First up was William Stephenson, Reader in English Literature, for the launch of his short poetry collection Source Code. This collection was the winner of the 2012 Ravenglass Poetry Prize (judged by Don Paterson) and is William’s second poetry pamphlet to be published this year. (For more about William’s impressive year of prizes and publications, see this post.)
William read several poems from the collection. His writing is characterised by its divergence from the confessional, lyrical style that still dominates so much contemporary poetry; instead, William’s writing draws on a mind-boggling range of real and imagined scenarios, from the mundane (an eye examination in an optician’s office) to the fantastical (an imagined future in which recreational drugs are named after the authors whose writing they evoke). His writing is politically engaged, and often sharply funny.
Next came the launch of Pandora’s Box, the university’s annual Creative Writing magazine, which publishes the best writing from students and staff at the university. Edited by students in the final year of their studies in the English Department, the magazine showcases the talents of student writers, including many studying Creative Writing. General Editor Dr Francesca Haig, who works with the student editing team, explained that this year had been the most successful in the magazine’s history, with nearly 200 submissions. This year’s magazine included an exciting range of pieces, from a comical haiku to a short story that reimagines the myth of Theseus from a striking new perspective. Many of the published authors read their work, to an appreciative audience.
The well-attended launch was a great opportunity to hear some inspiring writing, and to celebrate the end of the academic year with a relaxed social event.
Copies of Pandora’s Box are available from the English Department office for £1.50.
|William Stephenson reads from his latest collection|
|Grace Woodger reads her published poem|
|The student editing team celebrates the publication of Pandora's Box|