Pictured l-r: Anne Enright (credit: Hugh Chaloner); Tsitsi Dangarembga (credit: Hannah Mentz) Christie Watson.
The celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the Creative Writing programme at the University of East Anglia (UEA) will continue apace in 2021, with tickets going on sale for UEA Live’s spring 2021 events earlier today (Wednesday 16 December).
Starting on Wednesday 24 February, the literary festival will run on seven Wednesday evenings up until May, with the line-up including 2020 Booker Prize-shortlisted writer and UEA’s International Chair of Creative Writing Tsitsi Dangarembga, Booker Prize winner Anne Enright and widely adored literary icon Ali Smith, who will be broadcasting a short film.
UEA Creative Writing graduate Christie Watson will speak about her success as a novelist and memoirist, and her new book - The Courage to Care: A Call for Compassion - a vital and timely book about inspirational nurses, and the bravery of patients and families.
UEA Live will see writers and readers come together to debate and deliberate the big issues we’re currently facing, from the global pandemic to international political activism, and ask big questions like ‘What will writing look like in 50 years?’ and ‘What role will authors play in the future?’.
The first ever UEA Live took place in autumn this year, and the move online saw attendance levels soar, reaching a wider, international audience. . Picking up the baton from the UEA Literary Festival, the newly revamped ‘festival of ideas’ has two new Co-Directors from UEA – Alison Winch, Lecturer in Media Studies, and Kate Moorhead, Lecturer in Creative Writing.
They take over from Prof Chris Bigsby, who stepped down as Festival Director earlier this year after 27 years in the role, and Dr Philip Langeskov, Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at UEA.
Kate Moorhead said: “As we look towards the future of Creative Writing at UEA, our new iteration of the festival, UEA Live, will seek to broaden this definition - across disciplines, continents and experiences. We’re grateful for the work of Chris Bigsby and Philip Langeskov and we hope to build on their success in bringing edgy, world-class writers to Norfolk.”
Alison Winch said: “Imagination is crucial in these turbulent times because it offers hope and alternative futures. Continuing our celebration of 50 years of Creative Writing at UEA, our spring programme showcases pioneering writers who use creativity to forge the world differently.”
All the events will be held online, meaning that you can watch from the comfort of home, wherever you are, and tickets are available to purchase now.
The UEA Live Spring 2021 line-up in full is:
- Wednesday 24 Februrary 2021 – UEA’s International Chair of Creative Writing and award-winning author Tsitsi Dangarembga sits down with Canongate’s Editor-at-Large, Ellah Wakatama Allfrey to discuss her 2020 Booker Prize shortlisted novel This Mournable Body.
- Wednesday 3 March 2021 – UEA Creative Writing graduate Christie Watson speaks about her success as a novelist and memoirist, and what it’s been like returning to work as a critical care nurse during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Wednesday 10 March 2021 – Celebrating UEA’s strong ties with The Booker Prize Foundation, scholarship recipient Stephen Buoro, Booker Prize-winning author Anne Enright, and the Foundation’s Literary Director, Gaby Wood, delve behind the scenes of the leading literary award.
- Wednesday 17 March 2021 – Poet, playwright, performer and UEA UNESCO Scriptwriting Fellow Inua Ellams looks at race, identity and masculinity in his latest poetry collection The Actual, described by Bernardine Evaristo as ‘Poetry as fire, as lament, as beauty ... I was blown away by this book.’
- Wednesday 24 March 2021 – Enjoy a closer look at landmark UEA Creative Writing project – Future and Form – with contributors Mona Arshi, Mitch Johnson, Imogen Hermes Gowar and James McDermott discussing their multi-media work.
- Wednesday 28 April 2021 – Feminist theorist, novelist and critic Marina Warner unpicks her memoir Inventory of a Life Mislaid with the book’s illustrator, Sophie Herxheimer.
- Wednesday 5 May 2021 – An exclusive short film by Ali Smith and filmmaker Sarah Wood, incorporating Ali’s words and archive footage from the East Anglian Film Archive.
The festival runs from Wednesday 24 February to Wednesday 5 May, with tickets on sale now at £5 per event, or free for UEA students. Access to all seven events is £30, with concessional season passes £25. To book, visit the UEA Live website.
Attendees will receive a URL link and time to access the broadcast the day before the event (or as soon as possible if you book less than 24 hours before the event starts). All events will be available for the duration of the festival for those who cannot make the event (with the exception of the Ali Smith and Sarah Wood film which will be shown once only at 7pm on Wednesday 5 May).
FOR MORE INFORMATION
UEA Live: uealive.com
Future and Form: futureandform.net
East Anglian Film Archive: eafa.org.uk