As some readers may know, I am the founding director of the Institute of Creative and Critical Writing, which is based in the School of English at Birmingham City University. Last month saw the final event in the ICCW programme for the 2012-13. The summer will bring notice of the programme for 2013-14 – which I can already promise will be filled with good things.
This is a good moment, however, to look back on the ICCW’s first season.
The ICCW exists to cultivate the literary arts and the life of ideas, through its calendar of public events. Six events a year are run on-campus at Birmingham City University, and feed directly into our creative writing programmes there at both postgraduate and undergraduate level. Other events are based off-campus, usually (but not exclusively) at city centre venues in Birmingham.
The ICCW has a core group of contributors, known as Fellows of the ICCW, who participate in its aims and its programme, through readings, masterclasses, and in some cases, tutorial roles. Our Fellows are: Helen Cross, Caroline Jester, Ian Marchant, Patrick McGuinness, David Morley, and Sally Read. You can learn more about them, and the ICCW, by following the relevant links on this blog - where you can also sign up to the ICCW mailing list.
So – the 2012-13 programme looked like this:
17 October 2012: Poet, novelist and Fellow of the ICCW, Patrick McGuinness, on writing the prize-winning novel The Last Hundred Days – and its relationship to his poetry
14 November 2012: Literary agent Ben Mason, of Fox Mason, on working with agents, and the challenges of the twenty-first century literary marketplace
21 November 2012: Poet, critic and Fellow of the ICCW, David Morley, reading his work – including his forthcoming book, The Gypsy and the Poet – and discussing his practice as a poet
28 November 2012: Digital publishing company Autharium, on the opportunities of the digital marketplace
6 February 2013: Alan Mahar, novelist and former Chief Executive of Tindal Street Press, lecture on the past, present, and future of literary fiction
13 February 2013: Jonathan Davidson, poet and Director of Writing West Midlands, on sustaining a career as a writer
22 February 2013: The ICCW sponsors the Writers in Schools event, by Writing West Midlands and the National Association of Writers in Education
13 March 2013: Poets and publishers Jon Stone and Kirsten Irving, on running Fuselit, Sidekick Books, and reading from their own and others’ poetry
2 April 2013: The ICCW sponsors the inaugural John Donne Day at Polesworth Abbey
17 April 2013: The ICCW launch event, attended by over 120 people, at the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, with readings from Fellows David Morley, Patrick McGuinness, Caroline Jester, me (on behalf of Sally Read), Helen Cross, and Ian Marchant. (Photos to appear here soon…)
24 April 2013: Novelist Jenn Ashworth, reading from her work - including her latest book, The Friday Gospels – and discussing her writing practice.
I think anyone would be delighted to have curated this programme, and I know I certainly am.
Watch this space for news of the 2013-14 programme, coming soon...