Professor of Poetry, Course Director MA Creative Writing
Professor Gregory Leadbetter is a poet and critic. His research focuses on Romantic poetry and thought, the traditions to which these relate, and the history and practice of poetry more generally.
I became Professor of Poetry in 2019, but I’ve worked at BCU since 2010, when I joined as Lecturer in Creative Writing. I have been Course Director for the MA Creative Writing, and Director of the Institute of Creative and Critical Writing, since 2012. While most of my time is focused on postgraduate studies, I also teach across a number of undergraduate modules, both in literature and creative writing.
I’m both a poet and a literary critic, so I’m jointly committed both to the contemporary life of poetry and to the ongoing value of literary-historical scholarship. I ensure that the one feeds the other, which means that I take great interest in the relation between these different aspects of my work. That relationship and breadth of perspective enters my teaching in all sorts of ways – for example in my emphasis on the continuum between the creative and the critical, whether my students are writing a poem or an essay. My scholarly research focuses on Romantic poetry and thought, the traditions to which these relate, and the history and practice of poetry more generally, so these areas are fundamental to my teaching. I have also written audio drama for the BBC, and this led me to set up the first module to teach the writing of audio drama here at BCU.
Course and learning environment
Our MA in Creative Writing is founded on the belief that writers should be able to access the same kind of specialist training in their craft enjoyed by students of drama, music, and the visual arts. We teach in small groups where no one is crowded out. All of our students benefit from working closely with outstanding authors with extensive experience of contemporary publishing and the wider culture in which it participates. We focus on practical disciplines that strengthen the creative imagination, develop literary knowledge, and cultivate critical sensitivity. We have longstanding connections to literary organisations in our region and beyond, and work closely with our region’s creative writing development agency, Writing West Midlands. Our students also attend the rich programme of guest speakers, masterclasses and public events organised by the Institute of Creative and Critical Writing. We have a friendly, supportive, and stimulating teaching environment. We have a proven track record in enabling our students to progress to doctoral level research, and many of our alumni have achieved major success as authors..
English in Birmingham
Birmingham is an extraordinarily lively city, with something for everyone. Its cultural life is rich, exciting, and diverse. It’s friendly and welcoming, and there are lots of green spaces to enjoy. Besides the city centre, Birmingham has many localities with their own distinct character: Moseley, Kings Heath, Edgbaston and Harborne, to name a few, are great places to visit in their own right and only a short journey away. Situated in the centre of England, Birmingham is also a great base from which to visit the greater midlands, which is full of interest.