The Blog is back!

Hello! We are happy to be back and running again.

The Creative Writing MFA at Kingston University has been running now for several years. The two-year Fine Art programme was originally spearheaded by Scott Bradfield. We were very sorry to see Scott leave last year but relieved to learn that the mantle has been taken over by Paul Perry.

Karen Gillece und Paul Perry (Karen Perry) Irland

Paul Perry is the author and editor of a number of critically acclaimed books including The Drowning of the Saints, Goldsmith’s Ghost, The Orchid Keeper, and The Last Falcon and Small Ordinance, The Dedalus Press, 2010. Paul is also Curator for the largest and longest running international poetry festival in Ireland, dlr Poety Now.

This is going to be a great year for Paul not least because of the launch of his new book The Innocent Sleep. The novel, a psychological thriller, has been co-written with Dublin based author Karen Gillece. The Innocent Sleep was released on 18 February under the pen name Karen Perry. It has been commended by reviewers for its captivating and lyrical style of writing.

There is also a low residency MFA cohort led by Siobhan Campbell. It’s a distance learning option and attracts students from around the world. So this year we are a group of over twenty students, all at different junctions on the joyful, undulating, cross-country literary pathway. Over the coming months we hope to hear the sounds of these new voices and share some of our reflections along the way.

Your 2014 editors,

Maria & Carol

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Diagrams by Alison Gibb

A word from MFA alumna and Kingston Writing School Emerging Writer in Residence, Alison Gibb:

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Silent Diagrams Cover

I am pleased to inform you that my latest work, Silent Diagrams, a pamphlet collection of poetry and drawings, has recently been published by Knives, Forks and Spoons Press.

Silent Diagrams is a series of pencil drawing over a single poem. The drawings document my process of visualizing poetic activity to create diagrams, which illustrate and generates spaces for live performance.  The diagrams were originated during the development of Thus in the crossing, a poetic dance performance in collaboration with choreographer, Elaine Thomas.

Thus in the crossing was recently performed at E:Poetry 2013 & at the Practice, Process and Paradox Conference 2013 at Roehampton University.

For further info on Silent Diagrams please visit Knives, Forks and Spoons Press.

 

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If you’re an MFA student or alumus/a keep us updated on your success!

Amniotic City – Lucy Furlong’s Poetry Map Reviewed in The Guardian

Amniotic City

MFA poet, Lucy Furlong is featured by The Guardian today for her poetry map, Amniotic City. Dan Holloway describes her work as “a beautiful exploration of the way a city can consciously and unconsciously suppress an important part of its nature, and how a little imaginative trowel-work can reveal what is hidden – and transform the things you see around you every day.” You can read the entire glowing review on The Guardian website.

Lucy will also be reading this Saturday evening, 03 August 2013, at the Structo Issue 10 launch at 6pm in the Society Club in Soho, London. This lovely bookshop/gallery/cafe/bar is a hidden London gem and will be packed with fantastic writers and readers this weekend. The event is free, so drop in, hear some good writing and pick up a copy of this great magazine featuring the best poetry, fiction, essays and interviews from around the world. For more information on the Structo launch check out the event site.

The Society Club

Are you an MFA graduate, current student, lecturer or writer-in-residence with publishing or performance news? If so, let us know!

Writer’s Cafe at the Rose Theatre 06 August 2013 with Kayo Chingonyi

The Writer’s Cafe summer reading series returns on Tuesday, 06 August 2013 at 1:15pm. Come, enjoy a coffee and some fantastic writing from spoken word artist Kayo Chingonyi and members of the community. If you have a poem or short selection of prose that fits the theme of “musical words” please come along and share your work! This is a great opportunity to get some exposure and support. You can email vivienneraper@gmail.com to book an open mic slot or just turn up on the day.

Kayo Chingonyi at the Writer's Cafe Flyer

Writer’s Cafes featuring Writer-in-Residence Mark Barrowcliffe and MFA lecturer  James Miller  to follow in September and October with open mic slots every month. Pieces for reading should be no longer than 5 minutes in length.

This is a wonderful opportunity to meet writers, get involved with Kingston Writing School and to get public reading experience if you’re a writer!

Writer’s Cafe – Summer Reading Series 2013

No Dead White Men is delighted to report that the first Writer’s Cafe featuring Nicky Matthews Browne was a success in the lovely setting of the Rose Theatre’s Culture Cafe. Nicky’s reading was well-received as were the readings by the public.

Some of the audience, although they did not intend to participate, felt so inspired as to spontaneously recite poetry from memory.

N M Browne reading at the 10 July 2013 Writer's Cafe

N M Browne reading at the 10 July 2013 Writer’s Cafe

A great time was had by all and we are all looking forward to the events yet to come:

Tuesday, 06 August 2013, 1:15pm – Kayo Chingonyi – “Musical words”

Tuesday, 03 September 2013, 1:15pm – Mark Barrowcliffe – “Devil in the details”

Tuesday, 08 October 2013, 1:15pm – James Miller – “Repetition and revolution”

All events are from 1:15 – 2:00pm in the Rose Theatre’s Culture Cafe. Entrance is free and you can purchase a coffee and a cake for just £3. Email the organiser (and MFA), Vivienne Raper, at vivienneraper@gmail.com to book an open mic slot or just show up on the day with poetry, prose or anything in between. Readings should be no more than 5 minutes in length.

Please come out and support your local writing community. You might even like to share some of your own writing!

Kingston Connections 2013

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Kingston Connections starts in The Rose Theatre Kingston today. An exciting collaboration between the university, Royal Borough of Kingston, The Rose and Creative Youth, we are offering a heady mixture of dance, talks, poetry, theatre, music, writing workshops, science discussions. There’s even the chance to be part of a psychology experiment. Come along and join in!

Highlights today include a talk on genes (10:30am), a poetry reading (12:00pm) and a free workshop on self-publishing (5:30pm).

The full programme (as a PDF) and booking information is available on the Rose Theatre website.

MFA lecturers, tutors and writers in residence to be featured include:

Monday, 24 June 2013, 3:30-5:30pm, Rose Theatre – novelists Adam Baron & James Miller in conversation. Why Do You Write?

Tuesday, 25 June 2013, 12:00-1:00pm, Rose Theatre – poet Jane Yeh reads with Emily Berry.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013, 6:00-7:00pm, Rose Theatre – author Courttia Newland discusses how he has used his own life in his fiction. Life Writing: A Life in Fiction: autobiography and the novel. **Editor’s note: We regret to announce that Courttia’s talk has been cancelled. There are still lots of great events on this week, though, so get thee to Kingston!

Kingston students, alumni and staff can get free or reduced admission to most events!

Martin Daws

Martin DawsMartin Daws is a performance poet and spoken word artist. He leads community and youth workshops across the country and regularly performs his work at events around the UK and Ireland. He was declared Farrago Slam Champ twice, was runner-up for both the John Tripp Award for Spoken Poetry in 2007and the Glastonbury Festival Slam in 2008. His 2008 debut at the Edinburgh Festival earned a five star review. He has been published in numerous international journals and is the author of Skin Tight the Sidewalk, a book/CD. He is Poet in Residence at Moelyci Environment Centre, North Wales. In April 2013 Martin Daws was announced by Literature Wales as The Young People’s Laureate for Wales. In this role Martin is working with young people all over Wales developing their engagement and enjoyment with spoken word poetry. Martin blogs at www.youngpeopleslaureate.org. Follow his twitter feeds @martindaws and @yplwales.

In the late 1980s Martin began DJ-ing in London and in 1994, after experiencing the New York slam scene, he combined his passion for music and language into performance poetry. His work still retains strong ties to music, running youth workshops on creative writing and rap, and collaborating with various musicians. Notably, he has worked with dancer Sarah Mumford on the WID performance ‘Don’t Step on the Cracks’. His experimental performances with electro-acoustic composer Rob Mackay have toured four continents.

Martin is a Writer-in-Residence with Kingston Writing School and on 19 March 2013, he taught a Teaching & Writing Workshop.

More information about Martin and his work is available at his website www.martindaws.com.

 

Bibliography:

Skin Tight The Sidewalk, 2009

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Recommended Reading:

The Invisible Man – Ralph Ellison

Smokin’ Lovely – Willie Perdomo

Said the Shotgun to the Head – Saul Williams

The Wasteland – T.S. Elliot

Learning to be White – Thandeka

MFAs to be published in RiPPLE

This Wednesday, 1 May will see the launch of RiPPLE, Kingston University’s annual literary anthology, published by Kingston University Press. We are proud to announce that there are several MFAs featured in this year’s publication. Some of them will also be reading at the launch so you can hear what we’re really made of. We invite you all to join us at 7pm on Wednesday in Woody’s Bar & Kitchen for a celebratory evening filled with good writing.

RiPPLE Launch

7pm

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Woody’s Bar & Kitchen

5 Ram Passage, Kingston upon Thames KT1 1HH

 

MFAs published in RiPPLE 2013:

Kristin Durinick

Lucy Furlong

Neil Horabin

Sinéad Keegan

Ryan Licata

Beatrice Parvin

 

MFAs reading at the event:

Beatrice Parvin – Love Letters and Asparagus

Sinéad Keegan – Desert Children

 

Ripple Invite

Catch the Pigeon

Lucy Furlong is currently completing her MFA in creative writing.  She recently had a poem included in English Pen’s Poems for Pussy Riot anthology, Catechism, and has a poem in the latest issue of Structo magazine. Sometimes she performs her work, if she can get a babysitter.

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Aesthetic – what does it mean exactly? And more particularly what does it mean if you are a writer? The online Oxford Dictionaries lists it, amongst other things, as: “a set of principles underlying the work of a particular artist or artistic movement.

The poet and musician Patti Smith is quoted as saying hers were fully developed at an early age:

“All I ever wanted to be was an artist. I’ve always been driven aesthetically. It used to get me in trouble. I used to wear the same thing every day to school as a kid. I had a uniform consciousness. Even the teacup that I drank from…I didn’t like plastic, I liked porcelain. By 12 (my aesthetics) were totally defined.”

In the midst of writing my first full collection of poetry for my MFA dissertation, I have been confronted with the issue of what exactly my poetry aesthetic is, and is it affected by my personal aesthetics? So far the answers are: I’m not sure but I’ve got a few clues; Yes, of course… Can the two be separated- must they be? No one would separate Patti Smith the person from her poetry, her writing, music or art. But what makes her work so distinctive?

Whilst I was loitering in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern yesterday, waiting to see the Lichtenstein retrospective, I talked to a friend about my investigation into aesthetics and what that meant in relation to the aesthetic at work in my own poetry. She wondered if it meant I was ‘pigeonholing’ my work, categorising myself. I considered this for a moment and thought that she probably had a point but that it was also about time I set down a few working boundaries for this collection.

I have experimented with all kinds of ways of writing poems, from concrete to formal, from prose to fragmented free verse. It has been hugely enjoyable and a great opportunity to try different ways of working. There are some clear themes and subject matter emerging and I am now in a position to have some idea of what I want to achieve, of what I am aiming for.

In the bookshop I picked up the Bloomsbury Anthology of Aesthetics. The introduction mentions the origins of the use of the word in the eighteenth century, from Alexander Baumgarten’s intention for a science of “sensuous cognition.”

That sounded better than the problematic received notions of taste, value and other connotations which the word aesthetic is also associated with. It took me back in the direction of Patti Smith and a quote from Robert Mapplethorpe in her book Just Kids. While discovering his own aesthetic and making decisions about his work that Smith didn’t like she asked him what he was thinking. His response was: “I don’t think… I feel.”

Where does this get me in defining and refining the aesthetic at play in my own work? With 25 draft poems towards my collection, in various states of completion, I can see a shape forming through them. In some places it is clearly visible, in others shifting, in a few it is barely perceptible. I’m not sure how I am going to realise this shape yet and make it tangible but I am feeling my way through it with a little more knowledge than before.

It’s not a pigeonhole – it’s a carrier pigeon.

Fiona Sampson and James Miller Reading

We are excited to announce that two Kingston MFA teachers, Fiona Sampson, Senior Researcher, and James Miller, Senior Lecturer, will be doing a free, public event this Wednesday at Waterstones Piccadilly in London. This is the second in a reading series. The premier event featured Rachel Cusk and Jane Yeh and was received rave reviews from attendees. You are all invited to come to the event. If you are a prospective student, this will be a great opportunity to meet some lecturers and current Kingston students. Please see below to book a free ticket.

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An Evening with Fiona Sampson and James Miller

10 April 2013, 7:00pm

Waterstones Piccadilly

203/206 Piccadilly

London W1J 9HD

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Here’s the official blurb:

Waterstones Piccadilly and Kingston Writing School are proud to present an evening with of readings with leading poet Fiona Sampson and novelist James Miller. Join us for a glass of wine and hear Fiona Sampson read from her new book ‘Coleshill’ and novelist James Miller read from his second novel, ‘Sunshine State.

Tickets are free but all places must be reserved in advance by contacting the store on 02078512400 or emailing events@piccadilly.waterstones.co.uk

An Evening with Fiona Sampson & James Miller

 

Find out more at the Waterstones Piccadilly website or the Kingston Writing School website.

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