Since the inception of the Creative Writing programme, UEA has been host to numerous practising novelists, poets, dramatists and translators as lecturers, fellows, writers-in-residence, and guests of the year-round International Literary Festival. All have contributed to the wider culture of the programme, both in their practical engagement with students' writing and in the form of readings and public discussions.
In 2012 the city of Norwich was designated England's first UNESCO City of Literature. In celebration of this event the Creative Writing programme established a Visiting Professorship to be awarded annually to a significant author of international reputation who will contribute both to the programme and to the cultural life of the city. Two professors were appointed in the inaugural year, the playwright Timberlake Wertenbaker and the novelist Ali Smith. They were followed by James Lasdun and Margaret Atwood (pictured) in 2013-14. The former New Zealand Poet Laureate Bill Manhire was the Visiting Professor in Spring 2015. Writer and translator Tim Parks joined us in Spring 2016. The crime novelist Ian Rankin joined us in Autumn 2016. Novelist, playwright and essayist Caryl Phillips is the UNESCO Visiting Professor for 2017-18.
In 1991, under the auspices of the Arthur Miller Centre, the autumn Literary Festival was inaugurated with a line-up including Arthur Miller, Doris Lessing, Gore Vidal, Salman Rushdie and William Styron. The accompanying spring Literary Festival was launched in 1993, and it has remained the pattern that both these series feature a programme of hugely popular events open to the general public and headlined by authors of the stature of Martin Amis, Margaret Atwood, Carol Ann Duffy, Richard Ford, John Fowles, William Golding, Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, Kazuo Ishiguro, Doris Lessing, Mario Vargas Llosa, Norman Mailer, Ian McEwan (pictured), Toni Morrison, Iris Murdoch, Les Murray, Harold Pinter, Salman Rushdie, Muriel Spark and Jeanette Winterson, to name but some. Many of the authors hold private, informal meetings with our MA students before or after their festival appearance, including recently Kazuo Ishiguro, Rachel Cusk and Louise Doughty.
Between 1972 and 2010 the university also hosted a Writing Fellowship awarded annually to a writer of established reputation and supported with funding from the Arts Council, which attracted writers as notable as Derek Mahon, David Lodge, Maggie Gee, Adam Mars Jones, Paul Muldoon and Bernadine Evaristo. In addition, various occasional Writing Fellows have been appointed by the School, including Nancy Lee as the Canadian Writing Fellow and Helon Habila as the African Writing Fellow. The Australian writers and academics Catherine Cole, Jennifer Webb and Kevin Brophy have in recent years joined us as Visiting Teaching Fellows.