Annual MFA Anthology, Writings…, Goes to Print, Launch Scheduled

Cover by Hannes Pasqualini,

Cover by Hannes Pasqualini,


We are excited to announce that the annual Kingston University MFA anthology, Writings…, goes to print this week. The official launch will be next week and we hope you’ll join us for a reading, drinks and a celebration of the achievements of all out MFAs. This event is free and open to the public so please join our Facebook event and invite your friends. You’ll even get a free copy of the publication!



Writings… Launch

Thursday, 30 May 2013


Waggon & Horses Pub

Surbiton, KT6 4TW

MFAs to Be Recognised at Awards and Achievements Show 2013

A&A imageWe have even more to add to the awards season news. The Creative Writing MA/MFA Awards and Achievements Show is this Wednesday at 6pm in JG 0001 on the Penrhyn Road campus. Friends and family are welcome! This show celebrates the achievements of students throughout the year and will include some readings of creative work by nominated MA students.

Also reading at this event will be three MFAs who are receiving commendations:

Ryan Licata and Citlalli Milan are being recognised for academic excellence.

Sinéad Keegan is being recognised for her contribution to the MFA program.

Please come out and support the great work of all the post graduate creative writers at Kingston University!

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


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

MFA Students to Read this Weekend

No Dead White Men is thrilled to announce that three Kingston MFA students will be reading at Ace Stories in Brighton this Sunday evening. Many congratulations to Natalie Cotton, Ryan Licata and Citlalli Milan who will be reading with Hannah Vincent (Kingston MA graduate). The event will also include music by Simonne and the Dark Stars. Please see their biographies below and come out to show your support!

Ace Stories KWS Student Showcase

Ace Stories is a live literature event project created by and directed by Jason Clifton, and supported by Arts Council England. It began in June 2010 with the first event at the Hotel Pelirocco, a boutique hotel in the centre of Brighton. Ace Stories is currently in its 3rd season of events, this one running from February to September 2013.

This is the second season Ace Stories’ has had Kingston Writing School as a supporter and partner. The following KWS tutors have read at Ace Stories since 2010: Scott Bradfield, Rachel Cusk, James Miller, Courttia Newland– and some of the students or KWS writers-in-residence who have participated include Alan McCormick, Mike Loveday, Hannah Tuson, Stefania Mastrorosa and Hannah Vincent.
Performers (In alphabetical order)
Natalie Cotton:

After spending many years creating a hybrid of reality and fiction working in communications, Natalie Cotton realised she’d far rather write about her own experiences of the world. She’s now writing a novel and is part of Kingston University’s MFA programme. She displays signs of obsession with bees, climate change and engineering.

Ryan Licata:

Born in the golden town of Benoni, read literature and philosophy at the University of Cape Town, and taught bambini in the hills of northern Italy. Joined forces with the Italian artist Hannes Pasqualini, to create Sons of Sorrow, a collection of illustrated stories. Currently working on a crime novella. Loves reading short stories, and writing them, too. He is currently studying for an MFA in Creative Writing at Kingston Writing School.

Citlalli Millan:

Citlalli Millan is from Mexico City. She trained as an actor in London and toured through India with a production of Twelfth Night. Her first Creative Writing workshop was at the age of nine, and since then she has been writing gory short stories, documentaries and is now writing a novel about the violence in Mexico.

Hannah Vincent:

Hannah lives in Brighton.  She started out as a playwright after studying drama at UEA.  Her plays have been produced by, among others, The Royal Court and the National Theatre Studio.  She worked as a TV script editor for BBC Drama and now she teaches Creative Writing for the Open University.  She completed the MA in Creative Writing at Kingston in 2012.

PLUS music from Simonne & the Dark Stars: Simonne and the Dark Stars, a four piece-band based in Brighton UK, draws inspiration from artists as diverse as Nick Cave, Patti Smith and Chopin. With keyboards, bass & drums they bring lyrical poetry to life with driving rhythm. They take you down the road marked out by haunting and delicate sounds of the saw and Simonne’s voice with hints of PJ Harvey and Kate Bush.

Death By Translation

Ryan Licata is a current MFA student.  You can see more of his writing at Little King Scrolls.

I grew up in Benoni, South Africa, where one day, sitting in detention, a quiet shiny eyed kid named Karl at the desk next to mine snuck a book out from his satchel and slipped it over to me. Irving’s The World According to Garp, written in the year of my birth, came as a revelation. I wanted to tell stories just like it. And I knew then that I wanted to write.


The expression lost in translation holds true for many people living in a multilingual society where what one means to say and what one actually says are often worlds apart. Speaking a foreign language can sometimes be a process of cut and paste whereby one lifts familiar phrases from one’s own language, translates them directly, and then offers them around like a host sending out the hors d’oeuvres at a G8 dinner, hoping that they will be to everybody’s taste. Yes, in many cases, such linguistic faux pas do lead to interesting discoveries that enrich a language. Indeed, writers who choose to adopt a foreign language, such as Nabokov, bring new life to literature: rummaging through the lexical attics, they dust off the old words, shine them up and set them newly upon the shelf.

Much then can be said for the creativity of crossovers in literature, where things are found rather than lost in translation.

However, I would argue that this pertains only to freshly baked literature, those first time recipes of a serendipitous nature, and not to a literature that, in the altering, requires a surgeon’s unwavering hand, and a mirror, too.

I would once read the stories of Marquez or the poems of Paz without a thought as to how the English versions might differ from the Spanish originals. It was only in the role of translator that I really began to question the nature of equivalency in books. An unsuspecting reader might assume when picking up Murakami’s 1Q84, that the book they were about to read was the equivalent of the original. However, Jay Rubin, the longtime translator of Murakami’s work, suggests that the opposite is true. In a recent interview with The New Yorker Magazine, Rubin said: ‘I strongly advise people not to read literature in translation because I know what happens in the process […] Everything they’re reading has been filtered through the brain of the translator. And it’s his words they’re reading.’


Most readers would find Rubin’s comment unsettling: a poststructuralist nightmare whereby all the great works of literature from Cervantes to Dostoevsky to Bolaño are only as good as their translators. A bona fide translator may endeavour to transcribe exactly the text of the original author, but inevitably he brings his own interpretation and own language system to that work. In terms of the 1976 Barthes essay, ‘The Death of the Author’, the translated text then is no longer the same text simply because the author is no longer the same author.

The translator is also a reader, albeit one who attempts to step into an author’s shoes – wishing to replace him in Borgesian fashion or at least to imitate him. But the nature of language does not allow for such singular activities and so all that the translator can do is interpret, as best he can, the designs of language, aware of the changes made upon it by time and space. It may seem like a truism to say that translation is determined by language, yet the translator does face the difficult task of interpreting a language governed by the influences of social, historical and cultural constraints, based upon the underlying currents of language itself.

How then should we as readers approach this idea that what we want is not exactly what we are going to get? The work of a translator is one of making ‘choices’ within given perimeters, and as lovers of world literature it is a return to Babel; we must simply trust that the choices are the right ones.

London, 13 October 2012


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