Institute bar.
Professor Roger Ebbatson chosen to be Fellow of the English Association
Professor Roger Ebbatson, Honorary Fellow of this Department has been made a Fellow of the English Association, which is the oldest established association in the United Kingdom for all those interested in English at all levels, from primary to higher education. The English Association has a long tradition of honouring distinguished figures who have made a special contribution to the promotion of the language arts in all their many facets. Read more about the English Association.
Launch of Graham Mort's Touch
Graham Mort's new book of short stories, Touch, will be launched at the Storey Institute by Litfest on March 3rd at 7.45pm. "Including the Bridport prize-winning story 'The Prince', Touch is an assured and absorbing collection, its twenty-one stories spanning twenty years of short-story writing from a master of the genre." All welcome. Read more about the Litfest programme.
Sara Maitland at Lancaster's Literature Live
Sara Maitland, award-winning novelist, short story writer and writer of creative non-fiction will be reading from her work and discussing the writing process at 5pm on 11th March 2010 (Bowland North SR2). All welcome. For further details of the event see our page on Literature Live.
Islamism in Arab Fiction and Film
We are delighted to announce the launch of a new project, Islamism in Arab Fiction and Film. Lindsey Moore and Arthur Bradley from the Department of English & Creative Writing received a major AHRC award of £97, 408 from the Religion and Society Programme for the project, which maps and assesses ways in which Islamism is reflected, critiqued and contested in fiction and film, in Arabic, French and English, by artists affiliated to the Arab world from 1947 to the present. Research outcomes will include: an electronic catalogue of texts; a major academic conference and scholarly publications. Visit the new website of the Islamism in Arab Fiction and Film project.
After Atheism: Religion, Literature and Science
A Symposium with Terry Eagleton, Saturday 24th April 2010: This one-day symposium gathers together a range of international experts on religion, literature and culture to consider the cultural significance of the debate about the ‘God Question’. Why has the God Question re-emerged now? How has it impacted upon literature, culture and even politics? And what, finally, might come ‘after atheism’ – a new Enlightenment or the return of the religious? For further details see our page on the After Atheism Symposium.
Postgraduate Funding Opportunities 2010-11
The Department is very pleased to announce a range of funding opportunities for students wishing to progress to postgraduate study in 2010/11. These include an AHRC Block Grant Research Studentship in English Literature, two International Scholarships for our Distance Learning MA in Creative Writing, and a range of Faculty Studentships, Scholarships and Bursaries. Read more about postgraduate funding for 2010-11.
Congratulations! Degree Successes for English and Creative Writing Students
Over two dozen Lancaster MA and PhD students received degrees in English Literature and Creative Writing at the degree ceremony held on Wednesday 9th December: photographs of the Department's graduate reception can be seen on a separate page. A Princess Alexandra Medal was awarded to Eleanor Fitton (left) for her outstanding achievement in the MA in Literary Research. The degree of PhD in Creative Writing was awarded to Rebecca Irvine Bilkau for her novel, Moving, and to Monique Roffey for her novel White Woman on a Green Bicycle. On the day after the degree ceremony, another of our PhD students, Zoe Bolton, successfully defended her English Literature thesis on Textuality and Travel. Both of the examiners were very impressed with her work. Zoe will receive her degree in one of our 2010 ceremonies.
Lancaster MA graduate Ali Shaw nominated for Costa First Novel Award
The first novel of a Lancaster MA graduate in Creative Writing (2004) has been shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award. Ali Shaw's The Girl With Glass Feet was published by Atlantic Books in May 2009. Patrick Ness, Penguin Books, Australia, described it as "a rare orchid of book, beautiful and eccentric and exquisitely sad." The Costa judges said of the novel: "This beautiful book captured our imagination, exquisitely blending reality and fantasy."
Jane Draycott shortlisted for the 2009 TS Eliot Prize
Jane Draycott's Over, which includes a sequence of 26 poems taking their titles from the international phonetic alphabet, has been shortlisted for the 2009 TS Eliot Prize. Jane joins a shortlist of ten poets "who have dreamed and who have dared", according to chair of judges Simon Armitage: it is a line-up that "reflects the scope, breadth and vitality of contemporary poetry". One of Jane's poems, "Prospect", was also chosen for a 2009 Troubadour International Poetry Prize.
Sara Maitland shortlisted for BBC National Short Story Award
It was announced on Front Row on 27th November that one of Sara Maitland's stories has been shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award. The story is called "Moss Witch", which appeared earlier this year in a Comma Press anthology, When it Changed (ed. Geoff Ryman). On Tuesday 1st December Sara will be doing an interview about it on Front Row and the story itself will be broadcast on Wednesday 2nd December at 15.30, read by Hannah Gordon. The prize will be announced live on Monday 7th December on Front Row. We are delighted to add that Sara was runner up for the Award.
Bridport successes for two Lancaster Creative Writing Students
The poetry of two Lancaster postgraduate students has been included in the prestigious Bridport Prize competition. Rhiannon Hooson, a Lancaster PhD student in Creative Writing, won a Supplementary Prize for her poem "Fictions". Christina Lloyd, who graduated from our Distance learning MA in Creative Writing in 2008, was shortlisted for one of her portfolio poems, "Whale watching, Hervey Bay".
Kate Horsley story chosen for Best British Crime
Kate Horsley's story, "Star's Jar", has been selected for inclusion in the forthcoming Mammoth Book of Best British Crime, due out in April 2010: "This is the must-have annual anthology for every crime fiction fan - the year's top new British short stories selected by leading crime critic Maxim Jakubowski."
DLMA student shortlisted for Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction
Clive Collins, a student on the Distance Learning MA in Creative Writing, made the final shortlist in this year's Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction. Erika Stevens, the Acquisitions Editor at the University of Georgia Press, said of his entry, Cheap Music: "One judge was extremely excited by your collection and ranked it number one. The judge found 'smart, well put together, and as funny as it is heartbreaking.' The judge also thought that it reinvents the notion of 'the collection of linked stories' rather than - as in so many cases - offering up a failed novel."
Letting them have Cake!
Cake is edited by two Lancaster undergraduates, Andrew McMillan and Martha Sprackland. Andrew reports, "The first issue of Lancaster's new literary magazine, Cake, was launched on Thursday 29th October to an eager crowd in the Peter Scott Gallery; Foyle Young Poet of the Year, Adham Smart, and the wonderful Ira Lightman read their contributions to the magazine alongside Lancaster University students Michael Reffold and Jacob Silkstone. Everyone gorged on the free cake, glugged the free wine and engaged in poetic debate long into the night. Go to the Cake page to see how you can get involved! Our next issue is due out in January/February."
International Scholarships for the Distance Learning MA in Creative Writing
In 2009 the Faculty introduced two International Scholarships for the Distance Learning MA in Creative Writing (worth £8,000 over two years) to be awarded annually to applicants who need assistance in financing their studies and who are resident outside the EU. The recipients of the awards this year are Rosie Thapa (Nepal) and Joyce Chigiya (Zimbabwe).
Four new members of staff appointed to teach Lancaster's Distance Learning MA in Creative Writing
We are delighted to announce that from 2009-10 the University has appointed four new members of staff to teach our new cohort of Distance Learning MA students: Tom Pow, Sarah Corbett, Conor O'Callaghan and Diran Adebayo. Read more about all four of our new tutors.
DLMA Student, Sheila Hillier, wins Hamish Canham Poetry Prize
The 2009 Hamish Canham Prize, awarded for the best poem published in Poetry News during the preceding year, has been awarded to one of Lancaster's current Distance Learning MA students, Sheila Hillier, for her poem ‘Jack Lattin of Morristown’. Judges called it " A compelling story...a celebration of reckless bravery, of a refusal to be moderate." Read more about Sheila's award.
Robert Appelbaum Wins AHRC Fellowship Award
Robert Appelbaum is the recipient of an AHRC Research Leave Fellowship for 2009-10 to complete work on Restaurants for the Rest of Us, a study of writing about restaurants, from guidebooks to novels, and from the austere analyses of sociologists to playful gastronomic reflections by literati like M.F.K. Fisher. Read Dr Appelbaum's article, "The Food Fuss in London."
'Moving Worlds' Special Issue
Corinne Fowler and Graham Mort from the Moving Manchester team are co-editors of a special issue of the transcultural writing journal Moving Worlds. The theme of the issue is 'Region / Writing / Home: Relocating Black, Migrant and Diasporic Writing in Britain' and the journal features creative writing and academic essays from some of the UK's leading writers and critics.
Paul Farley and Simon Bainbridge on Radio 3
On Thursday 23 July 2009, on BBC Radio 3, Paul Farley explored Shelley's poem 'Invocation', the inspiration behind Elgar's Second Symphony, which begins with the line: 'Rarely, rarely comest thou, spirit of delight'. He was joined by Simon Bainbridge. Listen on BBC iPlayer.
Monique Roffey on BBC Radio 4
Recent Creative Writing PhD graduate, Monique Roffey, was on BBC Radio 4, Open Book on Sunday 19th July at 4pm with Mariella Frostrup. She talked about her new novel, The White Woman on the Green Bicycle. Carol Angier, the biographer of Jean Rhys was also talking, as well as Amanda Smyth, a fellow Trinidadian writer, author of Black Rock: "We'll be talking about our books, about love, sex and race relations in the Caribbean." Listen on BBC iPlayer.
Lancaster PhD student's novel published by Simon & Schuster
Monique Roffey gained her PhD in Creative Writing in December 2008. The novel she submitted for her degree was The White Woman on the Green Bicycle. It came out in June with Penguin Books Australia and is being published by Simon and Schuster on 6th July 2009."An unforgettable love story, brimming with passion and politics, set over fifty years in Trinidad – a place at times enchanting, and at times highly dangerous..."(Penguin Books Australia). "Boundless in its understanding of the human spirit...will resonate with readers everywhere." (Olive Senior, poet, writer and Caribbean woman of letters).
David Cooper chosen for national GPS project
Dr David Cooper (Department of English & Creative Writing) has been invited to become one of twelve national 'ambassadors' for Global Poetry System (GPS): a project - founded by the writer, Lemn Sissay, and co-ordinated by the Southbank Centre, London - to map out the poetry of place. GPS is one of the Soutbank Centre's major literature projects towards the 2012 Olympics. Using Google Maps, the interactive project website will encourage members of the public to reflect upon the relationship between poetry and everyday spaces. The aim is to chart the poetry of Britain and to generate a dynamic archive of site-specific writing; at the same time, the project will also explore the potential of GPS technology. David will be contributing a blog to the GPS website for the duration of the project.
Success for Moving Manchester PhD student
We are pleased to report that Rajeev Balasubramanyam, one of the PhD students attached to the 'Moving Manchester' project, has been awarded a two year post-doctoral scholarship at the University of Hong Kong ('Society of Scholars in the Humanities') where he will be working on a new research project ('The Global Novel') as well as embarking on a new novel of his own. Rajeev successfully defended his viva on 26 June 2009.
Harry Whitehead, one of our Creative Writing PhD students, will be the recipient of a Wingate Scholarship in 2009-10. These scholarships "are awarded to individuals of great potential or proven excellence who need financial support to undertake pioneering or original work of intellectual, scientific, artistic, social or environmental value, and to outstandingly talented musicians for advanced training." Harry is working on a PhD in creative writing, centered on the life of the shaman Quesalid, a First Peoples Canadian who lived between 1854 and 1932 on the British Columbia coast, and his relationship with the anthropologist Franz Boas.
University's Media Prize awarded jointly to Graham Mort and Paul Farley
The University's Media and Communication Prize for 2009 has been awarded jointly to Paul Farley and Graham Mort. Paul's prize, in the words of Cary Cooper, "has been made to recognise your excellent contribution to the media and in using English Studies to inform many debates about art and culture". Graham's prize "has been made to recognise your excellent work on the 'Crossing Borders' project and the international communications around this and also the Radiophonics project which informed wider audiences about new writing in Africa." Click here to read more about the Radiophonics project on the British Council site, and click here to read more about Paul Farley's Field Recordings: BBC Poems 1998-2008.
Lancaster Creative Writing Alumnus appointed to Chair at Hull
Lancaster Creative Writing alumnus Martin Goodman has just been appointed from his lectureship at Plymouth to a Chair in Creative Writing at Hull University. Martin completed his PhD with Graham Mort and Lee Horsley in 2007 and part of his new duties will be to direct the Philip Larkin Centre at Hull. It's a spectacular success in such a short period of time, but reflects Martin's considerable achievements as a teacher, researcher and writer. Click here to visit Martin's website.
Terry Eagleton designated 'Distinguished Professor'
The University has decided to designate Professor Terry Eagleton as one of its Distinguished Professors. The status of "distinguished professor" is reserved for a limited number of star academics who are internationally recognised as world leaders in their field.
Night Waves BBC Radio 3
Professor Eagleton was on 'Night Waves' on Monday May 11th: 'Rana Mitter talks to Terry Eagleton, one of the most respected thinkers of our time, about his new book, Reason, Faith and Revolution, in which he mounts a critique against both those who hate religion and religious zealots. Reason, Faith and Revolution is published by Yale University Press' (BBC Radio 3).
Two New Honorary Research Fellowships
The Department is pleased to announce the appointment of two new Honorary Research Fellows: Lynsey Hanley and Professor Roger Ebbatson.Lynsey Hanley, whose first book Estates (Granta) was tremendously well-received, is now working on a book contracted by Allen Lane (Penguin Books) concerning contemporary working-class culture; she is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, regularly writes for the national broadsheets and makes frequent contributions to BBC Radio. Roger Ebbatson is an eminent figure both in Victorian and Modernist studies, and is particularly well-known for his long-established work on Thomas Hardy and for his more recent work on Englishness (An Imaginary England) and on the application of 20th century German philosophy to Victorian literature (Heidegger's Bicycle)
Radiophonics Phase II
The British Council-funded Radiophonics project, led by Dr. Graham Mort of the Department of English and Creative Writing, has now entered its second phase in Nigeria. Stories written last year in workshops in Kano, Enuga, Abuja and Lagos and focused on key social and political issues, are now being broadcast on Inspiration FM, Lagos, in the ‘Under the Sun’ series. Click here for further information.
Postgraduate Studentships 2009-10
The Department of English & Creative Writing is delighted to announce: that it will offer one Lancaster University Research Studentship for the academic year 2009/10; and that we will be offering one fully-funded PhD studentship and one fully-funded MA studentship to applicants within the discipline of English Literature for the academic year 2009/10 as part of the University's AHRC Block Grant Partnership Award. To apply for AHRC funding to undertake an MA or PhD in the Department, you must have firmly accepted a place on one of our postgraduate courses in English Literature. Click here for further information.
Distance Learning MA in Creative Writing: Annual Intake and International Scholarship Offer
Lancaster University is expanding its highly successful Distance Learning MA in Creative Writing, allowing the admission of a new cohort of 18-20 students for the academic year 2009-10. Deadline for applications is the end of April 2009. We are delighted to announce that we will also be able to offer two International Scholarships (worth £8,000 over two years) to applicants who need assistance in financing their studies and who are resident outside the EU. Click here for further details.
Lancaster Creative Writing PhD student wins Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Award
Lancaster Creative Writing PhD student, Cath Nichols, has won a $1000 prize for poems entered into the 2008 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Awards. Each year the fund awards prizes to promising poets under the age of 40 writing in the English language. Prizes range from $250 to $7,500 and this year 67 poets benefited from the legacy left by Marvin Rosenberg (a professor of English Literature and Shakespeare scholar) to commemorate his wife Dorothy. His second wife, Mary, taught at Lancaster University over thirty years ago and is still fond of the place.
Paul Farley on BBC2
Professor Paul Farley (English & Creative Writing) was a guest on BBC2’s The Culture Show this week (19th January). Paul presented a short film offering a personal response to Liverpool’s year as Capital of Culture, in a programme featuring Rupert Goold, Pete Postlethwaite, Terence Davies and many others.
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