We always have a lot of news! Some of it is here, including major artistic publications and selected other projects undertaken by staff, and a wide range of achievements by students.
Zach Omitowoju, a third year BA Media Production student who served as Nottingham Creative Writing Hub’s first Humanities at Work placement student in 2021, is a judge for Nottingham’s Slam-O-Vision. Check out the link here.
September: The Writer’s Mindset
In January, Ellie Betts (MA Creative Writing) started The Writer’s Mindset, a podcast about writing, co-run and co-hosted by Kristina Adams (a graduate of NTU’s MA Creative Writing). It has proven popular, with over 2000 downloads across almost 30 episodes. The pair release content around writing, mostly fiction, from a mindset point of view. You can find them on Spotify, Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, and many other popular podcast platforms. there is more info at writerscookbook.com/podcast, or in the facebook group writerscookbook.com/facebookgroup where they have regular discussions about writing.
July: Teya Dancer sets up Writeresque
Writeresque (EDIT: post updated to include this Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature blog post) is a newly-established literary magazine, based between Nottingham and Derby. It has been created by Teya Dancer, a student on NTU’s MA Creative Writing and graduate of our BA English and Linguistics. She writes: ‘With Writeresque, we celebrate the uniqueness of each and every person and are very interested in receiving submissions from creative individuals who are unconventional and different in their writing; we are looking for writers who are independent, can think for themselves and dare to make a difference.’ The first issue of the magazine, planned for quarterly publication, is set to come out on 20 July, and will contain work inspired by William Ernest Henley’s poem ‘Invictus’. The deadline for submissions is 16 July. Visit: www.writeresquelit.wixsite.com/writeresque
July: New collection from Gregory Woods
Gregory Woods’s new poetry collection, Records of an Incitement to Silence, has been published by Carcanet Press. As well as being Professor Emeritus at NTU, Greg is the leading British critic and historian of gay literature, and one of the nation’s leading poets. You can order the collection, his sixth, direct from the publisher here.
March: Kyran Wood, 28 Plays Later
In February, MA Creative Writing student Kyran Wood signed up for The Literal Challenge’s 28 Plays Later challenge, which involved writing a full-length play every day for 28 days. He says: ‘It was both a challenge and a fun experience in which I produced some great ideas that I can develop further, and I was very happy to be one of the few who finished the whole challenge.’ Check out their website if you’re interested in challenging yourself: https://www.theliteralchallenge.com/
March: Andrew Taylor publishes new poetry pamphlet
Silo follows the lead taken by Andrew’s previous publication with the Red Ceilings, Aire. Writing about Aire in Stride, Martin Stannard said, ‘These quite quiet works are asking us to read and think and look, and I think also they suggest we consider words as doing more than just naming things.’ Silo was written in the same house in rural France as Aire and continues with the themes of the natural world, alongside the interaction that humans have with place. It is an ongoing project. You can buy the pamphlet here.
March: Lucy Grace – Blue Pencil Pitch, Cornerstones, and Elevate
Lucy Grace, an NTU Creative Writing MA student, won the Blue Pencil Pitch Prize https://bluepencilagency.com/2020-pitch-prize-winners-2/ last month. The prize, a 1:1 with Jane Finigan, partner and literary agent at Lutyens & Rubenstein, was to discuss Lucy’s work so far and next steps. Jane gave extremely supportive advice regarding the direction of Lucy’s novel with specific regard to submission and publishing. Lucy is also continuing to work with Cornerstones Literary Consultancy. Last Autumn she was selected for their Elevate mentoring scheme https://cornerstones.co.uk/elevate-mentoring-scheme/ This month they awarded her a bursary of a further ten hours of editorial support to complete her novel.
March 2021: Poetry & Covid, and W. H. Davies
With Professor Anthony Caleshu at the University of Plymouth, and as part of the Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded Poetry & Covid project they are both leading, Rory Waterman edited Poetry & Covid-19: An Anthology of Contemporary International Collaborative Poetry. This is published by Shearsman Press this month, and is available here. Rory has also edited and contributed to W. H. Davies: Essays on the Super-Tramp Poet (Anthem Press), published in January.
December: Finding Your Way Through Writing
MA creative writing lecturers Anthony Cropper and Eve Makis have just completed their second non-fiction book, Odyssey – Finding Your Way Through Writing. The book helps you structure your stories using the Hero’s Journey model and shows you ways of using life experience to inform your writing. Funded by Arts Council England, the book will be gifted to MA students early next year and used to run a series of workshops for NTU’s Formations programme.
December: Hannah Cooper-Smithson – This Girl Codes and Mslexia
Hannah has been involved in the Junction Arts This Girl Codes project, leading a writing workshop on Atomic Poetry. Poems from this workshop have been 3D printed by artist Cora Glasser and are currently on display in an installation at Bolsover Castle – you can see photos of the installation here. Hannah also has a poem, ‘The Cubbington Pear’, in the December issue of Mslexia.
December: Derek Owusu WRAP event, chaired by Becky Cullen
On 3 December, Becky interviewed 2020 Desmond Elliott prize-winner Derek Owusu. The event was the finale for the first term of the new extra-curricular WRAP (writing, reading and pleasure) programme open to all students through the Virtual Arts Centre on Teams. Watch it here.
December: Becky Cullen on Notts Libraries
Oct/Nov: Rory Waterman in Bucheon, South Korea
Rory Waterman was Writer in Residence for Bucheon City of Literature, South Korea, in October and November, to write poems about the Korean border. He also gave public readings and talks. He blogged about the experience here, in six posts.
October: anthology launch: Connections
On behalf of the MA Creative Writing 2019-20 cohort, we’d like to invite you to the launch of Connections: An Anthology in New Writing on Wednesday 28th October at 7pm. This anthology is entirely the work of the superb 2019-20 MA Creative Writing cohort. Tickets – priced at only £2 to cover the students’ costs – are available at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/connections-anthology-launch-event-tickets-123890482769?aff=ebdssbonlinesearch. The event is likely to sell out, so get yours now!
October: Connections anthology
This year’s MA Creative Writing anthology, Connections, is now available! Visit the website here. Our MA Creative Writing graduates often go on to have significant publishing success, and this year’s cohort will be no different. All of the editing and formatting is the hard work of the students, and this anthology is beautiful. The online launch event is forthcoming later this month. Keep an eye on their website for details.
October: Our Poems, Our Places
Our Poems, Our Places is an online project for Junction Arts, headed by Midlands4Cities-funded NTU PhD student Aly Stoneman. It to put poetry on the map in North East Derbyshire and adjoining districts. Join them online here to explore and connect virtually with local places and people through reading, writing and sharing poems. On 1 October, National Poetry Day, the project will share some new poems by Hannah Cooper-Smithson, also a Midlands4Cities-funded NTU PhD student, who was poet-in-residence at Creswell Crags Museum and Heritage Centre earlier this year.
Aly is also launching a poetry and coding workshop for the project This Girl Codes. Hannah will be leading that via Zoom (with 2 other artists) on Tuesday 13th October, 7-8pm, and tickets go on sale on Eventbrite on Friday 2 October.
September: Hannah Cooper-Smithson longlisted for Rebecca Swift Prize
Hannah was longlisted for the Rebecca Swift Women Poets’ Prize 2020, for a manuscript of poems.
May: Nottstopping Festival
NCWH members are extremely well represented at this wonderful, eclectic online festival taking place 23-24 May, with the majority of our postgraduate and staff members taking part in, or hosting, events. The Hub put on its own event, featuring exclusive readings from several students and staff. The link is here!
May: Lauren Terry’s poetry pamphlet published
Midlands4Cities PGR and poet Lauren Terry’s debut pamphlet of poems, Museum of Lost and Broken Things, is now available to purchase from Nottingham’s Leafe Press. There will be an online launch in June, so look out for dates. We are extraordinarily proud of Lauren, a graduate of our BA English with Creative Writing and MA Creative Writing. As Andrew Taylor writes in his blurb on the collection, ‘This is a poetry of intimate detail, sharply focussed on the things that the eye ordinarily may miss, usually does miss’.
May: Rory Waterman’s new collection & launch (13 May)
Rory Waterman’s third collection, Sweet Nothings, has just been published by Carcanet Press. There is a launch online on Wednesday 13 May at 7pm, chaired by Hub associate member, MA Creative Writing guest lecturer and former Visiting Professor William Ivory. Registration here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_JDTOHSZuR2a7zfWAkix10g
May: Young Poets’ Stories
Sue Dymoke has begun work on Young Poets’ Stories research, funded by the Foyle Foundation. An enthusiastic group of Young Poets who have won or been highly commended in the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award have been recruited as participants for the research which explores poetry writing development and the impact of creative mentoring. The project website http://youngpoetsstories.com includes a variety or reading and writing activities to support young writers aged 11 – 25. More materials are being added all the time. If you have free creative writing resources suitable for this age group that you would like to share on this site please contact Sue to discuss this at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May: Collaborative Poem
City Arts is inviting the people of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire – and all Hub members count – to add their words to a poem that reflects the times we are going through. The theme is ‘A Pause’. NTU PGR, poet and Hub member Panya Banjoko will turn the words and ideas into a poem, which will also be made into a film and published online. Use the form in the link below to submit up to four lines of poetry if you want to take part: https://city-arts.org.uk/add-your-words-to-a-poem-for-nottingham/
May: Mike & Rochelle
‘Mike & Rochelle’, one of ITV’s Isolation Stories episodes, aired on ITV on 6 May. It was written by associate Hub member, guest lecturer and former Visiting Professor on the MA Creative Writing, William Ivory.
April: Jo Dixon – new job and new book
Jo Dixon has worn many hats at NTU: she graduated from the MA Creative Writing, gained a Midlands3Cities-funded PhD here, and has worked as a Research Assistant and HPL in the department. Now she is set to start as a permanent Lecturer in Creative Writing at DeMontfort University in July. We are sad to lose her, and proud of her accomplishments, and wish her well.
Also this summer, Jo’s debut full-length poetry collection, Purl, including poems written during her MA and PhD, will be published by Nottingham’s Shoestring Press.
February: Eve Makis, writer in residence
Congratulations to Eve Makis, already part-time Lecturer in Creative Writing, for being appointed writer in residence at NTU’s Postcolonial Studies Centre – a role that involves delivering workshops in the community while developing her own writing. An exciting event by the PCS is due to be announced in April.
February: She Grrrowls Tour
Panya Banjoko performed a twenty-minute set on the Peterborough leg of the She Grrrowls Tour – eight dates, over three months, and 16 different voices of women across England.
January 2020: Eve Makis and Anthony Cropper awarded ACE funding for interactive writing guide
Anthony Cropper and Eve Makis have been awarded an Arts Council England grant to work on an interactive guide to writing. The book, Odyssey: Finding Your Way Through Writing, will use Joseph Campbell’s Hero With a Thousand Faces as a template to help people understand how stories, films and plays can be researched and structured. The twelve sections will help people draw on life experience as well as providing the tools to generate ideas for characters, plots and conflict. The book will also act as a resource to help people understand their own journey and experiences.
November: Andrew Taylor publishes book on Adrian Henri
With the full cooperation of the Adrian Henri Estate, making use of archival material and drawing on his personal collection, Andrew has written the first ever critical book on the poetry of Adrian Henri: Adrian Henri: A Critical Reading, published this month by Greenwich Exchange. Henri was at the cutting edge of the 1960s underground scenes in poetry and art and introduced the notion of the ‘Happening’ to the UK in 1962. With Roger McGough and Brian Patten, Henri featured in the ground-breaking Penguin Modern Poets poetry collection The Mersey Sound (1967).
November: Nottingham, Karlsruhe, and Jo Dixon
Jo was commissioned by Nottingham City Council to write a poem celebrating the 50th anniversary of the twinning of Nottingham and Karlsruhe. In October she was invited read the poem during a civic dinner at Wollaton Hall to celebrate this important relationship. Ian Curryer, Chief Executive of Nottingham City Council, presented his counterpart from Karlsruhe with a framed copy of the poem. You can read Jo’s poem, in English and German, here.
November: Gregory Woods in Spanish and Turkish
Gregory Woods’s Homintern: How Gay Culture Liberated the Modern World (New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2016) has just been published in Turkish and Spanish translations. Turkish: Homintern: Gey Kültürünün Modern Dünyayı Özgürleştirmesi Üzerine (Ankara: Ayrıntı Yayınları, 2019), translated by Kıvanç Tanrıyar. Spanish: Homintern: Cómo la cultura LGTB liberó al mundo moderno (Madrid: Dos Bigotes, 2019), translated by Federico Zaragoza.
November: Becky Cullen – competition judge
Becky is a judge of the Nottingham UNESCO City of Lit MyVoice Creative Writing Competition for 10-25 year olds, closing 13 January. She is also judge of the University of the Third Age Beeston Short Story Competition.
November: Michael Marks Awards
New Walk Editions, the poetry pamphlet press co-edited by Rory Waterman with Nick Everett at the University of Leicester, has been shortlisted for the Michael Marks Awards Press Award. This is given to the best poetry pamphlet publisher of the year. One of the press’s pamphlets, Declan Ryan’s Fighters, Losers, has also been shortlisted for the Michael Marks Awards Pamphlet Award.
November: Rory Waterman in Syracuse, NY
In November, Rory gave a reading and talk to the ‘Toying with Poetic Form’ class at the Downtown Writers’ Center in Syracuse, NY, USA.
October: Panya Banjoko reading with Henry Normal
Panya supported Henry Normal at the world premiere of his show A Normal Universe at Lakeside Arts in October.
September: Sarah Jackson in Colombia
This summer, Sarah read at two poetry festivals in Colombia. Supported by NTU and Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature, Sarah participated in Luna de Locos International Festival of Poetry in Pereira (26 – 31 August), and in Las Líneas de su Mano International Festival of Literature in Bogotá (2 – 6 September). During the trip and working with a range of translators, Sarah visited four schools for readings and discussion, gave a talk on poetry and feminism, performed at open-air events, and ran a writing workshop on behalf of NTU’s Critical Poetics research group.
September: Academic work on Eve Makis’s fiction
Professor Jopi Nyman from the University of Eastern Finland will be delivering a paper on trauma and justice in Eve Makis’ outstanding novel The Spice Box Letters at the Postcolonial Studies Conference this month.
September: Lynda Clark shortlisted for BBC Short Story Award
A recent NTU M3C PhD graduate known to most of us, Lynda Clark, has been shortlisted for the BBC Short Story Award! Her story will be broadcast on Radio 4 on Friday 13 September at 3.30. Here’s a link: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0008bkr
September: Aly Stoneman has poem published in Liquidscapes
Aly’s poem ‘Sea Level Rise on an Interactive Map’ has been included by art.earth in their Liquidscapes publication, following the eponymous conference at Dartington in 2018. The book will be published this autumn. See here.
September: Panya Banjoko in Clever Girls
Over summer, Panya has completed a chapter for Clever Girls, a collection of autoethnographies by three generations of women from predominantly working-class backgrounds. Clever Girls discusses the status of personal experience as ‘research data’. It will be published by Palgrave Macmillan in December.
September: New publications by Hannah Cooper-Smithson
Hannah has had a poem accepted for the forthcoming October issue of Finished Creatures, and has had two poems accepted for the online poetry journal Anthropocene.
September: New publications by Lauren Terry
Some of Lauren’s poems have been accepted by The Molly Bloom and for Anthropocene.
In October, she’ll be making a research trip to The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale, in connection with her PhD research.
August/September 2019: former MA student Hilary Spiers’s play in production
Former MA Creative Writing student Hilary Spiers’s play Ladybird, Ladybird (shortlisted for the New Perspectives Long Play Competition) is being staged in Stamford, 10-14 September, at Stamford Arts Centre: www.stamfordartscentre.com/whats-on/all-shows/ladybird-ladybird-stamford-shoestring-theatre/11254. In addition, Hilary has been commissioned to write an immersive promenade piece about the tragedienne Sarah Siddons for the Stamford Georgian Festival. There will be ten performances over the weekend of 28/29 September: www.stamfordartscentre.com/whats-on/all-shows/mrs-siddons-dressing-room.
Stamford is easy to reach by train from Nottingham, and is a gorgeous town. We highly recommend you go along and check out the performances!
July 2019: Graduation
On 24 July 2019, William Ivory, who has served as Visiting Professor on the MA Creative Writing for seven years, was awarded an honorary doctorate for services to screenwriting, and Rebecca Cullen graduated with her Midlands3Cities-funded PhD on time in contemporary poetry.
Many of our undergraduate students graduated alongside them, and other PGRs in the department. We wish all of them the successes they deserve.
July 2019: Borders and Crossings
The 2019 Borders & Crossings interdisciplinary conference on travel writing took place 4-6 July at the University of Leicester, and was co-organised by Sofia Aatkar, a PhD student in our department. Several participants are members of the Nottingham Creative Writing Hub: Tim Youngs took part in a round table discussion, Tuesday Shannon Goacher and Rory Waterman delivered papers, Aly Stoneman and Lauren Terry gave readings, and Jo Dixon led a Creative Writing workshop.
June 2019: Lowdham Book Festival
NTU M4C PhD student and poet Tuesday Shannon Goacher gave a reading at Lowdham Book Festival on Saturday 29 June, promoting her recent publication in Take Three (Soundswrite Press, 2019).
June 2019: Hannah Cooper-Smithson in Becoming-Botanical
Becoming-Botanical is a long-term project investigating the human/plant relationship with a view towards a sustainable future. Hannah is one of over 50 international artists, researchers and practitioners spanning 6 continents to be involved in the project. See http://objeta.org/portfolio/becoming-botanical/.
June 2019: Panya Banjoko in Russian
Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature have asked Panya Banjoko to provide a poem for a festival in Ulyanovsk in Russia. The festival includes a literary tram ride, and poems from all the cities of literature will be read out at stations along the route. The poems will be translated in Russian, and will be read by prominent writers and other people from Ulyanovsk.
June 2019: International success for The Accidental Memoir
The Accidental Memoir, a life writing guide co-written by Eve Makis and Anthony Cropper, is now for sale in the US through Harper Collins 360, with international cousins in Poland and Holland and more translations in the pipeline. Eve was also recently invited to Buckingham Palace for Cyprus Day celebrations, and gifted two copies of the book to HRH the Prince of Wales. If he now breaks with Royal protocol and writes a candid memoir about life inside the household, you’ll know why…
May 2019: Eve Makis’s film wins 13(!) awards
Boy on the Bridge, a foreign feature co-written by Eve Makis and Stavros Pamballis (and based on Eve’s third book) has completed its journey of 50 festivals, picking up 13 awards.
The film trailer is here.
May 2019: Rory Waterman, Becky Cullen & Gregory Woods in Granada
In May, Becky, Rory and NTU Emeritus Professor and poet Gregory Woods all took part in events at Granada Book Fair, on behalf of NTU and Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature. Rory and Becky gave public workshops on behalf of the Critical Poetics Research Group, and Greg took part in a panel discussion about Byron, Lorca and Lawrence. The trip ended in a joint public reading in a Moorish palace.
May 2019: Recent MA graduate Jo Weston wins Erbacce Prize
The erbacce-prize for poetry, 2019, awarded by Liverpool based erbacce-Press, where Andrew Taylor is co-editor, recently awarded a prize to Nottingham Trent University MA in Creative Writing graduate, Jo Weston. Jo was one of eight winners, and she will be a featured poet in a forthcoming issue of erbacce poetry journal.
May 2019: New Walk Editions launches 2 new pamphlets
New Walk Editions, a poetry pamphlet press edited by Rory Waterman with Nick Everett at the University of Leicester, launched two new pamphlets to a packed Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham, on 23 May. The pamphlets are Fighters, Losers, a sequence of boxing poems by London-Irish poet Declan Ryan, and From the Notebooks of Korah’s Daughter, responses to psalms by Israeli-American poet Linda Stern Zisquit. You can get hold of copies here.
May 2019: Eve Makis awarded Arts Council Funding
Eve has been awarded funding to research and write her fifth novel, the working title of which is The Missing, through the Arts Council’s initiative Developing Your Creative Practice: a new development fund designed to support independent creative practitioners.
May 2019: New pamphlets from Andrew Taylor
Andrew Taylor’s collaborative pamphlet, at first it felt like flying (Indigo Dreams, 2018), has been selected by the Poetry Book Society as a 2019 summer selection. Find out more about the pamphlet here: www.indigodreams.co.uk/baylis-taylor/4594486685. Taylor’s second collaboration of 2019, Lowdeine Chronicles, is published on June 3rd by his own erbacce-press. This pamphlet was written over summer and into early Autumn 2018 with musician and writer Nick Power.
May 2019: Rory Waterman shortlisted for Ledbury Forte Prize
Rory Waterman’s Sarajevo Roses (Carcanet, 2017), is one of five books shortlisted for the Ledbury Forte Prize for Second Collections, which is awarded every two years.
March 2019: Tuesday Shannon in Take Three
PhD student Tuesday Shannon has 23 pages of her poetry in Take Three: New Poets (Soundswrite Press, 2019). She’ll be reading at De Montfort University, Leicester on 23 March, and Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham on 2 May, in support of the anthology.
February 2019: Siân Liddle in East Midlands History and Heritage
Congratulations to Phd student Siân Liddle, who has published an article on plastic surgery in East Midlands History and Heritage: The Great War and its Consequences.
February 2019: new pamphlet by Andrew Taylor
Andrew Taylor’s new pamphlet, a collaboration with Charlie Baylis has just been published by Indigo Dreams. At First it Felt Like Flying is available here. Congratulations, Andrew!
25 January 2019: Bedford International Writing Competition
On Friday 25, Rory Waterman, who acted as poetry judge, presented the prizes for the Bedford International Writing Competition, at Bedford’s Quarry Theatre.
23 January 2019: Totally Wired, featuring Rennie Parker
Totally Wired Poetry featured guest reader Rennie Parker, the author of five poetry collections and a critical book on the Georgian poets. Guest readers included many of our own MA Creative Writing and PhD students. Totally Wired Poetry is a free early evening reading series run by Rory Waterman, Andrew Taylor and Becky Cullen at Wired Cafe-bar in the city centre, with a friendly and supportive open mic (for poetry, fiction, or anything else) and excellent guest readers. Come along and be a part of it! Follow @poetrywired on Twitter for updates.