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Warwick Thursdays

Warwick Thursdays is the Writing Programme’s weekly literary salon, organized by Writing Programme staff in conjunction with the Masters students and featuring visiting novelists, poets, dramatists, filmmakers, publishers, editors, agents and artists in conversation with Warwick writers.

Talks are open to anyone and free, and, unless otherwise noted, take place in the Writers’ Room in Millburn House on Thursdays from 1.30pm to 2.30pm. For details of what we did in previous terms, click on the Past Events tab above.

Summer Term 2016

Week 1: Thursday 28th April

Sarah Moss, Writing Workshop

Sarah Moss is a novelist and non-fiction writer. She is the author of numerous books including Cold Earth (2010), Night Waking (2012) and Names for the Sea: Strangers in Iceland (Granta 2012). Bodies of Light (Granta 2014) was shortlisted for the Wellcome Prize. Signs for Lost Children (Granta 2015) is shortlisted for the Wellcome Prize and longlisted for the Walter Scott Prize.

Week 2: Thursday 5th May - THIS WORKSHOP HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED [16 June].

Jonathan Skinner, Bookmaking Workshop -

Jonathan Skinner is a poet. His interests include Contemporary Poetry and Poetics; Ecocriticism and Environmental Studies; Ethnopoetics; Sound Studies; Critical Theory; and Translation. He is founder and editor of ecopoetics, a journal which features creative-critical intersections between writing and ecology. In this workshop you will be making a book.

Week 3: Thursday 12th May

Jack McGowan, Performance Poetry

Jack McGown is a poet and performer. He is currently completing a PhD exploring the nature of performance poetry in the UK entitled Slam the Book: The role of performance in contemporary UK poetry. His interests include new media in contemporary poetry, Oulipean techniques in creative writing, 20th century UK poetry and poetics, and new creative writing pedagogies. He runs poetry slam events and workshops. In this talk Jack will reveal the secrets of slam poetry.

Week 4: Thursday 19th May

Nick Lawrence, Neoliberal poetry: the ruins of Iraq.

We know that Donald Rumsfeld’s ‘known unknowns’ remark at a White House briefing in February 2002, during the manufacture of the case for invading Iraq, has several possible sources, among them D. H. Lawrence’s war poem “New Heaven and Earth”: “Now here was I, new awakened, with my hand stretching out / and touching the unknown, the real unknown, the unknown unknown …” In this talk-reading mashup I want to articulate Rumsfeld’s neoliberal poetry with the ruins of Iraq, taking in the modes of poetry as prophecy, as testimony, as waste of time. “The immense poetry of war and the poetry of a work of the imagination are two different things,” argued Wallace Stevens in the lead-up to a previous war. Is that (still) true?

Week 5: Thursday 26th May

Emma Mason, Vote Ficus! Thinking With Plants

What is thinking? What is plant thinking? Can we think like plants? And does poetry help this, and should Michael Moore's 2000 campaign to elect a ficus to congress (because plants are more thoughtful than most congressmen) be realised?

Week 6: Thursday 2nd June

Chantal Wright, ‘Literary Translation: Creative? Writing?’

Chantal Wright is a literary translator working from German and French into English: in 2012 she was awarded the inaugural Cliff Becker Book Prize in Translation and she has twice been shortlisted for the Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in Translation, in 2011 and 2015. Her translation of Milena Baisch's children's book Anton and Piranha is an IBBY 2016 UK Honour Book.


Week 7: Thursday 9th June

Dan Vyleta, Smoke

Dan Vyleta is Senior Lecturer in Film and Creative Writing at the School of English, Drama and American and Canadian Studies at the University of Birmingham. Dan is a novelist and cultural historian. His first novel, Pavel & I, gathered immediate international acclaim and was translated into eight languages. His second novel, The Quiet Twin, was shortlisted for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. The Crooked Maid was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and won the 2014 J.I. Segal Award. Dan self-describes as a Czech-German-Canadian which indicates that a) life is complicated, b) the nation state is not what it used to be and c) he is rather confused about these matters. He loves Jazz, (ice) hockey and Sveijkian strategies of resistance to power.
Dan will be talking about his new novel Smoke.

Week 8: Thursday 16th June

Keith Gabriel, I’m Writing for ‘The Man’

Keith is Warwick’s Marketing Copywriter, and former business columnist for the Birmingham Post. After 18 years of working in public relations - most soul-destroyingly in the godforsaken world of financial PR – Keith has written in a variety of forms. Sometimes it’s been creatively. Sometimes…not so much. He’ll talk about the challenges of writing for businesses and institutions, and the fun you can have bending the rules.


Jonathan Skinner, Bookmaking Workshop (Writers' Room)

A free bookmaking workshop, open to students, staff and friends of the Warwick Writing Program. Please bring a laptop (if possible) and/or a digital file (on a memory stick), with your text (can be as little as one poem or short text, or as many as 36 pages of work, in any genre or mix of genres), and bring materials for a cover or container/ book structure of any kind. (Stiff cardstock is ideal, but handmade or unusual papers, cardboard, even cereal boxes, can be interesting.) This is an excellent use for text from portfolios and final (personal writing) projects! (Also, if you can, bring some linen thread, available at most haberdashers, and a needle large enough for this thicker-than-usual thread.) We will cover the basics of chapbook design, layout and assemblage and also play with inventive book forms. Paper cutter (guillotine) and long reach stapler will be provided. It would be helpful if, before the workshop, participants could explore some of these online chapbook-making resources and guides:

Considering Chapbooks: A Brief History of the Little Book,” by Noah Eli Gordon
DIY: How to Make and Bind Chapbooks (good overview of binding techniques)
Making your own poetry chapbooks: Everything you need to know 
V&A National Art Library chapbooks collection (the chapbook in history)
Printed Matter (best site for online examples of chapbooks–check out the “Tables”–even though few are specifically poetry chapbooks, designs can be adapted)
Center for Book Arts (good interactive database of exhibitions)
Coracle (one of the better examples of small press “critical printing”)
P22 Type Foundry (great font resource)
Western New York Book Arts Center

WORKSHOP LIMITED TO 12 PARTICIPANTS / RSVP to Jonathan Skinner to secure a place / ​

Lit Biz

Lit Biz