Each year a bursary of £1,000 will be awarded to a student enrolled on the MA in Creative Writing (Poetry) course, dedicated to the memory of MA alumnus Bryan Heiser.
Bryan died of polio on March 9, 2013, aged 67. He had been a poet for many years and was delighted to win a place on the course in 2009. He was described by the then course convenor Lavinia Greenlaw as "one of those poets who write because they have to; the true poets for whom the art becomes more not less vital as life loosens its hold." Poet Mimi Khalvati, who ran workshops with him, spoke of "his wonderful poetic talent and his brave soul".
Bryan spent most of his adult life fighting for the rights of the disadvantaged and, through the poetry he wrote, highlighting life's subtle twists and turns. He pioneered Dial-a-Ride, a free door-to-door scheme for people with disabilities who cannot use public transport, and as the special adviser on disability to the board of Transport for London he gained the right to ride on London buses for people with disabilities, including wheelchair users.
With a passionate interest in the arts, Bryan was also chair of Drake Music, a technology and music charity providing disabled musicians of all ages with routes into music.
The bursary will be assessed by a selection committee on material submitted by students for admission to the course and preference will be given to applicants over the age of 45 at the start of the academic year.