The School of English has cultivated a thriving environment for outstanding practitioners and researchers in creative writing. Our staff produce fiction, poetry, screen and radio plays, creative non-fiction, literary criticism and editorial work. For many years we have invited best-selling authors and creative scholars to share their work with us. We have fostered links with Writing West Midlands, the Birmingham Literary Festival, the Royal Opera House, the REP and the BBC. We are increasing the reach of these activities through our Institute of Creative and Critical Writing.
The goals of the Institute of Creative and Critical Writing (ICCW) are to enrich the creative writing work of the School and engage with the wider literary culture. It is backed by its Fellows, who are published authors, theatre professionals and academics. They share knowledge and experience with our students through masterclasses, and engage with the School as a whole through our series of research seminars and readings. The Institute extends the reach of or department beyond university boundaries, through its series of public events and its dynamic links with other creative organisations.
Below you can find brief details of our work in this area and PhD supervision interests.
I have published two poetry collections: The Fetch (Nine Arches Press, 2016) and the pamphlet The Body in the Well (HappenStance Press, 2007). My poems have appeared in The Poetry Review, Poetry London, The North, Magma, The Rialto, on BBC Radio 4, and in CAST: The Poetry Business Book of New Contemporary Poets (Smith/Doorstop, 2014), as well as other journals and anthologies. I was a scriptwriter for the BBC radio drama series Silver Street between 2005 and 2007. I was awarded a Hawthornden Fellowship in 2013, and was Poet in Residence at Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry Festival in September 2016.
I am a Trustee of Writing West Midlands, the creative writing development agency for the region, and was a Trustee of Wenlock Poetry Festival 2013-16. I have chaired and participated in many panels for the annual National Writers’ Conference in Birmingham, and chaired several major events for Birmingham Literature Festival.
I am also a literary critic, specialising in English Romanticism. My monograph on Coleridge's poetry, the transnatural, and the dilemmas of creativity, Coleridge and the Daemonic Imagination (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011) won the University English (formerly CCUE) Book Prize 2012, and my essays have appeared in the Times Literary Supplement, The Wordsworth Circle, The Coleridge Bulletin, The Charles Lamb Society Bulletin, and the Ted Hughes Society Journal. I have also contributed chapters on Wordsworth, Keats and Ted Hughes to Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press. Please see the English Literature page for more information.
I am currently supervising doctoral theses on fictional autobiography and the fragmentary novel, representations of the domestic uncanny in contemporary short fiction, and the poetics of disability (the latter through the AHRC Midlands Three Cities Doctoral Training Partnership). I welcome PhD proposals in Creative Writing, especially poetry.