Skip navigation to content

School of English news - October 2014

National Theatre Award for Oliver Emanuel

Oliver Emanuel's play Dragon has been named Best Play for Children and Young People in the UK Theatre Awards 2014. The play was commissioned by the National Theatre of Scotland and opened at the Citizen’s Theatre in October 2013. A co-production with Scottish touring company Vox Motus and the Tianjin People Arts Theatre, China, the play subsequently toured Scotland and opened in Tianjin, China in 2014. 

View trailer on Vimeo

Dragon by Oliver Emanuel

John Burnside Symposium

The University of Portsmouth hosts a one-day Symposium on the work of Professor John Burnside.

On 14 November, a range of speakers will discuss the work of Professor John Burnside at a one-day Symposium at the University of Portsmouth. The topics covered will include: 'being, language, space and place', 'the environment and eco-critical perspectives and approaches', 'human/non-human relations, life forms and animals', 'Burnside’s use of, and relationship to, the other arts', 'loss, longing, love, sex and violence', and 'nonfiction writing, memoirs; father-son relations, childhood and adulthood'.

Readings, lectures, workshops and broadcasts

Readings for Jacob Polley and Professor Don Paterson; talks for Professor Susan Sellers, Dr Peter Mackay, Dr Margaret Connolly and Dr Ian Johnson; radio broadcast for Dr Sara Lodge.

On 4 November, Jacob Polley will be reading at Blackwell's Bookshop in Edinburgh as part of the Poetry Book Society's Next Generation series.

Also on 4 November, Professor Susan Sellers will give a talk to the Cambridge Libraries Group on her work.
On 7 November, she will give a lecture as part of the 'Clare Hall Literary Talks' Series at Clare Hall, Cambridge.

On 5 November, at the Scottish Poetry Library, Dr Peter Mackay will take part in a 'Poet-to-Poet' encounter with Maciej Wozniak. On 17 November, Peter will give the 'Stateless Literatures' seminar under the title '"A knowledge of stumbling": contemporary Scottish Gaelic Poetry' in St Andrews.

On 7 November, Professor Don Paterson will read at the Reading Poetry Festival at the University of Reading; on 14-15 November, he is a Special Guest at the Scottish Poetry Library Festival in Edinburgh.

On 8 October, Dr Margaret Connolly was invited to University College Dublin as part of their Distinguished Lecture series. Margaret gave a lecture entitled 'Read, Mark, Learn: How a Tudor Gentleman used his old Medieval Books', as well as a postgraduate workshop called 'An Introduction to Manuscripts' which focussed on 15th century manuscripts and palaeographical skills.

Also in October, Dr Ian Johnson was invited to speak in Amsterdam at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences Colloquium on Late Medieval Manuscript Miscellanies on the subject of ‘Collecting the Self: Personal Miscellaneity in the “Canterbury Texts” of Geoffrey Chaucer and in Thomas Usk and Reginald Pecock’. In September he was invited to the 2014 CARMEN Worldwide Medieval Network Annual Meeting, hosted this year in the United Kingdom by the University of Stirling, where he gave a series of workshops. On 22-24 October, Ian was at the Sorbonne, Paris, with Lucie Dole┼żalová (Prague), Géraldine Vesseyrre (Sorbonne) and Elise Boillet (Tours) as co-organiser of the meeting of the COST-Action New Communities of Interpretation: Contexts, Strategies and Processes of Religious Transformation in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe. The meeting was entitled Strategies of Transformation: Translating, Writing, Reading, Collecting and Performing, and addressed the subject of ‘Focusing on the page/book periphery: what do marginalia, marks of ownership and other textual accretions tell us?’ On 19 November, Ian is speaking in the Literature and Languages Research Seminar at the University of Stirling on ‘Self and Self-commentary in Late Medieval English translating’.

On 11 October, Dr Sara Lodge appeared on Monocle24, a London-based radio station, in a programme on the topic of speechwriting. The other panellists were David Kusnet, formerly Chief Speechwriter for Bill Clinton, and Antonin Baudry, former speechwriter and advisor to French prime minister, Dominique de Villepin. Sara has also recently been asked to join the Network for Oratory and Politics (NOP), which will be launched at the University of Glasgow in February 2015.

Gavin Wallace Fellowship

Ruth Thomas has been shortlisted for the Gavin Wallace Fellowship, an annual award established in 2013 by Creative Scotland to honour Dr Gavin Wallace for his commitment to supporting the Scottish Literature Community.

Postgraduate news

Christian Livermores broadcast thumbnail

Broadcasts for Christian Livermore; poetry readings for Claudia Daventry; conference talk for Anna West; residency for Lenore Bell; and November meetings of the PG Forum.

Christian Livermores broadcast

Christian Livermore has been interviewed for a BBC Radio Scotland programme called 'The Walking Dead', which examines Scottish belief in revenants. Writer A.L. Kennedy was the presenter for the half-hour documentary feature, which examined belief in revenants from the Middle Ages through to the Reformation. Christian's portion of the programme was recorded at Melrose Abbey, home to a number of twelfth century revenant tales. Christian related the tales and discussed how they fitted into medieval eschatology, the doctrine of the Resurrection, and lay folkloric belief. The programme aired at on 29 October on BBC Radio Scotland and can be heard here:

Christian also appeared on BBC Radio Scotland's 'The Culture Studio with Janice Forsyth' to discuss the documentary. The programme was live on 27 October, but can be heard on iPlayer until the 27 November. It is the episode dated 27/10/2014, and the segment Christian is in comes at 1:40:47:

On 2 November, Claudia Daventry is reading at the Derwent Poetry Festival; on 28 November she will be reading at the London Review Bookshop.

On 14 November, Anna West will be presenting at the North American Victorian Studies Association Conference in London, Ontario. Her paper is titled 'Ants, Insects, and Automatons: Classifying Creatures in Hardy's The Return of the Native'.

Lenore Bell has been accepted for a one-week residency at Hospitalfield Arts for the week of November 17-23 to work on her novel.

There will be two meetings of the School's Postgraduate Forum this month. On Wednesday 12 November, Eadaoin Lynch will speak on 'Louis MacNeice and the crisis of wartime verse'; on Wednesday 26 November Michael Nott will discuss 'Who would be a human who could help it? Sadness and self in Gunn's "Misanthropos" and beyond.'

Alumnae news

Christopher Smarts English Lyrics thumbnail

Dr Ros Powell has published the book of her thesis with Ashgate Press. Entitled Christopher Smart's English Lyrics, her book offers the first full-length study of Christopher Smart’s translations and the place and function of translation in Smart’s poetry.

Christopher Smarts English Lyrics

Proposing a new approach to understanding the relationship between Smart’s poetics and his practice, Dr Powell draws on translation theory from the early modern period to the present day and addresses Smart's translations of Horace, Phaedrus and the Psalms alongside the better-known religious works such as Jubilate Agno and A Song to David. Five recurrent threads run throughout: the effect of translation on the identity of a narrative voice in a rewritten text; the techniques that are used to present translated texts to a new literary, cultural and linguistic readership; performance and reading contexts; the translation of great works as an attempt to achieve literary permanence; and, finally, the authorial influence of Smart himself in terms of the overt religiosity and nationalism that he champions in his writing. In exploring Smart’s major translation projects and revisiting his original poems, the book offers insights into classical reception and translation theory; attitudes towards censorship; expressions of nationalism in the period; developments in liturgy and hymnody; and the composition of children’s books and school texts in the early modern era. Ros received her doctorate from the School in 2012, and is a lecturer in English Literature at Liverpool Hope University.