Researching creative writing, life writing and creative non-fiction Researching creative writing, life writing and creative non-fiction

The life of writing in the School is characterised by the interplay, in theory and in practice, of the creative and the critical. Significant developments in thinking about this relation are evident in major works of non-fiction, life writing, fiction, poetry and drama.

The question of research in creative writing, life writing and creative non-fiction is also one that concerns our group. The research for our current work-in-progress ranges across, for instance, Victorian body parts, noir fiction, contemporary neuroscience, cosmology, Roman London and the decline of the honeybee.

Group members 

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.

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.

Jon Cook is a critic and biographer who has recently published a series of essays that draw on ideas from the philosophy of language to analyse linguistic creativity. His work in progress includes a collection of essays on the work of W.G. Sebald and a book on poetics.

Andrew Cowan is a novelist. He is the author of Pig, Common Ground, Crustaceans, What I Know and most recently Worthless Men and a book on creative writing practice, The Art of Fiction. He is currently working on a new novel and a collection of essays on creative writing pedagogy and practice. 

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.

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.  

Kathryn Hughes is an historian and writer of non-fiction. She is the author of George Eliot: The Last Victorian and most recently of The Short Life and Long Times of Mrs Beeton. She is currently writing a book on the body-parts of well-known Victorians.

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.

Philip Langeskov is a short story writer.  His stories have appeared in many magazines and journals and been broadcast on the BBC. ‘Barcelona', a new story, will be published by Daunt Books in November 2013. His current research engages with the short story, narratology and pedagogy.

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 a novelist, poet and short story writer who, amongst other things, has been exploring aspects of climate change science in relation to polar ice for nearly a decade both in her work and in her funded expeditions. She is the author most recently of a collection of poetry Night Orders and a novel The Ice Lovers.

Antoinette Moses is a playwright and the author of fifteen books of language learner literature. Her latest play, which she co-wrote with Val Taylor, Road to Heidelberg, was produced in Heidelberg in August, 2013.  Her research interests are on documentary theatre and real lives in fiction.

Sophie Robinson is a poet who is currently working on queer poetics. 

Helen Smith is a life writer and non-fiction writer.  She is currently completing a biography of Edward Garnett, the publisher's reader, editor and critic.

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. 

Henry Sutton is a novelist and crime writer. His most recent novels are Get Me Out of Here and My Criminal World. He is the author of a collection of short stories, Thong Nation, and co-author of a crime novel, First Frost, under the pseudonym James Henry. He is currently working on a psychological thriller, a critical study of noir fiction, and the influence of genre on narrative. 

George Szirtes is a poet, essayist and translator. The most recent of his many collections of poetry include Bad Machine and The Burning of the Books and Other Poems

Val Taylor is a director, writer, critic, and a development consultant for theatre, film, television and radio.  Her current research focus is on dramatic adaptation.

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.

Timberlake Wertenbaker is a professor of playwriting. She is currently working on a new play for Out of Joint. 

James Wilkes is a poet, writer and Postdoctoral Lecturing Fellow at UEA, and has a long-standing research interest in the intersection between poetics and cognitive science.