This will be another full and exciting academic year for NCLA, with writers of international reputation presenting readings, lectures and workshops, and the Centre will deepen the partnerships it is forging with other organisations in the north-east. It has been inspiring to witness the quality of the readings, enthusiasm of audiences, the creativity of writers attending short courses, and the continuing successes of students, staff and alumni to date.
NCLA Director, Professor Linda Anderson, is currently on research leave to complete a book about Elizabeth Bishop. She has been invited by the Royal Society of Literature to give the TLS lecture on Elizabeth Bishop. This will mark the centenary of Bishop’s birth and will take place at The Courtauld Institute of Art on Monday 17th October at 7pm. Linda is staying in close contact with NCLA and will be attending many of the readings. During Linda Anderson’s absence, Dr Viccy Adams, a NCLA alumnus, will be working for the Centre as Creative Writing Development Officer.
NCLA has been delighted to hear of the recent great success of two of its Professors of Creative Writing. It was announced at the Edinburgh International Book Festival that Jackie Kay has won the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Book Award for her memoir Red Dust Road (2010). Red Dust Roadcan now be downloaded as an audiobook from Audible.
Having already been a Poetry Book Society choice earlier this year, Sean O’Brien’s most recent collection, November (2011), has now been shortlisted for the Forward Prize for the Best Collection, a prize that he has won three times previously.
On September 17th sixty writers took part in a series of creative writing workshops run by NCLA’s online publication Friction Magazine. in aid of the East Africa famine. The day was jointly sponsored by NCLA and the Faculty of Arts, Design and Media at the University of Sunderland. All the workshops were led by successful writers who generously donated their time, including Radio 4 Saturday Live poet in residence Kate Fox who also ran the Great North Run as its poet in residence. All the workshops sold out and the next issue of frictionmagazine.co.uk will be devoted to work written on the day. There is still an opportunity for work to be submitted by writers who could not participate in the workshops. The deadline is October 1st, and details of how to submit are on the frictionmagazine.co.uk website.
Newcastle University is delighted to be working with the Booker Prize Foundation for the second consecutive year on its project to encourage and celebrate the power of fiction with 3,000 books to be distributed across Newcastle University’s campus. The One Book that everyone will be encouraged to read and discuss this year is Andrea Levy’s The Long Song (Headline Review, 2010) and the project will culminate at Northern Stage with Andrea Levy in conversation with Jackie Kay on Tuesday 25th October at 7pm. Tickets (£6/£4) are available online from the webstore. Tickets are free for Newcastle University students, but booking is essential. Alternatively, call Melanie Birch on 0191 222 7619 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
6th October - 6.30pm-7.30pm: Newcastle City Library
12th October - 6.30pm-7.30pm: Northern Stage, Barras Bridge, Newcastle
17th October - 6pm-7pm: Waterstone’s Bookshop, Monument, Newcastle
19th October - 7.15pm-8.15pm: Literary and Philosophical Society, Newcastle
As Linda France’s Leverhulme Trust artist in residence position at Moorbank, Newcastle University’s botanic garden draws to a close, we invite you to join us at 6.00pm on Wednesday 19th October, to come Through the Garden Gate to celebrate the work Linda made there, which includes a sculpture in the Desert House and an illustrated pamphlet of poems. We are also proud to announce that Colette Bryce will be starting as the Leverhulme Trust artist in residence at the Dove Marine Laboratory, and Viccy Adams will be Leverhulme Trust artist in residence at the School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh for 2011/12.
To book a free place at Moorbank, please call Melanie Birch on 0191 222 7619 or email email@example.com
NCLA’s highly-rated series of short courses begins again this semester with workshops run by a world-class team of writers including WN Herbert, Jackie Kay and Sean O’Brien. As places fill up very quickly and people often return year after year, anyone who is interested is urged to enrol as soon as possible.
Poetry & Translation runs from 29th September to 3rd November with tutors Linda France, Desmond Graham and Francis Jones. Knowledge of a second language is not necessary for this course, which explores the insight into creativity given by the act of translation.
Poetry Masterclass, which runs from 29th September to 3rd November is one of a pair of advanced workshops taught in independent six week courses with tutors including Colette Bryce, Linda France, WN Herbert and Sean O’Brien.
Memoir Writing runs from 29th September to 3rd November with tutor Alison Gangel, whose own memoir The Sun Hasn’t Fallen from the Sky (Bloomsbury, 2011) was an instant success. The emphasis of the course will be on reading and thinking critically about memoirs and the limits and possibilities of the memoir as a form.
Fiction Masterclass: Planning a Novel runs from 29th September to 3rd November with Kachi Ozumba as tutor. Kachi’s first novel, The Shadow of a Smile was shortlisted for the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize. The course aims to extend the skills of prose writers already engaged in writing a novel.
Writing & Health: Ideas & Practice runs from 10th November to 15th December with Cynthia Fuller and looks at how creative writing can be used to work with groups in health care and other community settings.
Poetry: The Spirit of Place, which runs from 10th November to 15th December with Linda France, is a practical course, exploring how the sense of place informs and influences poetry.
Writing for Radio (1), which runs from 10th November to 15th December, is led by Margaret Wilkinson, whose most recent piece for radio Can You Hear Me was the Play of the Week Podcast in June this year. This is a course for those who want to learn all about writing for radio. Please note that a new course, Writing for Radio (2), which is aimed at those with some radio or scriptwriting experience, will be running early next year.
Poetry: On Form runs from 10th November to 15th December, with Colette Bryce as tutor. Aimed at those who write and re-write poems this course takes a fresh look at how some contemporary poets are revitalising traditional forms.
All courses run from 5pm–7pm and cost £80 full price/£60 concessions (60+/benefits/full-time student).
To book a place, or for further information, call Melanie Birch on 0191 222 7619 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Fire Balloons: the Incendiary Letters of Lowell and Bishop is the title for the Elizabeth Bishop Centenary Lecture to be given by Paul Muldoon on Thursday 29th September at 6.30pm in the Curtis Auditorium, Herschel Building, Newcastle University.
Since Elizabeth Bishop’s death in 1979 her reputation has grown steadily and now eclipses that of most of her contemporaries. She is the poet most often cited by poets in the UK as a major influence. This event is a tremendous opportunity not only to hear Muldoon talk about Bishop but also to see a film focusing on Bishop’s influence on contemporary poets and the effect her childhood in Canada had on her writing, which was made by Linda Anderson after her recent visit to Great Village, Nova Scotia, where Bishop lived.
First Thursday readings recommence on 6th October at 1pm with Christy Ducker, award-winning poet and Newcastle University Creative Writing PhD student. Her pamphlet, Armour, was a winner in the 2010 Poetry Business Book & Pamphlet Competition and has just been published. The venue is the Robert Boyle Lecture Theatre in the Armstrong Building.
Ali Smith will be discussing her latest novel, There But For The (Hamish Hamilton, 2011) with Jackie Kay – and the audience – on Thursday 13th October at 7pm in Culture Lab, Newcastle University. Ali Smith has been winning prizes since she first began to publish in 1995. One reviewer wrote ‘Ali Smith brims with stories...Everything has a tale attached which seems right for an author who believes with all her heart that stories change lives.’ Another reviewer writes of There But For The that it is ‘playful, humorous, serious, profoundly clever and profoundly affecting.’
Congratulations to Helen Limon, Creative Writing PhD student, on receiving the
Creative Writing PhD student Stevie Ronnie has been commissioned by Durham City Arts to produce Brass Book, a series of digital books which will link Durham Literature Festival with Brass: Durham International Music Festival. The books, which combine traditional bookmaking techniques with cutting edge technology, will be produced in collaboration with communities from County Durham. The project launches with an exhibition of artworks by Stevie which explore the relationship between technology and the book. The exhibition will be held at Durham Town Hall and runs for a month from the 1st October.