Course Director: Clare Morgan, MA, MPhil, DPhil, FRSA
Clare Morgan is a fiction writer, literary critic, and founder of the MSt in Creative Writing. Her most recent novel, A Book for All and None (Weidenfeld & Nicolson), was shortlisted for the Author’s Club Best Novel award. She has published a collection of stories, An Affair of the Heart, and her short fiction has been widely anthologized, and broadcast on BBC Radio 4. Her book, What Poetry Brings to Business, was published by University of Michigan Press. Clare is a member of Oxford University’s English Faculty and Director of the Kellogg College Centre for Creative Writing, where she is convenor of a popular seminar series. She is former Chair of the Literature Bursaries Panel of the Arts Council of Wales, Literary Mentor for Southern Arts and Literature Wales, and literary assessor for the Welsh Books Council. She is an Academician for the Rathbones-Folio Prize Academy, and reviews occasionally for the Times Literary Supplement and other periodicals. She is currently working on a new novel and publishing on creative writing and poetry and business.
Anna Beer, MA, PhD, FRSA
Senior Course Tutor: Anna Beer, MA, PhD, FRSA
Anna Beer is a biographer and literary critic. She was University Lecturer in Literature at the Department for Continuing Education, Oxford, between 2003 and 2010, and remains a Fellow of Kellogg College. She is the author of biographies of John Milton (Milton: Poet, Pamphleteer and Patriot, 2008), Bess Throckmorton (Bess: the life of Lady Ralegh, Wife to Sir Walter, 2004), and, in 2018, Patriot or Traitor: the Life and Death of Sir Walter Ralegh. She is also actively engaged in promoting women in music. Her 2016 Sounds and Sweet Airs: the Forgotten Women of Classical Music has led to various collaborations with performers and composers, on radio, television and concerts. She is currently working on a writer called William Shakespeare.
Senior Course Tutor: Amal Chatterjee, MA, MLitt
Amal Chatterjee was born in Sri Lanka and grew up in Kolkata/Calcutta, India. The author of a novel, Across the Lakes, and a historical study, Representations of India, 1740-1840, and editor and contributor to Writers on Writing, he has had a Scottish Arts Council Writers Bursary, and was short-listed for the Crossword India Best Novel Award and for a Creative Scotland Award. Amal has also written short plays, staged in London in 2017 and 2018. Currently based in Amsterdam, he has reviewed for the Dutch newspaper Trouw, and advises the literary festival of the Hague. Amal is currently working on short and long fiction, and drama.
Senior Associate Tutor: Jane Draycott, MA
Jane Draycott has a particular interest in combined arts and collaborative work. Her most recent collection is The Occupant (Carcanet, 2016), a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, containing work written during her time as Writer in Residence in Amsterdam in 2013. Nominated three times for the Forward Prize for Poetry, her collection Over was shortlisted for the 2009 T.S. Eliot Prize. Previous collections include The Night Tree, Prince Rupert’s Drop and, from Two Rivers Press, Tideway and Christina the Astonishing (with Peter Hay and Lesley Saunders). Other awards include the Keats Shelley Prize for Poetry, the International Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine, and several awards for her audio work with Elizabeth James. Her translation of the medieval dream-vision Pearl (2011) was a Stephen Spender Prize-winner. Storms Under the Skin (Two Rivers Press), her 2017 translations from the work of artist-poet Henri Michaux, is a PBS Recommendation.
Rebecca Abrams is the author of six works of fiction and non-fiction. Her debut novel, Touching Distance (Picador, 2009) was shortlisted for a McKitterick Prize for Literature and won the MJA Open Book Award for Fiction. Her most recent non-fiction titles include The Jewish Journey: 4000 years in 22 objects (Ashmolean Museum, 2017) and When Parents Die (Taylor & Francis, 2012, 3rd edition), shortlisted for a MIND Award. Rebecca has taught creative writing on the Masters in Creative Writing at Oxford University since 2008 and is currently the Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at Brasenose College, Oxford. An Honorary Teaching Fellow on the acclaimed Writing Programme at Warwick University from 2005-8, she has held posts as the First Story Writer-in-Residence at Larkmead School in Abingdon from 2010-12 and Gladstone’s Library Writer-in-Residence from 2013-14. A former columnist on the Daily Telegraph, she is also a journalist of many years’ standing, the recipient of an Amnesty International Press Award, and a regular literary critic for the Financial Times.
Caroline Bird is a poet and playwright. She has five collections of poetry published by Carcanet. Her most recent collection, In These Days of Prohibition, was shortlisted for the 2017 TS Eliot Prize and The Ted Hughes Award. A two time winner of the Foyles Young Poets Award, her first collection Looking Through Letterboxes was published in 2002 when she was 15. She won a major Eric Gregory Award in 2002 and was shortlisted for the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize in 2001 and the Dylan Thomas Prize in 2008 and 2010. She was one of the five official poets at the 2012 London Olympics.
Wendy Brandmark, MA
Wendy Brandmark is a novelist and short story writer. Her collection of short stories, He Runs the Moon: Tales from the Cities, was published by Holland Park Press in 2016 and longlisted for the 2017 Edgehill Short Story Prize. She won first prize for the short story in The Bridport Prize in 2016. Her short stories have appeared widely in anthologies and journals, including North American Review, The Massachusetts Review, Stand Magazine and The Warwick Review. She has been a recipient of an Arts Council award towards the writing of short fiction. Her last novel, The Stray American (Holland Park Press, 2014), was longlisted for the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize. Her novel, The Angry Gods (Dewi Lewis Publishing, 2003), explored racism and difference in New York City in the 1950s and 1970s. She has had writing residencies at the Oberpfälzer Künstlerhaus in Germany, the Virginia Centre for the Creative Arts, and the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Ireland. Her fiction reviews have appeared in a range of magazines and newspapers, including the Times Literary Supplement, The Literary Review and the Independent. She is former director of the creative writing programme at Birkbeck College’s Faculty of Continuing Education. She now teaches fiction writing at the City Lit. She is currently working on short stories and a new novel.
Ben Brown, MA
Ben Brown read Law at Worcester College and taught at Brasenose and Balliol before his first two plays were produced by Alan Ayckbourn at the Stephen Joseph Theatre. His play, Three Days in May (national tour and West End), won the Whatsonstage Best New Play Award and, translated as 3 Dias En Mayo, the Mexican Theatre Critics Best Play Award in 2016. His other plays include All Things Considered (Hampstead Theatre and productions in Paris, Heidelberg and Sydney), Larkin With Women (TMA Best New Play and Express Play of the Year) and The Promise (Orange Tree Theatre). He also works as a screen consultant for Cuba Pictures, the production arm of Curtis Brown. 3 Dias En Mayo began its fourth season in Mexico City at the Teatro Helenico in the spring of 2019.
Frank Egerton, MA
Frank Egerton studied English at Keble College, Oxford, and from 1995 to 2008 reviewed fiction for publications that included The Times, TLS and the Financial Times. He is interested in both the close examination of fiction and how technologies such as ebooks and print-on-demand are changing the publishing industry and offering fresh opportunities to writers. He is a member of the Society of Authors and AWP, and is a former editor of the Oxford Writer. He was chair of Writers in Oxford from 2008 to 2010. His first novel, The Lock, was published in paperback in 2003, the ebook version having been an Independent e-Book Awards finalist in Santa Barbara in 2002. His second novel, Invisible, was published in 2010. Also in 2010, he founded the micropublishing imprint StreetBooks. In 2016 he was co-investigator on a digital project looking at narrative shapes, and has recently completed a memoir entitled ‘Trust: A Family Story’. He is a member of Common Room at Kellogg College. As well as teaching creative writing, he is a librarian and subject consultant with the Bodleian Libraries.
Jonathan Evans has written more than a hundred and thirty commissioned scripts, from short stop-motion animation up to feature films, including many episodes of continuing dramas. His writing for children includes the BAFTA and RTS-winning Tracy Beaker Returns. His comedy feature film script, Act Your Age, was developed with the UK Film Council after winning their national ‘25 Words’ competition. He has written an animation feature script for Neomis Animation, Paris, as well as many 11-minute animation episodes for Caligari Films, Munich. Jonathan has worked as a television story-liner for Freemantle, Grundy and Hewson International, and has assessed feature film scripts for Buena Vista.
Roopa Farooki is the author of six critically acclaimed novels (The Good Children, The Flying Man, Half Life, The Way Things Look to Me, Corner Shop, and Bitter Sweets) published with Headline and Pan Macmillan. She has been shortlisted for the Orange Award for New Writers and the Muslim Writers’ Awards, and also been longlisted for the Women’s Prize (twice), the DSC South Asian Literature Prize and the Impac Dublin Literary Award. Her books have been published internationally in thirteen countries across Europe, and in the US, and she has written for The Guardian, The Telegraph and The Times. In 2013 she was awarded the John C. Laurence Award from the Authors’ Foundation for writing which improves understanding between races, and an Arts Council Literature award. She has been the Royal Literary Fund Fellow for the University of Kent, and is studying medicine at St George’s University of London. Her sixth novel, The Good Children, was called ‘the outstanding novel of the year’ by John Harding of The Daily Mail, in their 2014 Books of the Year feature. Following her 2016 shortlisting for the Commonword Prize for Children’s Fiction, Roopa is currently working on diverse fiction for young people. Her new children’s series, The Double Detectives Medical Mysteries, will be launched by Oxford University Press in 2020.
James Hawes MA, PhD
James Hawes studied German at Hertford College, Oxford, before taking a postgraduate certificate in Practical Theatre and a PhD on Kafka and Nietzsche. He was a full time university lecturer for seven years until his first novel, A White Merc with Fins, was published in 1996. He has had two feature films released, starring Joseph Fiennes and Michael Sheen respectively, and was co-producer on both. His fifth novel, Speak for England (2005), predicted Brexit and has been adapted by Andrew Davies, though not yet produced. His sixth novel with Jonathan Cape, My Little Armalite, was published in 2008, as was his controversial biography Excavating Kafka, which became the basis of a BBC TV documentary. Englanders and Huns, a richly-illustrated re-telling of the cultural lead-up to WWI, which was shortlisted for the Paddy Power Political Books of the Year 2015. His latest book, The Shortest History of Germany (2017), has been translated into over a dozen languages, and was the official #8 UK non-fiction paperback bestseller of 2018. He is Director of Creative Writing at Oxford Brookes University and has been External Examiner on many other creative writing programmes, including the MA at the University of East Anglia.
Ella is an award-winning writer whose work has been performed throughout the UK and abroad. In May 2019, her most recent play, Anna will open at The National Theatre. Previous to that - Oil opened at The Almeida Theatre in October 2017 and The Writer opened there in Spring 2018. Both works have since toured internationally. She is developing new work for The National Theatre, The Old Vic and Manhattan Theatre Club. She is also developing various projects for TV and film - she has recently worked on The Tales of The Unexpected for BBC One. Ella was a Thornton Wilder Fellow, and has twice been a MacDowell Colony Fellow.
Belinda Jack, DPhil
Belinda Jack is Fellow and Tutor at Christ Church, University of Oxford. Her highly successful publications include The Woman Reader, George Sand: A Woman’s Life Writ Large and Negritude and Literary Criticism: The History and Theory of “Negro-African” Literature in French. The Woman Reader was selected as a Choice Outstanding Academic 2012 title. As well as her six books, Professor Jack is widely published through her many articles, essays, chapters and reviews. Her recent articles and reviews have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Literary Review, Times Literary Supplement, Times Higher Education Supplement, BBC History Magazine and Littérature. She is a regular on the BBC and international radio and television, as well as a frequent speaker at literary festivals throughout the British isles and beyond. Professor Jack was the Gresham Professor of Rhetoric from 2013 to 2017. Her latest book, Very Short Introduction to Reading (OUP), was published in April 2019.
Alice Jolly, MA
Alice Jolly graduated from Oxford University with an MA in Modern History in 1989. She has published two novels (What the Eye Doesn’t See and If Only You Knew) with Simon and Schuster. Her plays include Love Match and Before The Fire Burns Out, both of which were funded by The Arts Council and performed at the Cheltenham Everyman and the Cheltenham Festival of Literature. Her monologue A Blue Bonnet for Samuel has been performed at the Tristan Bates Theatre and at The Space, both in London. Alice won the V. S. Pritchett Memorial Prize awarded by The Royal Society of Literature in 2014. She published a memoir, Dead Babies And Seaside Towns, with Unbound in July 2014, which won the Pen / Ackerley Award in 2015. Her novel Mary Ann Sate, Imbecile was published by Unbound in June 2019 and was one of the Walter Scott Prize Academy recommendations for 2109. Between the Regions of Kindness will be published by Unbound in 2109.
Anjali Joseph is an award-winning novelist. Her first novel, Saraswati Park (2010), won the Desmond Elliott Prize, the Betty Trask Prize, and the Vodafone Crossword Book Award for Fiction in India. Another Country, her second novel, appeared in 2012, and was longlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize. The Living appeared in 2016; an extract from the novel appeared in GRANTA’s India issue earlier that year. Extracts from her new novel, Keeping in Touch, appear in the anthology Others and Harvard Review. She read English at Trinity College, Cambridge, and has taught English at the Sorbonne and creative writing at the University of East Anglia, where she did an MA in creative writing and a PhD in Creative and Critical Writing including a long essay on Jean Rhys, spaces, and difference. She regularly teaches at the Arvon Foundation, has been a visiting Distinguished Writer at Widener College in the United States, and occasionally reviews fiction, including for the Times Literary Supplement.
Marti Leimbach is the author of several novels including Age Of Consent, published in July 2016 by Penguin Random House (USA) and Fourth Estate (UK). Her international bestseller, Dying Young, was translated into over fifteen languages and made into a major motion picture starring Julia Roberts. Her novel, Daniel Isn’t Talking, was also widely translated and a Waterstones summer read bestseller. Other novels include The Man From Saigon, Love and Houses, Sun Dial Street and Falling Backwards. Born in Washington DC, Marti graduated from Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges and was a Regent’s Fellow in the Creative Writing Program at the University of California, Irvine. Marti was shortlisted in the category of Innovation in Teaching in the Department for Continuing Education as part of the Oxford University Student Union Teaching Awards.
Jenny Lewis, MA, MPhil
Jenny Lewis is a poet, playwright, children’s author, songwriter and translator who has had plays and poetry cycles performed at UK theatres including the Royal Festival Hall, the Leicester Haymarket Theatre and (for children) the Polka Theatre, London. Her first book of poetry, When I Became an Amazon (Iron Press, 1996/ Bilingua, Russia 2002), was dramatised, broadcast on BBC Woman’s Hour, translated into Russian and made into an opera which had its world premiere in Perm, Russia, in 2017. Recent work includes Taking Mesopotamia (Oxford Poets/ Carcanet, 2014); After Gilgamesh (2012) and Stories for Survival (2015) both for Pegasus Theatre, Oxford, and three chapbooks in English and Arabic, with the exiled Iraqi poet Adnan al-Sayegh published by Mulfran Press: Now as Then: Mesopotamia-Iraq (2013), Singing for Inanna (2014), and The Flood (2017), which are part of the award-winning, Arts Council-funded ‘Writing Mesopotamia’ project aimed at strengthening ties between English and Arabic-speaking communities. Her books have been translated into Farsi and Arabic and published in Iran (Soolar, 2017), Lebanon (Al-Rafidain, 2018) and Iraq (Al-Sutoor, 2018). Her latest book, Gilgamesh Retold (Carcanet Press, 2018), was a New Statesman Book of the Year, 2018, a Carcanet Book of the Year, 2018 and a London Review of Books Bookshop Book of the Week on publication.
Harry Man, MA
Harry Man is a poet, editor and translator. His first book of poetry, Lift (Tall Lighthouse, 2013), won the Bridges of Struga Award. His work has appeared in Magma, Poetry International, Poems in the Waiting Room, and New Welsh Review, and at London’s Southbank Centre among other places. He has also been a Hawthornden Fellow, a TOAST poetry fellow and he has collaborated with contemporary dance choreographers, scientists and visual artists. He was an artist-in-residence at the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art and Hurst Castle and a poet in residence at the Wordsworth Trust. Finders Keepers, a collaboration with the illustrator Sophie Gainsley was shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry. His most recent books are Thereafter (‘Deretter’) a book-length elegy written with Norwegian poet Endre Ruset and published by Flamme Forlag and Greatist Hits II: The Selected Collaborations of Harry Man and SJ Fowler written with SJ Fowler and published by Kingston University Press.
Jamie McKendrick was born in Liverpool in 1955, lives in Oxford and has published seven books of poetry including The Marble Fly (1997), which won the Forward Prize, Out There (2012), which won the Hawthornden Prize and most recently Anomaly (2018). A selected poems, Sky Nails, was published by Faber in 2001 and a new Selected Poems was published in 2016. He edited The Faber Book of 20th-Century Italian Poems in 2004, and his translations of Giorgio Bassani’s The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, The Gold-Rimmed Spectacles, The Smell of Hay, Within the Walls, Behind the Door and The Heron are published by Penguin Modern Classics. They are now gathered together in a single volume The Novel of Ferrara published also by Norton in the States. His translation of Valerio Magrelli’s poems, The Embrace, won the Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize and the John Florio Prize. He has translated Pier Paolo Pasolini’s verse play Fabrication, and most recently Archipelago, the poems of Antonella Anedda, which also won the John Florio Prize. The Foreign Connection, a book of his writings on poetry and art, is due to be published in 2020.
Peter Moore is a non-fiction writer. His books Endeavour (2018) and The Weather Experiment (2015) have been Sunday Times Top Ten Bestsellers and his debut, Damn His Blood, was serialised as a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week. His work has been translated widely and The Weather Experiment was chosen as a New York Times Notable Book of 2015. He freelances regularly for The Literary Review, presents a podcast called Travels Through Time for History Today and has been a writer in residence at Gladstone’s Library in Flintshire.
Helen Mort was born in Sheffield. Her first collection, Division Street (Chatto & Windus, 2013), won the Fenton Aldeburgh Prize and was shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize and the Costa Prize. Her second collection, No Map Could Show Them (Chatto & Windus, 2016), is a PBS Recommendation. Helen is a former Poet in Residence at The Wordsworth Trust and Douglas Caster Cultural Fellow at the University of Leeds and now lectures at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Jamie Nuttgens, MA
Jamie Nuttgens is a writer, producer, director and editor with over 25 years’ experience in film and TV. He started in the theatre as Assistant Director at Sheffield Crucible, Soho Poly Theatre and Croydon Warehouse among others, before creating his own Arts Council-funded Touring Theatre Company. He also worked in commercial radio as an award-winning writer/producer. On graduating from the National Film & Television School he joined the BBC Drama department, to script edit Jimmy McGovern’s The Lakes and Casualty. He produced The Bill for ITV for several years and for Channel 4 he co-produced Red Riding, three films based on the novels of David Peace. He won the Raindance Best UK Feature Award for his work with UK Indian writer/director Smita Bhide. He is currently Head of Drama at Ten66 TV developing BAME shows and stories across several platforms, and is also currently Course Leader for MA Screenwriting at the Met Film School, Ealing Studios.
Tina Pepler, PhD
Tina Pepler is a dramatist who works in radio and television. She has written extensively for BBC radio – original plays, dramatisations, and drama-documentaries – which have been broadcast on Radio 4, Radio 3 and the World Service. Her television work includes Say Hello to the Real Dr Snide, an original play for Channel 4; a two-hour historical drama-documentary, Princes in the Tower (Channel 4); and several episodes of the Victorian/Edwardian investigative drama-documentary series A Most Mysterious Murder (BBC1), which she co-wrote with Julian Fellowes. She also co-authored with him an episode of his television series Downton Abbey (ITV). Recent radio work includes the drama-documentaries Forgiving, Crisis, and Syria: Bread and Bombs (all BBC Radio 4). Work in development includes a TV drama series about FGM and the radicalisation of young people and a television adaptation of a novel by Joy Chambers. Her first podcast - a four-part drama - appeared on HistoryHit early in 2019 (and is still there!). She is a Consultant Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund, and with RLF sponsorship she is currently running a series of workshops with Refugee Women of Bristol.
The author of twelve plays, John Retallack’s work has been translated into several languages and performed all around the UK as well as in Germany, Austria, Sweden, Holland and France. He has toured and directed productions in many countries including India, Japan and America as well as throughout Europe. His work has been awarded several prizes, including two Herald Angels, an Olivier, two TMA awards and a Fringe First. From 1977–85 he was the founding director of the still flourishing Actors Touring Company (ATC). He was Artistic Director of Oxford Stage Company (at the Oxford Playhouse) from 1989 to 1999. From 2001 to 2011, he was the founding director of the London-based Company of Angels, which continues to produce new and experimental work for young audiences. Since 2010, John has been an Associate Artist at Bristol Old Vic. Five of his plays for Company of Angels are published by Oberon Books and two by Methuen. John’s new play, Hannah and Hanna in Dreamland opened at the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury in 2018 and is also published by Oberon Books. His adaptation of J.B. Priestley’s classic novel The Good Companions for Radio 4 was broadcast last year. He directed Unicorns, Almost, Owen Sheers’ play about the poet Keith Douglas for the Hay Festival in 2018 and received outstanding local and national reviews for his production. The production will be revived for the 2019 Edinburgh Festival.
George Szirtes, FRSL
George Szirtes is a poet and translator. His fifteen books of poetry include The Slant Door (Secker, 1979), which was awarded the Faber Prize, Selected Poems (OUP, 1996), Reel (Bloodaxe, 2004), which was awarded the T. S. Eliot Prize, New and Collected Poems (Bloodaxe, 2008), The Burning of the Books and Other Poems (Bloodaxe, 2009) and Bad Machine (2013) both the last also shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize. His latest book is Mapping the Delta (2016). A study of his work, Reading George Szirtes, by John Sears was published by Bloodaxe in 2008. He has edited many poetry anthologies, including New Order: Hungarian Poets of the post-1989 Generation (2010). His translation work includes books by poets such as Ágnes Nemes Nagy, Ottó Orbán and Zsuzsa Rakovszky and several novels by Márai, Krúdy, Krasznahorkai and others, for which he has received various prizes, most recently the Best Translated Book Award in the USA in 2013. His study of poetry and politics, Fortinbras at the Fishhouses, was published in 2010. His children’s book, In the Land of Giants (2012), won the CLPE Prize for best book of poetry for children. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. In 2015 he shared the translator’s prize for his translations of the Man Booker International Winner, László Krasznahorkai, and, in 2016, was awarded the People and Poetry Prize in China. His memoir of his mother, The Photographer at Sixteen, was published to much praise by Maclehose in February 2019.
James Womack is a writer, translator and editor. He is the author of three books of poetry from Carcanet: Misprint (2012), On Trust (2017) (longlisted for the 2018 International Dylan Thomas Prize and shortlisted for the 2019 Ledbury Forte Prize for Second Collections) and an anthology of verse translations from the Russian of Vladimir Mayakovsky, Vladimir Mayakovsky and Other Poems (2016, longlisted for the 2018 Read Russia Translation Prize). He has translated fiction and poetry from Russian and Spanish, and won the 2018 PN Review Translation Prize for his version of a poem by Manuel Vilas; a full-length collection of Vilas’s work is forthcoming. He is editor and co-owner of the publishing house Calque Press, which publishes translations of Spanish and Russian poetry and ecofiction.