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School of English news - April 2015

Accolades for Creative Writers

Professor Don PatersonProfessor Don Paterson has been awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Professor Paterson joins writers honoured for their published work including Sir Walter Scott, Adam Smith, James Hutton, James Robertson and JK Rowling.

Zinnie HarrisZinnie Harris has won the Berwin Lee Playwrights Award. The award of $25,000 is in the form of a commission, to give recipients the freedom to develop plays they want to write without restriction, for performance in London and New York. Zinnie’s plays include Further than the Furthest Thing and How to Hold Your Breath

Dragon play by Oliver EmanuelOliver Emanuel’s play, Dragon, is to be included in the Edinburgh International Festival. Dragon will play at the Royal Lyceum Theatre from 14-16 August. According to The Scotsman, audiences are unlikely to ‘see a more beautiful, thoughtful and fiercely dramatic theatrical treatment’ of childhood grief.

Professor Plain gives keynote lecture

Professor Plain will be giving a keynote lecture at the 'Agatha Christie: Hidden Horizons' conference at the University of Exeter, 13-14 April. 

This international conference brings together academics and Christie experts working in literature, cinema, theatre and heritage studies to discuss the astonishing influence of the woman who is not only still a global bestseller, but also the world's most translated author. Gill's talk, '"Of all that we will not speak": Murder in postwar time', will focus on Christie in context, examining her writing in the aftermath of World War Two. The other keynote speakers are the novelist Sophie Hannah, who has recently resurrected Hercule Poirot in her new novel The Monogram Murders (2014), and John Curran, Christie archivist and editor of her writing notebooks.

Publications and podcasts

Ruth Thomas thumbnail

Translation of Ruth Thomas' New Statesman article into Chinese and publication of Lesley Glaister's short story Sleeper.

Ruth ThomasRuth Thomas’ New Statesman article 'The Importance of Being Lonely' is currently being translated into Chinese and will be published by Hainan Press later this year in the anthology On Happiness. Ruth has recorded the first of a series of weekly podcasts for the Royal Literary Fund on the subject of writing and a writer's life. 'Lime Soda Afternoons' can be heard on iTunes Store and is also available via @rlfwriters. 

Lesley Glaister’s short story - Sleeper – has been published in the Spring/Summer edition of Gutter.


Vanessa and Virginia cover thumbnail

Lectures by Phillip Mallett, Professor Susan Sellers, Professor Don Paterson, Professor John Burnside and Amy Shelton, and Dr Emma Sutton.

Mr Phillip Mallett lectured in Oxford on 14 March on 'Hardy, Wessex, and the Poetry of War'.

Vanessa and Virginia coverProfessor Susan Sellers will be taking part in a panel event as part of a conference ‘Breaking Through the Glass Ceiling: A Conversation with Women in Academia’. The event is being held at the Byre Theatre in St Andrews on 16 April and is free and open to all (tickets required).

Professor Sellers will also be giving the Spring Lecture to the Friends of the St Andrews Library on 9 April. The lecture is titled ‘From Page to Stage: Writing the Lives of Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell’. Professor Sellers will talk about writing her novel Vanessa and Virginia and adapting it for the stage.

Professor Don Paterson will give a reading of his work at the University of Lausanne on 29 April.

Burnside Bees and HumansJohn Burnside and Amy Shelton will be reading from their collaborative works at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh on 7 April at 7pm.  They will also discuss the artistic nature of collaboration, the creation of myth, and what connects bees, humans, the environment and arts. 

Dr Emma Sutton will give the plenary lecture '"Tristan" in the Tropics' at the conference 'Modernist Musics and Political Aesthetics' at Nottingham University, 8-10 April.

Postgraduate News

Rose Harris-Birtill’s essay and Adam Welstead's conference presentation.

Rose Harris-Birtill’s essay '“A row of screaming Russian dolls”: Escaping the Panopticon in David Mitchell’s number9dream' has just been published in the peer-reviewed journal SubStance, in its David Mitchell special edition, and is now also available via Project Muse.

On 29 April Adam Welstead will be presenting at the Brave New Worlds: The Dystopia in Modern and Contemporary Fiction conference at Newcastle University. His paper is entitled ‘“One-Dimensional Society”, Dissensus and Resistance in Twenty-First Century British Dystopian Literature’.