For almost half a century Creative Writing has proved one of UEA’s most productive and successful areas of research. Each novel, poetry collection, short story, playscript and dramatic production that emerges out of LDC constitutes a research project, informed by historical investigation, archival study, and critical interrogation. LDC’s work in these diverse forms repeatedly extends the boundaries whereby those forms are understood and valued. LDC’s creative writers, moreover, do not only show, they also tell, contributing important critical studies of the creative practices in which they lead the world – for recent examples see Denise Riley’s essay ‘On the Lapidary Style’ (2017), Amit Chaudhuri’s edited collection, Literary Activism (2017), or Andrew Cowan’s study ‘On the Rise of Creative Writing’ (2018).
Our research strengths are in historical fiction/non-fiction, biography and life-writing (Kathryn Hughes, Giles Foden, Naomi Wood, Ian Thomson and Rebecca Stott, whose memoir In the Days of Rain won the 2017 Costa Prize for Biography); in experimental poetry (Tiffany Atkinson, Sophie Robinson and Denise Riley, whose collection Say Something Back was shortlisted for the 2016 Forward Prize for Poetry and won the 2017 Roehampton Poetry Prize); in the craft and pedagogy of Creative Writing (Andrew Cowan); in crime writing (Henry Sutton, organizer of the Noirwich international crime writing festival); in theatre and film-writing (Steve Waters, Robert Carson); and in the diverse intersections between literature and the environment (Jean McNeil).
Our research is taught and developed in the classroom, making UEA a place where ground-breaking experimental practice and practice-based research flourish. Academic activity takes place within a city known for its literary activities (Norwich became England’s first UNESCO City of Literature in 2012), and which houses the National Centre for Writing, with UEA as a stakeholder. The research environment of creative writing at UEA also benefits from a close association with the British Centre for Literary Translation (another arm of the school of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing) and a range of international associations. Those doing PhDs by research in creative & critical writing at UEA benefit from access to a sophisticated training schedule run by active practitioners who are leaders in their fields.
Nathan Ashman is a Lecturer in Crime Writing and the author of James Ellroy and Voyeur Fiction. His research spans the fields of crime fiction, contemporary American fiction and ecocriticism, with a particular specialism in the works of James Ellroy. He is currently in the early stages of a new research project examining the relationship between crime fiction and ecocriticism.
Professor Tiffany Atkinson is a Professor of Creative Writing and Convenor of the MA in Creative Writing (Poetry). She gained a PhD in Critical Theory at Cardiff University before moving to Aberystwyth University to lecture in English Literature and Creative Writing. She is the author of three poetry collections: Kink and Particle (2006), which was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and winner of the Jerwood Aldeburgh First Collection Prize; Catulla et al (2011), which received a Literature Wales Bursary and was shortlisted for the Wales Book of the Year prize; and So Many Moving Parts (2014), which received a Hawthornden Fellowship and was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. She is the editor of a theoretical textbook, The Body: A Reader (2003), and has strong research interests in the medical humanities, especially the history of anatomy and representations of the body. She is currently working on a poetic sequence exploring representations of pain, illness and recovery – work that won the 2014 Medicine Unboxed Prize - and a series of critical essays about “the poetics of embarrassment”.
Trezza Azzopardi is a novelist and short story writer. Her most recent novel, The Song House, is an exploration of the power of music on memory. The research for her new novella The Tip of my Tongue, based on a medieval legend from The Mabinogion, included an investigation of the oral traditions associated with ancient legends and the stylistic and cultural challenges of transforming a voiced narrative into a written one.
Raffaella Barker is a novelist, who has written nine novels, many of which are best sellers and all of which are published by Bloomsbury Publishing in the UK and around the world. The most recent is From A Distance published in 2014, and others include the best selling Poppyland, Summertime, Hens Dancing, and Come and Tell Me Some Lies. Her short stories have been published in a range of anthologies and performed on BBC Radio 4 . She is currently writing a comic novel set in East Anglia.
Tom Benn is a novelist and screenwriter. His novels include The Doll Princess, Chamber Music and Trouble Man. His nonfiction has appeared in The Paris Review Daily. His first short film, Real Gods Require Blood, premiered in competition at the Cannes Film Festival. His research interests include crime fiction; experimental genre fiction and cinema; and representations of race, class, region and dialect in genre fiction.
Professor Amit Chaudhuri is a novelist, essayist and musician. He is the author most recently of a portrait of Calcutta called Calcutta: Two Years in the City (2013), a collection of essays Telling Tales (2013), and a novel called The Immortals (2009). He is currently working on a novel that includes research into European mythology and eighties' London.
Professor Andrew Cowan is a novelist. He is the author of Pig, Common Ground, Crustaceans, What I Know and Worthless Men and a book on creative writing practice, The Art of Writing Fiction. His new novel Your Fault is published in 2019. He is currently writing a book on creative writing pedagogy and practice, Against Creative Writing.
Sian Evans is a translator, playwright, screenwriter and librettist. Her research interests are wide but include anthropology, feminism and the use of the magical and anomalous in storytelling. Her most recent libretto, Navigate The Blood, about the transformative power of love and alcohol, is currently touring Scotland's distilleries.
Professor Giles Foden is a novelist. He is the author of several novels including The Last King of Scotland, and most recently Turbulence which explores both turbulence theory and the centrality of climate science to the D-Day Landings. His research interests range from the imperial romance to complexity science. He is currently working on a novel set in Africa.
Professor Vesna Goldsworthy is a novelist, memoirist and poet whose work is translated into twenty two languages. Two of her bestselling books were serialised on BBC Radio 4: her novel Gorsky (2015), which was a Waterstones Book of the Year and the New York Times Editors’ Choice; and her memoir, Chernobyl Strawberries (2005), also serialised in The Times. Her poetry collection The Angel of Salonika (2011) was one of the Times’ Best Poetry Books of the Year.
Andrea Holland is a poet. Her collection, Broadcasting, centres on the 1942 Army requisition of five rural Norfolk villages for D-Day training and the loss of the homes and way of life for villages. She is currently translating the poems of French-Russian painter Marc Chagall into English.
Rachel Hore is a novelist with an interest in the historical genre. Her latest book, Last Letter Home, is set during the Second World War in Norfolk, London, Egypt and Italy. She is currently working on a novel about adoption, which is set between the wars.
Professor Kathryn Hughes is an historian and literary critic. Her most recent book is Victorians Undone, an account of the body-parts of various well-known writers, artists and scientists from the nineteenth century.
Jacob Huntley is a short story writer. His short stories have been published in a number of journals and broadcast on BBC Radio 4. His current research interests include the Gothic, fantastical fiction and contemporary writing.
Claire Hynes is a fiction and non-fiction writer who also writes theatre monologues. Her current work explores Virginia Woolf’s extended essay, A Room of One’s Own and the life and writing of Zora Neale Hurston. Her research interests include voice, vernacular and first person fiction and non-fiction.
Philip Langeskov was born in Copenhagen in 1976. As an undergraduate, he studied English Language and Literature at UCL, after which he spent ten years working for bookshops and publishing companies in London, before coming to Norwich to study on the UEA MA in Creative Writing (Prose), which was soon followed by a PhD in Creative and Critical Writing. A short story writer, his fiction has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3’s The Verb and appeared in various places, including Untitled Books, Five Dials, The Warwick Review, Unthology, and Best British Short Stories 2011 & 2014. His first book, Barcelona, was published by Daunt Books in 2013.
Michael Lengsfield is a scriptwriter. His primary research interests are in scriptwriting, with a focus on the theory and practice of adaptation.
Jean McNeil is the author of thirteen books of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, essay and travel. She has an interest in landscape, environment and climate change and over the last decade has undertaken research in Antarctica, the Arctic and in sub-Saharan Africa. Her latest publications are Ice Diaries: an Antarctic Memoir (2016); The Dhow House, a novel (2017) and Fire on the Mountain, a novel (2018). Her current research is on Walter Benjamin, landscape, cinema and desire.
Professor Tessa McWatt is the author of six novels and two books for young people. Her fiction has been nominated for the Governor General’s Award, the City of Toronto Book Awards, and the OCM Bocas Prize. She is one of the winners of the Eccles British Library Award 2018, for her memoir: Shame on Me: An Anatomy of Race and Belonging. She is also a librettist, and works on interdisciplinary projects and community-based life writing through CityLife: Stories Against Loneliness.
Kate Moorhead-Kuhn is a novelist and lecturer in Creative Writing. She is currently writing her MA in Education Practice and Research dissertation, which focuses on Intersectional Feminist Pedagogy and it's implementation in the Creative Writing Classroom. She hopes to take this research forward into a PhD from 2019/20.
Ben Musgrave writes for the stage, screen, and radio. He is currently under commission to Tara Arts, for whom he is writing a new play about the abuses of British Indigo cultivation in 1860s Bengal, scheduled for production in 2019. His screen adaptation of his 2015 stage play Crushed Shells and Mud, (Southwark Playhouse), is currently in development.
Iain Robinson is a graduate of the MA in Creative Writing at Lancaster University and holds a PhD in Creative and Critical Writing from UEA. Before commencing his PhD he had a career in bookselling and internet retailing. He has taught on the undergraduate program in LDC since 2003.
Sophie Robinson is a poet who is currently working on queer poetics.
Helen Smith is non-fiction writer. The Uncommon Reader, her biography of the publisher’s reader, critic and editor Edward Garnett was published in 2017. She is currently working on a book about an early twentieth century photographer.
Dr Kirstin Smith is Lecturer in Drama who has also worked as a dramaturg and published fiction. She’s currently working on a creative-critical project about the act of looking.
Professor Rebecca Stott is a novelist, historian and creative non-fiction writer. Her historical novels include Ghostwalk and The Coral Thief; her historical non-fiction Darwin and the Barnacle and Darwin's Ghosts. She is currently working on dereliction, decay and the abandonment of Roman London for a new novel.
Professor Henry Sutton is Professor of Creative Writing and Crime Fiction in the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing. He is Director of Creative Writing, and the convenor of the MA in Creative Writing (Crime Fiction). He has been a member of faculty since January 2012.
Ian Thomson is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Non-Fiction at UEA. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and has lectured in universities in the United States, France, Italy and London.
Steven Waters is a a playwright and scriptwriter. His research interests are broad and currently include climate change science and astronomy. He has just completed an international research project for a play called Four Cities, Four Stories with Birmingham Rep in collaboration with theatres in Croatia, Germany and Poland.
Professor Timberlake Wertenbaker is a Professor of Playwriting. She is currently working on a new play for Out of Joint.
Naomi Wood is a novelist who often works in historical settings and with a biographical angle. Her second novel, Mrs Hemingway, is a fictional exploration of the lives of Hemingway's four wives; her third novel, Torch Song, explores the artists and their milieu during the German Bauhaus from 1923-33.