News Archive

The following news items are archived from the Department's New Page.

News Archive 2013

Aberystwyth academics awarded M. Wynn Thomas Prize

Two members of the English and Creative Writing Department at Aberystwyth University were presented with literary prizes at the launch event of the International Journal of Welsh Writing in English on Wednesday 16 October. Professor Sarah Prescott and Dr Mary Chadwick are both winners of the M. Wynn Thomas Prize for 2013 and were presented as part of a special celebration event, held at the Callaghan Lecture Theatre at Swansea University.

The M. Wynn Thomas Prize is offered to celebrate outstanding scholarly work in the field of Welsh writing in English. There are two prize categories: the ‘Open’ category and the ‘New Scholars’ category.   Professor Prescott, Director of the Institute of Literature, Languages & Creative Arts (ILLCA) at Aberystwyth was successful in the ‘open’ category and her one-time PhD student, Dr Chadwick, in the ‘New Scholars’ category.

Sarah Prescott spoke of her pleasure at receiving one of the awards; “Professor M. Wynn Thomas’ own work has been ground-breaking in pushing back the period boundaries of Welsh Writing in English.     “As such, I am honoured to receive this prize as part of my own contribution to the on-going reconceptualization of this literary field to include women writers from the seventeenth century such as Katherine Philips. I am also delighted that Mary Chadwick, whose doctoral thesis I supervised, is succeeding so well in this increasingly vibrant and growing area.”

Professor Prescott’s essay on Katherine Philips and Archipelagic Coterie Space is based on research funded by The British Academy for the 'Women Writers and Wales, 1600-1800' study, and is to be published in Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature in 2014.

Major publishing success for our postgraduate Creative Writing students

Congratulations to Kate Hamer, an MA Creative Writing student in the Department of English and Creative Writing, who has just secured a two-book deal with publisher Faber. Her debut novel, The Girl in the Red Coat, will be published in 2015. Faber have called Kate a 'distinctive new voice in British fiction'. Read the full story here:

Kate's success follows hot on the heels of Eliza Granville, one of current Creative Writing PhD students, whose novel Gretel and the Dark will be published by Hamish Hamilton, an imprint of Penguin, in February 2014. Read more about the novel here:

Melita Hume Poetry Prize 2013

Congratulations to creative writing PhD student Maria Apichella, who has been shortlisted for the Melita Hume Poetry Prize 2013. The award is for a poet under 35, who will receive £1000 and publication of their debut collection by Eyewear Publishing. The final decision will be made on 8 September. More information here:

New Novels Published from Writers in the Department

The new academic year is beginning with a flurry of new novels from writers in the Department.    The Drive, the second novel by PhD student Tyler Keevil, following the acclaimed Fireball  three years ago, was published by Myriad Editions in August. More information on his website here: .

Our newest creative writing lecturer, and current PhD student, David Towsey, will be publishing his first novel, Your Brother’s Blood, in September. The first of a trilogy of science fiction novels, it is published by Quercus Books and will be launched at the Arts Centre Bookshop on 7 November. The first review has already appeared here:

Lecturer Dr Katherine Stansfield publishes her first novel, The Visitor, with Parthian Books this autumn, and will be launching  it at the bookshop on 21st November. Her website is:

Finally, Flight, the second novel by Creative Writing Fellow Dr Rosie Dub, originally published in Australia by Fourth Estate, is now available in the UK. Rosie will be reading from it at the bookshop in February 2014.  More on her website:

Congratulations to Jemma King:

Jemma King’s first poetry collection, The Shape of a Forest (Parthian), has been longlisted for the prestigious Dylan Thomas Prize:

Congratulations to Professor Hutton

Professor Sarah Hutton has been invited by the Australian Research Council to serve as an external assessor for research grants proposals.  Sarah is also a member of the AHRC Peer Review College.

Wales Book of the Year 2013

At the Wales Book of the Year 2013 Award Ceremony in Cardiff on 18 July, Professor Richard Marggraf Turley – one of the judges along with Ffion Hague and Jasper Fforde – presented Rhian Edwards with the Roland Mathias Prize for Poetry 18 July. Rhian swept the board in the English language competition, also winning the “People’s Choice” Award and the overall prize for Wales Book of the Year.

EU Funding Success

Dr Elisabeth Salter is a core member of a collaborative venture which has secured EU funding as a COST-Action. The project involved participants from over fifteen EU countries and is entitled “New Communities of Interpretation: Contexts, Strategies and Processes of Religious Transformation in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe”. It will run for four years from September 2013, with the key purpose of facilitating research in this field, and providing advanced subject specific skills training for MA and PhD students. The award value is 500,000eu

AHRC Funding Success

The AHRC Cultural Engagement Grant awarded to the Mostyn Project for its work on Llandudno is now coming to an end. The Principal Investigator is Dr Elisabeth Salter and the Early Career Fellows employed by the Project are Dr Mary Chadwick and Mostyn PhD Student Shaun Evans (who also passed his viva in May 2013). It has been a successful 3 months and the project team are hoping to build on this success for the Mostyn Project. If you want to know more about the Mostyn Project you can find information on the IMEMS website or email Elisabeth Salter


Professor Sarah Hutton is co-investigator of collaborative research project, 'Revisioning Cambridge Platonism', which has been awarded an AHRC Workshop and Networks grant. This is a collaborative research project which she is organising with Dr Douglas Hedley, of the University of Cambridge, where the project is based. A principal aim of the project is to lay the foundations for a major research project on the Cambridge Platonists which will involve research collaboration between Aberystwyth University and the University of Cambridge.


Professor Sarah Hutton has been nominated by Italy's ANVUR (National Agency for the Evaluation of Universities and Research Institutes) as a foreign member of the  Commission which has been set up to oversee the appointment of university professors in Italy. The ASN (Abilitazione Scientifica Nazionale) is a new initiative by the Italian equivalent of HEFCE as part of a drive by Italy's MIUR (Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Universita e della Ricerca) to set international bench marks for standards in higher education. Sarah Hutton has strong international links. Last year she was invited visiting professor at the University of Paris-Diderot. She says that she was hoping that the ANVUR nomination might mean visits to Italy, but in fact all the meetings will be conducted by Skype!

MA Creative Writing students publish anthology

MA Creative Writing students have just published an anthology of new writing, entitled Seafret. It was launched in the Arts Centre Bookshop as part of the annual postgraduate conference organised by the Department of English and Creative Writing. The contributors are postgraduate students, undergraduates and writers from the local community who gave readings and talked about their writing to a packed house. The publication is an annual project undertaken by MA students in the Department which provides hands on experience of editing and publishing. MA student Phil Clement said, 'I know a lot more now about designing a magazine, about the things that I had never really thought about as being in there before. It was a really fun experience and I’d advise anyone doing a Master’s in Aber to do it.' Congratulations to everyone involved with Seafret.

Departmental success at Student-led Teaching Awards

Two members of our staff were successesful in the Student-led Teaching Awards event, which celebrates the best in teaching, pastoral care and employability advice – all the more gratifying since, as the name suggests, the award winners were voted for by the students themselves.

 I’m delighted to announce that Dr Natasha Alden was Highly Commended in the Pastoral Care category - this is richly deserved, and  Mr Mike Smith won the Outstanding Teaching Award category – a major achievement.   

We are very proud of both members of staff – many congratulations.

Shakespeare research in the department goes global

On Easter Sunday, a feature on Jayne Archer’s, Richard Marggraf Turley’s and Howard “Sid” Thomas’s Shakespeare and the food chain research made the front page lead column and editorial of Sunday Times. Journalists and commentators – including Sir Terry Wogan– picked up the story. Features, interviews, translations and readers’ responses appeared across the world: Daily MailLA Times, El Mundo, History Today, MirrorHuffington PostTelegraph, IndependentTagesspiegel, Forbes, and MSN. Pdfs of Sunday Times front page (Jonathan Leake, Science editor); the originals can be seen at Audio links:BBC Wales Good Morning Wales  (timing: 55.37-59.10); BBC World Service’s Newshour (timing: 18.30-22.49); American Public Radio podcast feature, Marketplace; Fox News Radio bulletin. Newsy video feature.

Jayne, Richard and Sid will present and discuss their prize-winning essay at the Hay Festival on 23 May, 7pm, along with Adeline Johns-Putra of ASLE-UKI, and Jane Davidson, Director of INSPIRE and former Welsh Minister for Environment and Sustainability.


Publishing Success!

Success for Eliza Granville, one of the Dept's Creative Writing PhD students, whose novel, Gretel and the Dark, has been acquired by prestigious press Hamish Hamilton. "The novel ingeniously interweaves what appear at first to be two completely distinct strands: in 1899 Vienna, the strange case of a girl who insists she is a machine – to the great fascination and mystification of psychoanalyst Josef Breuer – and in Germany, some forty years later, the story of a little girl who tries to shut out what is happening around her by taking refuge in the colourful world of Grimm’s fairytales". Hamish Hamilton will publish Gretel and the Dark in March 2014.

Shakespeare: Poet, Dramatist, Grain Hoarder

The Department’s Professor Richard Marggraf Turley and Dr Jayne Archer, in collaboration with Professor Howard Thomas (IBERS), are the winners of the inaugural INSPIRE and ASLE-UKI Public Lecture Competition on Literature and Sustainability. They will present their winning lecture, ‘Reading with the Grain: Sustainability and the Literary Imagination’, at the Hay Festival on the evening of Thursday 23 May 2013. Their lecture, which sheds new light on Shakespeare’s activities as a convicted grain hoarder, will be followed by a discussion, to be chaired by Jane Davidson, Director of INSPIRE and former Welsh minister for sustainability. For more about the lecture and INSPIRE, see

Cool Job

We are delighted to announce that Richard Marggraf Turley, has recently been appointed as Aberystwyth's first Professor of Engagement with the Public Imagination.  Richard was interviewed about his new role by Jason Mohammad on BBC Radio Wales on 28 January. Both agreed it was the "coolest job description on the planet". (Posted 8 February 2013)

"Places of Memory in Translation"

The first of this semester’s Research Seminars will take place on Wednesday, 6 February at 5.15 pm in Room D59, Hugh Owen Building.  We will be delighted to welcome our speaker, Sharon Morris, Head of the PhD Programme at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College, London. (Posted 24 January 2013)

PG Funding - PhD and MA applicants

In Summer 2013, the Department will award a number of postgraduate studentships. The studentships are open to those planning to study for MAs and PhDs in the Department. The awards, covering fees, are open to applicants in all areas of literary studies and creative writing, and to all MA schemes. There is no separate application form for these studentships. In order to be considered for these awards, you must have been offered a place on the MA or PhD schemes by 1 August 2013. Please note that MA students in their second or third year of part-time study and PhD students in their second and third years of study are not eligible for this competition.   Queries about the studentships should be addressed to the Director of Postgraduate Studies, Dr Jayne Archer.

News Archive 2012

Dylan Thomas - Radio 4's Great Lives

Damian Walford Davies, Head of Department, could be heard in last week’s Great Lives on Radio 4.  Dylan Thomas was proposed by Welsh poet Owen Sheers in this specially recorded edition at Bristol's More Than Words Listening Festival. Includes Richard Burton reading Under Milk Wood. Matthew Parris presents.  Listen to the podcast -
Download Dylan Thomas

Terry Hetheringon Young Writers Award 2012

Terry Hetherington, who died in 2007, was a poet, short story writer and Welsh Academi Member.  In association with the Dylan Thomas Centre, the Terry Hetherington Writer’s Bursary was established to award a young writer aged 16-23.  We are delighted that Grace Gay, an undergraduate student of Creative Writing with us here at Aber, will see two of her pieces, a poem Remember All I gave, and a prose piece, Waves, published in the award anthology.  The anthology will be entitled Cheval and will be published in paperback by Parthian Press. Congratulations Grace! (Posted 3 April 2012)

Successful 2012 Sixth Form Conference

Owen Sheers On Monday 19 March 2012 the Department of English & Creative Writing hosted its annual Sixth Form Conference, attended by 80 students from five local schools. The conference aimed to give these young people a sense of the Department’s special environment, its combination of academic and creative culture; and in this, according to a reliable source, it was a great success. After a brief introduction by Professor Damian Walford Davies, the opening speaker was Dr Jayne Archer, whose presentation on King Lear brilliantly conveyed some of the intellectual excitement and challenges of studying English at university.  We were then delighted to be able to introduce Owen Sheers (pictured) who gave a fascinating talk on his novel Resistance and on his role in its film adaptation (of which he showed some clips). A whole variety of issues were raised by his talk and the discussion afterwards – to do with the processes and constraints of creative work, both what inspires writing and how it can be achieved – that made the occasion unforgettable. We are immensely grateful to Owen Sheers for his contribution, and we very much wish to maintain links with him in the future.   After a brief lunchtime tour of the university campus with student volunteers, our visitors returned for the afternoon session. This, the grand finale of the conference, was a talk by Professor Damian Walford Davies on Blake and the Romantic Imagination, a passionate meditation on the cultural and political significance of that great artist and poet. This was an apt conclusion to a day that had highlighted the creative possibilities and imaginative energy of the Department. Well done to those involved in organizing and delivering such a successful event. (Posted 23 March 2012)

Conference News: National Poet of Wales to speak at Postgrad Conference in April

We are delighted to announce that Gillian Clarke will be attending the Department of English Literature and Creative Writing's annual Postgraduate Conference held at the National Library of Wales.

She will be one of the plenary speakers at the conference and will be giving a reading of her poetry and answering questions about her work and her public role.  Gillian was named National Poet of Wales in 2008 and is the President of Ty Newydd, the Welsh Writers Centre, which she co-founded in 1990. In 2010 she was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry and in 2011 she received an Honorary Doctorate of Literature from the University of Glamorgan.  Her poetry is studied by GCSE and A Level students throughout Britain and has been translated into ten languages. Her recent work includes: A Recipe for Water, and a collection of prose, At the Source. At the conference she will be reading poems from her new collection, Ice, which is to be published in October 2012.

Gillian's plenary address is just one event scheduled as part of the Department of English and Creative Writing's 2012 Postgraduate Conference: "Are We There Yet? Remapping Literary Imagination".   Other plenary speakers this year will include Wales Book of the Year 2011 author, Ned Thomas, and the head of Aberystwyth University’s English and Creative Writing department, Professor Damian Walford Davies. Further information  2012 Postgraduate Conference(Posted 28 February 2012)

Former Student Wins Literary Prize

Congratulations to Kate Hamer, former MA student in Creative Writing, who has been awarded First Prize in the distinguished Rhys Davies Short Story Competition.  See Full Story. (Posted 28 February 2012)

PhD Student's Latest Novel features in New Welsh Review

Eliza Granville, pictured, is a PhD student of Creative Writing in the department.  Look out for an extract of Eliza's latest novel, Narrenturm, in the latest issue of New Welsh Review, number 95 out on 1 March.  For more about Eliza's work see Amazon.  (Posted 28 February 2012)

Annual Postgraduate Conference, 25-27 April 2012 

The English and Creative Writing department’s annual postgraduate conference, this year entitled ‘Are We There Yet? Remapping Literary Imagination’, will take place on 25- 27 April 2012 at the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth. 

This three day conference will bring together academics, creative writers and students to discuss the following questions:

Where are we from? Where are we going?  How does literature explore the depiction of physical and mental journeys? How do minority experiences and new perspectives function within the evolving landscape of literature?  This terrain is constantly shifting as our world continues to transition from localised cultures into a global society. How do we define the boundaries of genre when the borders themselves are in a state of flux? What is the impact of these changes on the production of literature and literary theory?  Call for papers and details - see 2012 Postgraduate Conference(Posted 22 February 2012)

Aberystwyth - Texas Doctoral Exchange

The Department of English and Creative Writing is now inviting applications for the Aberystwyth-Texas doctoral exchange. The exchange is an exciting opportunity for the department’s PhD students to experience a different learning environment by spending a semester in the Department of English, Texas A&M University.

Students will be supervised by a member of the English Department with compatible research interests, have the opportunity to deliver a paper on their own research and to contribute to some undergraduate seminars. The Department at Texas teaches creative writing and literary studies. (See  Texas Exchange Information and Texas Exchange Application Form  - competition open only to  existing Phd students).

Opened in 1876 as Texas' first public institution of higher learning, Texas A&M University is a research-intensive flagship university with 38,000-plus undergraduates and more than 9,000 graduate students studying in over 250 degree programs in 10 colleges.  The Department of English at Texas A & M University has played an important role on campus since the University's founding in 1876, when "Languages and Literature" was designated as one of the original four courses of study.   Now in its second century, the Department has 90 faculty, 100 graduate students, and 700 undergraduate majors, and is built upon a long tradition of study in literature and language, writing and reading, culture and interpretation. The Department of English maintains a tradition of excellence in research and teaching at all levels. (Posted 22 February 2012)

News Archive 2011

Undergrad Shortlisted for Young Writers' Award

Congratulations!  2nd Year undergraduate student, Beth Garden, has been shortlisted for the WICKED Young Writers’ Award for her poem The Moon.  The  WICKED Young Writers' Award recognises excellence in writing, encourages creativity and helps develop writing talent in young people.  The main judges for the 2011 award are Michael McCabe, Executive Producer of WICKED, Michael Morpurgo, former Children's Laureate and bestselling author and William Fiennes, author and founder of First Story. (Posted 21 December 2011)

London Festival Fringe Award for  Tiffany Atkinson

We are delighted to announce that the LONDON FESTIVAL FRINGE has nominated Tiffany Atkinson  for the London Poetry Award 2012.    The London Awards for Art and Performance are the country's most expansive awards and recognise artists and performers across many art-forms.  Nominated artists are considered to have made an outstanding contribution to their art. The shortlist will be announced in late Spring 2012 and awards will take place in central London in the summer of 2012.  Well done, Tiffany! (Posted 21 December 2011)

Leverhulme Award: “Women’s Poetry 1400-1800 in English, Irish, Scots, Scots Gaelic and Welsh”

Dr Sarah Prescott, as Principal Applicant, will be directing this fascinating new project for which an important Leverhulme Project Grant has been awarded.  Over the next three years she will be working with fellow scholars at the University of Edinburgh, National University of Ireland, Galway and the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies, Aberystwyth.

Commenting on the project Dr Prescott said:  "The proposed research will provide a major new literary history of women's poetry in Ireland, Scotland and Wales from 1400 to 1800 in Welsh, Gaelic, Scots, Scots Gaelic and English through a fully edited anthology with translations and a critical study jointly written by the specialists engaged on the project. The last twenty years has seen an explosion of interest in pre-1800 British women's writing. However, there is currently still no comparative study of women’s poetry across linguistic and national boundaries in this period. This is due primarily to the difficulty of finding a single scholar with the appropriate linguistic expertise and interest across the Anglophone, Irish, Scottish and Welsh contexts of women’s writing, but also a result of the disciplinary division between the study of Celtic and Anglophone cultures. The primary aim of this project is thus to cross these linguistic and disciplinary boundaries to understand for the first time the ways in which women’s poetic production operated and survived in multiple geographical locations and comparative linguistic and cultural contexts. By engaging in the archival recovery of women poets, the over-arching aim of the project is to provide a revisionary account of women’s literary activity which seeks to overturn the critical common places of early women’s writing." (Posted 13 December 2011)

MA Student Wins Faculty Prize

We are delighted to learn that Lowri Emlyn, student of Creative Writing has just been awarded the University Faculty of Arts Prize. (Posted 13 December 2011)

Critical Acclaim for New Poetry Collection

Congratulations to Tiffany Atkinson.  Tiffany's second collection Catulla et al was given the lead poetry review in Saturday's Guardian, 20 November. Beginning by describing the book as a 'smart, sardonic and vulnerable updating of Catullus', Patrick McGuinness goes on to say that 'Atkinson's versions are in the finest tradition of creative adaptation: keeping the originals as ballast, but unafraid to sail off on their own tangents.'  Atkinson's first collection, Kink and Particle, appeared in 2006; this, her second, has her familiar quickness of mind, her spiky, often self-lacerating wit, and her snappy, vibrant diction. Catulla's is a world of decadent excess and morning-after desolation, of hangovers of the moral as well as the physical kind; of reality TV, suburban infidelity, jealousy and besottedness. – Patrick McGuinness.  The collection is published by Bloodaxe Books. (Posted 21 November 2011)

BOOK LAUNCH - Thursday

Honno Press invites you to the launch of Mysterious Death of Miss Austen – a new book by popular local writer, Lindsay Ashford:  Thursday 24 November, 18.00 in the Aberystwyth Arts Centre Bookshop. (Posted 22 November 2011)

Chawton House Lecture

Dr Sarah Prescott will be presenting a lecture at the Chawton House Library, Alton, Hampshire - "Home of Early English Women's Writing" - on 6 December.  Sarah will explore a range of Anglophone Welsh women writers from the eighteenth century in this unique lecture - the last in the Library's series for 2011.  See poster  (Posted 22 November 2011)

NEW DEGREE SCHEME: BA English and World Literatures

The Department of English and Creative Writing is very pleased to announce the launch of a new degree scheme: BA English and World Literatures, to start next academic year 2012-13.  Students taking this dynamic new degree will complete their studies with a truly global perspective on literary studies in English.  The English and World Literatures (EWL) degree allows students to explore the work of leading international writers from Africa, Asia, Australasia, the Caribbean and North America, as well the most urgent literary voices from the British and Irish archipelago.  EWL offers an exciting combination of 'traditional' English degree and a course of study that reveals the diversity of English-language writing emerging from global locations of culture. (Posted 18 October 2011)

Poetry Competition

Julia Roberts’ poem, ‘A boxed set of seagulls’, was a runner up in the 2011 Mslexia Women's Poetry Competition judged by poet and editor, Professor Jo Shapcott of Royal Holloway College.  The poem is published in the October edition of Mslexia, the magazine for women who write.

Julia, who is now a PhD student in the department, worked on the poem as part of her MA here at Aber.  Jo Shapcott said, 'Julia Roberts’ poem, ‘A boxed set of seagulls’, was only two small stanzas of eight lines each, capturing the resonance of the holiday gift and the difficulty of choosing the right one. Like Crusoe’s knife in the Bishop poem, they ‘reek of meaning’, but can’t touch the real experience sketched beautifully in the last four lines.' (Posted 12 October 2011)

Another success for PhD Student

Creative writing PhD student Tyler Keevil has been shortlisted for The Guardian’s Not the Booker Prize 2011 for his debut novel Fireball (Parthian Books). This award, open to novels which were eligible for the Booker Prize but not shortlisted for it, is voted for by visitors to the Guardian website. The six shortlisted books will be reviewed on the  site and readers will debate their merits before a final vote in October.  It’s the second success for Fireball recently, following its longlisting for the Wales Book of the Year Award (see below). Tyler is currently working on a second novel as part of his PhD. (Posted 19 August 2011)

An Invitation to Open the Vaults

On Tuesday 23rd August, a one-day symposium - 'Opening the Vaults' - is being held at Gloddaith Hall, (St. David's College), Llandudno; one of the ancestral residences of the Mostyn family.  The event will revolve around current studies of Welsh families and their archives c.1500-1850.  The prospective presenters range from archivists and art-dealers to doctoral candidates and university lecturers whereas presentation topics will focus on a wide variety of themes including portraiture, creative writing, conspicuous consumption, Welsh-language poetry, slavery, Puritanism and archival issues.  We would welcome a large audience drawn from the IMEMS community.   (Posted 6 July 2011)

Scottish Retreat

Lecturet and Poet, Tiffany Atkinson has been awarded a Hawthornden Fellowship.  Hawthornden Castle is an international retreat for writers and stands on a secluded crag overlooking the valley of the river North Esk, just to the south of Edinburgh. The view is impressive, as is the silence surrounding the glen.  Just what's needed to refresh the creative spirit at the end of the academic calendar.  (Posted 24 June 2011)

Chawton House Library Fellowship

The Centre for Women's Writing and Literary Culture is delighted to announce that doctoral student Mary Chadwick has been granted a Chawton House Library Fellowship for Autumn/Winter 2011.

Chawton House Library holds a collection of books focusing on women's writing in English from 1600 to 1830. Set in the home of Jane Austen’s brother, the library offers a unique opportunity to study texts in a peaceful, beautiful and supportive setting.

Mary will spend November and December 2011 working with the library's collection of late eighteenth-century novels. She will focus on those written by women and set in Wales, as part of her AHRC-funded PhD research into the literary pursuits and representations of the Welsh gentry. During her time at Chawton, Mary will present a paper based on her research and may contribute a short piece of work to the library’s journal The Female Spectator. (Posted 22 June 2011)

Fellowship at Wolfson College

Congratulations to Professor Sarah Hutton who will be taking up a visiting fellowship at Wolfson College, Cambridge for the Michaelmas Term commencing this September. (Posted 22 June 2011)

Leverhulme Research Fellowship

Senior Lecturer, Dr Martin Padget has been awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship to begin work on a critical biography of Paul Strand, one of the leading photographers and creative intellectuals of the 20th Century. (Posted 11 May 2011)

Launch of new Research Centre

The official launch of the Centre for Women’s Writing and Literary Culture (CWWLC) will take place at The Drwm, National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth on 31 May 2011

After introductions the Centre’s Inaugural Annual Lecture, in collaboration with the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS), will be presented Professor Margaret J. M. Ezell, Distinguished Professor and Sara and John Lindsey Chair of Liberal Arts, Texas A& M University. The title of lecture is Seventeenth-Century Female Author Portraits, Or, The Company She Keeps.

The afternoon programme includes: poetry readings from Gwyneth Lewis and Alicia Stubbersfield, a lecture entitled 50 rooms of their own: Chawton House Library and Jane Austen in 2011 by Dr Gillian Dow of the Chawton House Library, University of Southampton and a presentation of plans for future collaboration between the library and the CWWLC by and Stephen Lawrence (Chief Executive, Chawton House Library) and Dr Rebecca Davies (Aberystwyth University).  Honno Press will generously donate a collection of books to the Centre to mark the launch.  (Posted 4 May 2011


Congratulations to Tyler Keevil, postgraduate student of Creative Writing, who has been longlisted for the Wales Book of the Year for his first novel, Fireball.  Tyler was delighted at the nomination: "I’m very grateful that readers have taken to ‘Fireball.’  It’s a pretty weird book, really – about a couple of misfits from suburban Vancouver – and I had no idea how people would react when it came out.  But the response has been super positive.  I’ve had a lot of support along the way – from my editor Lucy Llewellyn, of course, and also my teachers at Aberystwyth, most notably Matthew Francis (who’s currently supervising my PhD).  I don’t think any of us expected this fortuitous turn of events, and it’s both exciting and humbling to have made the longlist for Wales Book of the Year." (Posted 20 April 2011)

Wednesday 6th April 2011

Dr Ivan Hristov of the Bulgarian Academy of Science gave a paper entitled 'The Dragon's Wedding: A Mythological Motif in Bulgarian Literary Modernism'

Literary scholar and poet, Ivan Hristov, is visiting Aberystwyth from Sofia.  He is a specialist on 1920s Modernism and a prize-winning poet: his first book of poetry, Sbogom devetnajsti vek (Farewell To the 19th Century, 2001) won the prestigious 2002 Southern Spring award for the best debut book. His second collection, Bdin (2004) won the 2006 Svetlostrui Prize for poetry.  Dr Hristov is also a leading Bulgarian literary critic.

Centre for Romantic Studies: Landor Lecture

Professor Fiona Stafford (Somerville College, Oxford), recently delivered the third ‘Landor’ Lecture on: Jane Austen, Power Relations and Social Change.

An expert in Romantic and contemporary poetry, Professor Stafford is author of The Last of the Race: The Growth of a Myth from Milton to Darwin (Oxford, 1994), Starting Lines in Scottish, Irish and English Poetry: From Burns to Heaney (Oxford, 2000), and most recently Local Attachments: The Province of Poetry (Oxford, 2010).

Poem by Creative Writing Tutor chosen as Guardian Poem of the Week

Jasmine Donahaye’s poem 'The Bus to Ramallah' was chosen by Carol Rumens for her weekly online poetry column in The Guardian.  Find out more about Jasmine and her work and read her poem.

Head of Department made FRSA

Professor Diane Watt, Head of the Department of English and Creative Writing, has been made a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts. The RSA combines thought leadership with social innovation to further human progress. Building on a 250 year history as a beacon for enlightenment values, it undertakes influential and varied research projects and host the UK’s most ambitious free lecture series. See (Posted 28 January 2011)

The Wye Valley: Romantic Representations, 1640-1830

The aim of this international conference – held on the banks of the Wye at Tintern, with views over to the abbey ruins – is to revisit one of Britain’s paradigmatic cultural sites: the Wye Valley. (Posted 28 January 2011)

Location, Reception and Identity: Welsh Women's Writing in English 2000 - Present Day

11 March 2011.  This conference seeks to ‘take stock’ of the state of Welsh women’s writing in the decade after devolution, and explore the ways in which the issues of Welsh identity and heritage, Welsh women’s writing and Welsh writing in English intersect.(Posted 21 January 2011)

New Horizons: Crossing the Borderlands of the Humanities

This year's Postgraduate Conference entitled New Horizons: Crossing the Borderlands of the Humanities will take place on 11-13 May 2011.  With the rise of interdisciplinary criticisms, new and exciting light has been shed on the humanities, whether new avenues into past or contemporary literature, art or history, new forms of fiction and poetry, or blended methodologies and criticisms. This conference will explore various ways that the humanities might approach this new and open territory.(Posted 21 January 2011)

News Archive 2010

Sarah Hall Shortlisted

We are delighted that former student, Sarah Hall, has been shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award.  She has been a regular and welcome visitor to the department and, earlier this year, contributed to our Sixth Form Conference.  Read more about student biography sarah hall  (Posted 17 November 2010)

Congratulations to PhD student

Creative writing student, Seth Clabough, has been signed up, on the strength of his PhD novel, All Things Await, by prestigious New York agency InkWell Management.  InkWell represent a wide range of prominent writers including Robert Harris, Lionel Shriver, Brian Cox and Simon Schama. (Posted 15 October 2010)

Department in 6th place in NSS 2010

The  Department of English and Creative Writing is one of the top 6 University departments of English Studies according to the 2010 National Student Survey. 96% of students were satisfied overall with their course according to the poll. For more information go to (Posted 6 September)

First Aberystwyth PhD under new powers

In a graduation ceremony on 13 July, Stephen Wilson, a creative writing student in poetry, received the first PhD to be awarded by Aberystwyth University.  Hitherto, degrees were awarded by the University of Wales; full degree-awarding powers were granted during 2009-10. Stephen’s thesis, Heritage, was completed last year and collection of poems Fluttering Hands was published by Greenwich Exchange in 2008.   Isaac Rosenberg, a short study of the First World War poet, was also published by Greenwich Exchange in its 'Student Guide Literary Series' this year. (Posted 21 July 2010)

International conference a resounding success

Recycling Myths Inventing Nations , held at Gregynog 14-16 July 2010, was a wonderful opportunity for scholars from around the globe to share their research and expertise. Bringing together over seventy academics from 20 countries, spanning five continents this was a genuinely international event which promises to be the starting point for future collaborations and further work in the area of myth and national identity. For further details about the conference see (Posted 21 July 2010)

Award-winning poetry

Reader in the Department, Richard Marggraf Turley, has won the 2010 Wales Book of the Year "People's Choice" award for his poetry collection, Wan-Hu's Flying Chair (Salt 2009).  Richard is pictured here at the Award Ceremony with Karen Price, Arts Correspondent with the Western Mail (copyright Academi/Emyr Young). (Posted 8 July 2010)

Major Research Grant Awarded

Congratulations to Dr Damian Walford Davies, Reader, on the award of a prestigious British Academy grant.  Damian said,  "I was delighted to receive a 16-month British Academy Research Development Award (BARDA) to complete my 70,000-word half of the co-written fourth volume of The Oxford Literary History of Wales: Welsh Writing in English, 1914–2009. This is the most comprehensive and ambitious history of Welsh-language and anglophone literary production ever attempted, of which I am General Editor. The grant is also excellent news for the increasingly lively and mobile discipline of Welsh Writing in English; my colleague, Dr Sarah Prescott (also part of the OLHW team), was the recipient last year of a BARDA award for a project exploring the earlier contours of Wales’s anglophone writing."  Read more about Damian's research project here - Damian-research project . (Posted 1 July 2010).

TOP IN WALES - Guardian University Guide 2011

The Guardian has published its University Guide for 2011 and Aber comes top in Wales and with some great scores compared to universities right across the UK.  Check it out: 10 June 2010)

Recent Poetry Performance

Having taken a highly successful son et lumière poetry performance to the Guardian Hay on Wye Literary Festival last year, Damian Walford Davies and Richard Marggraf Turley were invited back to Hay in 2010 with their latest poetry event. In front of a sell-out evening audience, Damian and Richard presented Uncovered Beasts and Wanton Troopers, integrating image and sound with strange songs from the wood . . ..  (Posted 8 June 2010)

MA student's story on Radio 4

Congratulations to Creative Writing MA student Math Bird, who has had one of his short stories accepted for radio broadcast as part of a BBC Wales series of three.  Math’s A Giant’s Tears, read by Craig Ryder, will be on Radio 4 on Thursday 24 June at 15.30.  The other two stories, by Niall Griffiths and Jane Saotome, are on Tuesday 23 and Wednesday 24 June at 15.30. (Posted 4 June 2010)

Columbia University Professorship

Professor Sarah Hutton has been invited to be Gildersleeve Professor at Barnard College, Columbia University, New York for the Spring Semester 2011. This prestigious professorship is intended to bring visiting scholars, preferably women from abroad, to Barnard College  Gildersleeve Professors typically come to Barnard for a single week in which they deliver the traditional public lecture, and meet classes or informal student groups. Barnard College, was founded in 1889 to provide higher education for women in New York City at a time when American universities denied entrance to women. Today Barnard retains its commitment to women’s higher education in partnership with Columbia University. (Posted 2 June 2010)

PhD students' success

The winner of the 2010 LBA Prize for Fiction  is Seth Clabough. Second place went to David Towsey, and third to Brandi Mantha. Seth receives a £250 prize and will have the opportunity to meet up with Luigi Bonomi, founder-director of LBA (LBA Literary Agency), later in the year.   (Posted 25 May 2010)

Industry Recognition for Honorary Fellow

We are delighted that Luigi Bonomi, founder-director of LBA (LBA Literary Agency) and Honorary Fellow of this Department, was awarded the title of Literary Agent of the Year at this year's British Book Awards on 17 May.  (Posted 25 May 2010)

Filmed Poetry Reading

Damian Walford Davies's poetry collection, Suit of Lights, has been  chosen by the Wales Literature Exchange as one of its 10 ‘Bookshelf’ titles (titles which ‘represent the best in contemporary writing from Wales’) for promotion in Europe in 2010; for the promotional film, see 14 May)


Congratulations to Dr Martin Padget has won won the Arthur Miller Centre Prize at the annual conference of the British Association for American Studies at the University of East Anglia for his essay 'Native Americans, the Photobook and the Southwest: Ansel Adams's and Mary Austin's Taos Pueblo'. The prize is awarded annually to the best article of the year on an American subject by a member of the British Association for American Studies.  (Posted 14 May 2010)

Wales Book of the Year 2010

Double success for the Department of English and Creative Writing: Dr Richard Marggraf Turley and Dr Jasmine Donahaye, who teach in the Department, have both been long-listed for the “Wales Book of the Year, 2010”. Their poetry collections, Wan-Hu’s Flying Chair and Self-Portrait as Ruth are both published by Salt. The short list will be announced at the Guardian Hay Festival on 6 June. Link to BBC coverage:  (Posted 14 May 2010)

Poetry published

PhD student, Seth Clabough's poem "Ribbon on the Eastern Shore" will appear in volume 47 of Magma Poetry (  His creative piece  "Sorry to Interrupt" appears in the Fall 2010 issue of the James Dickey Review(Posted 14 May 2010)

'Happylife' at the Impact! Exhibition

Dr Richard Marggraf Turley, reader in English in the Department of English and Creative Writing, has taken part in a unique collaboration between science and design that explores the importance of engineering and physical sciences in all aspects of our lives. “Happylife” is part of the Impact! Exhibition, held at the Royal College of Art on 16-21 March 2010. 16 EPSRC funded research teams were paired with designers from the Royal College of Art, Design Interactions Department to work together to produce conceptual designs. The exhibition is a joint project between EPSRC, Royal College of Art and NESTA. Keats-Shelley Prize winning poet, Richard Marggraf Turley, collaborated with designer James Auger to produce short fictional narratives illustrating ways in which a hypothetical “HappyLife” mood display might be used by a family of the future. For details of HappyLife, see:  (Posted 17 February 2010)

Researchers take the temperature of Love

“Steamy love poems are always popular around Valentine's Day, but can a few lines of tender verse really make people hot under the collar? Researchers at Aberystwyth University attempted to find out earlier this week, using thermal imaging cameras to take the temperature of volunteers reading the work of Romantic poets. The experiment is a collaboration between the arts and the sciences, led by Keats-Shelley Prize winning poet Dr Richard Marggraf Turley from the Department of English and Creative Writing and Professor Reyer Zwiggelaar from Computer Science. They asked six volunteers from each department to silently read 12 love poems, while a slightly less amorous text about thermal imaging served as a control. As the participants pored over poems, including ‘Bright Star’ by John Keats and ‘To His Coy Mistress’ by Andrew Marvell, thermal cameras monitored their faces for any change in temperature that could reveal their true feelings. Initial results suggest that love poetry can indeed set the heart a-flutter.” (Posted 17 February 2010)

(from Guardian Science, 13 February 2010)

The Valentine’s Day experiments fired the imagination of press in the UK and beyond. A selection of news coverage can be sampled at the following links:

BBC News:

Guardian Science blog:

The Scotsman:

The Western Mail:

Creative Writing Success for MA graduate

Joao Morais, who graduated with distinction from the department's 2008-9 creative writing MA programme, has been awarded a prize in the Academi/Rhys Davies short story competition.  See for details.  (Posted 26 February 2010)

News Archive 2007 - 2009


The Department of English and Creative Writing here at Aber is one of the top 6 University departments of English Studies according to the 2010 National Student Survey. 96% of students were satisfied overall with their course according to the poll. For more information go to

different WORLDS

The MA Creative Writing Magazine 2010 - different WORLDS - is now open for submissions.  Please send your poems, stories and artwork on the theme of different WORLDS.  For submission guidelines, theme overview, contact details and deadlines, PLEASE REFER to the team's website at  PDF versions of submission guidelines are also available on request.  Please direct all queries/requests to the different WORLDS team at  (different WORLDS is produced by students on the department's MA course in Creative Writing.) (posted 26 November 2009)

PhD Open Evening, Thursday 10 December

On Thursday, 10 December, 6-7.30 pm in Hugh Owen C165, there will be an Open Evening for MA students interested in PhD study in the Department of English and Creative Writing.  The evening will include short presentations on doctoral study, the application process, and funding.  You will be able to discuss and ask questions about doctoral study with members of staff and current PhD students.  Drinks and light snacks will be served.  All MA students are welcome to attend. 

If you have any queries about the Open Evening, or if you are interested in doctoral study in the Department of English and Creative Writing but can't attend the Open Evening, please email Mrs Julie Roberts or Dr Jayne Archer. (Posted 18 November 2009)

MA Open Evening, Tuesday 8 December

On Tuesday, 8 December, 6-7.30 pm in Hugh Owen C165 there will be an Open Evening for third-year students interested in MA study in the Department of English and Creative Writing.  The Evening will include short presentations on the MA schemes, the application process, and funding.  You will be able to discuss and ask questions about MA study with members of staff and current MA students.  Drinks and light snacks will be served.  All third-year students are welcome to attend. 

If you have any queries about the Open Evening, or if you are interested in MA study in the Department of English and Creative Writing but can't attend the Open Evening, please email Mrs Julie Roberts ( or Dr Jayne Archer (  (Posted 18 November)

Poem for publication

PhD student in Creative Writing, Seth Clabough's poem "I Know Why" has been accepted for publicaTion and in the winter issue of The Chaffey Review

Ethics and Politics in Modern American Poetry

Ethics and Politics in Modern American Poetry is the title of a book by John Wrighton, published recently by Routledge. John graduated with a PhD in English from the department in 2008. His book explores the relationship between the ethical imperative and poetic practice in prominent post-war American poetry. (Posted 14 August 2009)

Communities of Inquiry, Communities of Practice:
Conference 8-9 September 2009

The department will host a  two-day conference and proposed edited collection designed to bring together teachers and learners interested in exploring the possibilities of Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL), particularly in the humanities disciplines. Supported by CILASS (Centre for Inquiry-based Learning in the Arts and Social Sciences) this event will unite practitioners, academics, and learning technologists to showcase current learning and teaching practices, and explore new methods of encouraging and supporting IBL. See details here - Communities of Inquiry conference(Posted 11 August 2009)

Father & Daughter Graduate Together

Double celebrations for Michael Apichella and his daughter Maria at graduation this year: Michael was awarded a PhD in Creative Writing, while Maria gained an MA in the same subject.  Michael was the first of Aberystwyth's Creative Writing PhD students to be enrolled, and is the first to graduate.  Maria, who joined the department as an undergraduate in 2004, is currently working on her own Creative Writing PhD.  (Posted 17 July 2009)

Teaching Excellence Award 2009

Well done Will Slocombe, lecturer in twentieth-century literature, who has received one of Aberystwyth University’s prestigious Teaching Excellence Awards 2009 for his work in postgraduate student support and blended learning.  With his keen interest in exploring and applying the ways in which technology can improve teaching and enhance learning, he will be continuing to work on projects in this area.  Will follows in the footsteps of colleagues who have also been awarded this University prize  for teaching excellence, Kelly Grovier (2008) and Sarah Prescott (2005).   Their success demonstrates the important role that innovative teaching and learning plays in the Department.  (Posted 15 July 2009)

The Cambrian Muses

Congratulations to Prescott, Sarah on receiving a prestigious British Academy Research Development Award. The award,  for one year, enables Sarah to further develop her fascinating and innovative research into pre-1800 Anglophone literature of Wales.  Her forthcoming book is entitled Seventeenth and Eighteen Century Women Writers from Wales: The Cambrian Muses. (Posted 10 July 2009)

BBC Wales

Listen to Richard Marggraf Turley with Michael Dobbs, author of House of Cards, discussing J D Salinger's Catcher in the Rye (during Good Morning Wales, 4 June 2009) -  Starts: 2hrs 22mins 18secs (Posted 5 June 2009)

Postgraduate Workshops

PhD student in Creative writing, Katherine Stansfield, has received an award under the Roberts Funding Scheme.  This will be used to fund a day of postgraduate workshops given by Aberystwyth graduate and award-winning novelist, Sarah Hall.  (Posted 26 May 2009)

Hay Festival

Award . . .
Tiffany Atkinson,
one of the three judges of The Wales Book of the Year Award, announced the shortlist for the 2008 award at the Guardian Hay Festival, Monday 25 May

 . . . and Performance
Damian Walford Davies
and Richard Marggraf Turley performed at this year's Guardian Hay Festival.  Promoting their new poetry collection, Suit of Lights (Seren) and Wan-Hu's Flying Chair (Salt), they presented a son-et-lumiere evening of poetry and image, entititled Jade Corridors and Green Harpoons on Monday, 25 May  (Posted 1 May 2009) 

Award Winner - Well done Mark!

Mature student, Mark Atkinson is the  Inspire! Adult Learner of the Year.  Read Mark's story . . . (Posted 1 May 2009)

Short Story

A short story by Seth Clabough, PhD student and Tutor in Creative Writing, appeared in the upcoming issue of Sixers Review ( and another, "The Site" will appear in the May/June issue of Oak Bend Review ( 

Congratulations to Kelly Grovier

Dr Kelly Grovier, Lecturer in Creative Writing has received an award from Academi.

Honorary Positions

We are very pleased to announce that Professor Jane Aaron, University of Glamorgan has been made an Honorory Professor.  Prize-winning novelist, Sarah Hall, has been appointed Honorary Lecturer.

New Welsh Review Poetry Competition

Katherine Stansfield (PhD student and Tutor in Creative Writing) is pictured here with Director of Creative Writing, Professor Jem Poster, after receiving her runner-up prize in the recent competition.

Congratulations to Elin Ap Hywel

Elin Ap Hywel, tutor in Creative Writing has been awarded a writer's bursary of over £4000 by Academi to complete a volume of poems.    'Brooch', her translation of the poem 'Broits' by Menna Elfyn is featured among the currently Poems on the Underground.  And on 1 March, the choral symphony 'The Tension of Opposites', by Matthew Ferraro, for which Elin co-wrote the libretto for the first and fourth movements, was premiered at the Barbican, London, by the Crouch End Festival Chorus.

AHRC Grants News

The Department has been awareded 3 AHRC Doctoral Awards and 1 Research Preparation Masters, see Postgraduate and MA funding

Fellowship at Princeton

Professor Sarah Hutton has been offered at visiting research fellowship (Membership) in the Institute for Advance Study, Princeton, for the autumn term 2009-10.

Congratulations to Sarah Prescott

Senior Lecturer, Sarah Prescott, was shortlisted for the 2009 Roland Mathias Prize, for her book Bards and Britons.  The Roland Mathias Prize is awarded for Welsh writing in English and is open to any writer born in Wales or currently living Wales. Christine Evans and Dannie Abse have been previous winners.

RAE News

We are delighted that 95% of the submission for 'English Language and Literature' was classified within the 'international' categories, with 40% being judged either 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent'.

CEDAR - Collaborative Digital Research in the Humanities

CEDAR is an AHRC-funded Doctoral Training project open to all PhD students working in the arts and humanities.  Led by Bangor University and Aberystwyth University, and partnered by De Montfort University and Bournemouth University, it aims to assist students in using new media to facilitate research and build research networks, and provide practical training ina range of such media. If you are interested in further details, please see the attached CEDAR flyer or contact Dr Will Slocombe  The application form is available for download below.  The initial deadline for registration is 31 January 2009, although applications after this date will be considered on a "first come, first served" basis.  Registration document for CEDAR

Congratulations to Prize Winners 

Charlotte Allen (MA Creative Writing) and Sarah Hillier (MA Literary Studies) who have been awarded the Faculty prize for taught MAs in the academic year 2006-2007.

New Welsh Review Poetry Prize

New Welsh Review, in association with the Department, is delighted to announce a new prize for poetry.

The prize, to be judged by award-winning poet Philip Gross, is open to New Welsh Review subscribers and to students in this department.  The winner will receive £200, with £50 each for two runners-up, at a ceremony in March 2009.  The winning poem will also be published in the New Welsh Review.

The closing date for entries was 30 January 2009.  For more details and an entry form go to or contact New Welsh Review by email at or by phone on 01970 628410.

Forward Prize for Literature Anthology

A poem from Dr Richard Marggraf Turley's collection The Fossil-Box has been included in the Forward Prize for Literature anthology, the Forward Book of Poetry, 2009 (Faber and Faber, 2008)

Visiting Fellow at Chawton House Library

Postgraduate student, Rebecca Davies spent some time at Chawton House Library in the village of Chawton,  Hampshire in January 2009.  The Library is an independent research library and study centre which focuses on women's writing in English from 1600 to 1830.  The aim of the fellowships is to enable individuals to undertake significant research in the long eighteenth century.  The library houses a magnificent collection of early editions from the period.  It is open to the public and also runs a programme of events and activities relating both to the the focus of the collection and to the historical house which once belonged to Jane Austen's brother

Congratulations to Stewart Mottram

Dr Stewart Mottram has been awarded a prestigious Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship for his new project 'Pastoral: Writing Reformation England and Wales'. Dr Mottram is currently research lecturer for the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS) and is based in the English Department at Aberystwyth University, His project will investigate the influence of Gildas – the sixth-century British historian – on key pastoral texts by Spenser, Sidney, Shakespeare, and William Browne. While Gildas is an acknowledged influence on early modern English and Welsh Protestant writing, his influence on Renaissance pastoral literature has been almost entirely overlooked. The project reads Gildas into pastoral literature alongside Protestant writing, catapulting Gildas into the Renaissance cultural limelight. It will have wide-ranging, interdisciplinary implications for British studies, challenging recent colonial approaches to early modern England’s relations with the rest of Britain.

Aber Student publishes poetry collection

An Aberystwyth PhD student has become the latest in a string of poetic successes for the University. Stephen Wilson, who is studying Creative Writing, has just brought out his first book of poems, Fluttering Hands. The publishers, Greenwich Exchange, describe it as “the debut of a lyric poet who combines a romantic sensibility with a restrained ironic outlook on the human condition... Several in this collection are set in Wales where the author has a home, others reflect his Anglo-Jewish identity and ancestry in Eastern Europe.”

Dr Wilson, a psychotherapist, has published books and papers in his professional field, but his success as a poet began shortly after undertaking his postgraduate degree. The poems in the collection were written for the PhD, and will be submitted as part of his final portfolio in approximately a year’s time. His supervisor, Dr Matthew Francis, said: “This is the first time work carried out towards an Aberystwyth creative writing degree has resulted in book publication. It’s a landmark for the Department of English and Creative Writing, and for the University.”

Professor Richard Marggraf TurleyUK Crucible Leadership Lab

The dept's Professor Richard Marggraf Turley, resplendent in crisp white shirt, speaking to delegates of the UK Crucible leadership lab in York about the ups and downs of collaborative research. (Photo 17 June.)

“The Quantified Romantics”, at Being Human 2015

The department is delighted to have been awarded funding to stage an event, “The Quantified Romantics”, at Being Human 2015, the UK’s only national festival of the humanities.

Romanticst Professor Richard Marggraf Turley, collaborating with imaging specialist Professor Reyer Zwiggelaar (Computer Science), and partnering with Ceredigion Museum, will be using a package of biometric instruments to measure if 200-year-old Gothic shockers really do raise pulses. Members of the public will be seated in a darkened area to view images of Gothic paintings and pages of Romantic novels – such as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1817) and Dr Polidori’s The Vampyre (1819) – while biometric data (including heart rate and skin temperature) is gathered from specially built wristbands.

The event will be held during the festival week of 12 – 22 November, and has been made possible by a grant from the festival organisers, the School of Advanced Study, University of London. Now in its second year, Being Human is also supported by the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the British Academy (BA), with support from the Wellcome Trust. Professor Richard Marggraf Turley (English and Creative Writing), Aberystwyth University’s Professor of Engagement with the Public Imagination, said: “If Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein, or Dr Polidori, who penned the world’s first vampire novel, could have tested their readers’ ‘terror’ reactions using biometric wearables, Reyer and I like to think they would have! This event demonstrates in pulse-raising ways how humanities research intersects with cutting-edge science”.

Author of several books on the Romantic poets, Richard is also author of The Cunning House, a crime novel with gothic elements set in 1810.

Image: Introduction to first edition of John Polidori's The Vampyre (1819) (Posted 11/06/2015)


Melita Hume Poetry Prize 2015

Maria Apichella's collection of poetry has just won the Melita Hume Prize for Poetry 2015. For further information visit (Posted 09/06/2015)





Guardian Review of The Cunning House

"The Cunning House by Richard Marggraf Turley (Sandstone, £8.99) is firmly located in both space and time: a male brothel in London, 1810. Not only do the mollies run the risk of capital punishment if they are caught, but the city is in a moral panic fomented by political suspicion and religious fervour. Lawyer Christopher Wyre finds himself caught in a web of intrigue – the world of taverns, asylums, the Bow Street Runners and St James’s Palace, where the Duke of Cumberland, fifth son of George III, has been attacked. Well researched and meticulously detailed, using the rich and pungently biological language of the time, this is the best kind of historical mystery – informative and utterly fascinating at the same time."
The original review can be accessed (posted 26/05/2015)

The Wales Book of the Year Award 2015

Once again the Department is well represented on the shortlist for Wales’s most prestigious literary prize, the Wales Book of the Year Award. Professor Tiffany Atkinson is shortlisted for her collection of poems So Many Moving Parts (Bloodaxe) and Creative Writing PhD student Tyler Keevil has been named for his book of short stories, Burrard Inlet. It is the third time Tyler has been listed for the award – his novels Fireball and The Drive were chosen in 2011 and 2014 respectively, and both also won the People’s Choice Prize for the most popular book on the list, voted for by members of the public. Three titles have been named in the poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction categories in English and Welsh. The winner in each category and the overall winner in each of the two languages will be announced on Thursday 4 June. For more information visit (posted 07/05/2015)


Huge congrats to our lecturer Beth Rogers (@thebethbook) whose "Children's Literature on the Move" has won the Children's Lit Assoc's Honor Book award

Book cover - The Cunning House by Richard Marggraf Turley

The Cunning House

Professor Richard Marggraf Turley talks to Nicola  Heywood Thomas and guests on BBC Radio Wales Arts Show about his new crime novel, The Cunning House, teaching in the department and being the University’s Professor of Engagement with the Public Imagination. (0.35-5.00; 22.00-24.00)




Winners of the M Wynn Thomas Prize 2015 Announced

Jamie Harris, a PhD student under the supervision of Professor Tim Woods and part-time tutor in the Department of English and Creative Writing, has recently been announced as a winner of this year’s M. Wynn Thomas Prize for outstanding academic work in the field of Welsh Writing in English. The ‘Open’ category of the prize was won by Heather Williams (Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies, Aberystwyth), for her submission, ‘Iolo Morganwg, Edward Williams and the radically bilingual text: Poems Lyric and Pastoral (1794). Jamie’s submission, the as-yet unpublished essay ‘Iain Sinclair: “Born in (South) Wales, 2001”’, is the winner of the ‘New Scholars’ category.

According to the press release, ‘the judging panel (Dr Matthew Jarvis, Aberystwyth University/University of Wales Trinity St David, Dr Aidan Byrne, Wolverhampton University and Dr Alyce von Rothkirch, Swansea University) were hard-pushed to arrive at a decision. The panel felt that the winners’ work showed exceptional scholarship as well as the willingness to explore new territory.’

The prizes will be awarded at the annual conference of the Association for Welsh Writing in English, ‘The Country and the City: Rural and Urban Wales’, to be held at Gregynog Hall, Powys, 27-29 March 2015.

Kate Hamer: Guardian's New Faces of Fiction 2015 

A former Creative Writing MA student the Department has been featured in the Guardian's 'New faces of fiction 2015'. Kate Hamer's debut novel Girl in the Red Coat is published by Faber & Faber and is available from the 15th of March. 

Read the article here.  

Agri-tech and the Arts: From Barns to D-Space

 Over the holidays, Professor Richard Marggraf Turley gave a talk on Romantic painter John Constable and technoethics at the well-known Chaos Computer Club’s annual Congress in Hamburg. Richard often speaks on the intersections between literature and contemporary science/tech, and in this talk  he addresses food security, austerity, agri-tech and food riots. Among other things, he was promoting his new co-authored book, Food and the Literary Imagination (2014).

A video of Richard's talk can be found here

Ranked in the top 50 departments for World Leading and Internationally Excellent research.

Medicine Unboxed Prize

Professor Tiffany Atkinson has won the £10,000 Medicine Unboxed Creative Prize 2014 for a forthcoming collection of poems exploring the themes of pain, illness and recovery. The prize is part of a national project aimed at connecting the practice of medicine with the discourses of the arts and humanities. Tiffany, who lectured in the Department for many years, was recently appointed to the prestigious post of Professor of Creative Writing (Poetry) at the University of East Anglia, but continues to supervise PhD students at Aberystwyth. She has published three volumes of poetry, most recently So Many Moving Parts (2014), which was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. The new collection will be published by Bloodaxe. Full story. 

Katherine Stansfield Writes Poem of the Week

Only a few months after a poem by Tiffany Atkinson was featured in The Guardian, another poet with strong connections to the Department has achieved the same distinction. Dr Katherine Stansfield took her BA, MA and PhD degrees at Aberystwyth, then became a lecturer in the Department, before leaving to concentrate on her writing. ‘Canada’ has been selected by poet and academic Carol Rumens for her popular Poem of the Week column. Professor Rumens writes:  “‘Canada’, from Katherine Stansfield’s lively first collection Playing House, has some of the restless complexity of a Baroque fugue.” Katherine recently won the £250 first prize in the Penfro Book Festival Open Poetry Competition for her poem ‘The Woman on my National Library of Wales Library Card’. Read the poem here. 

English Student wins Prestigious Award

Aberystwyth PhD student Tyler Keevil has won the $10,000 Journey Prize, awarded for the best short story of the year by an emerging Canadian writer, for his short story ‘Sealskin’. Tyler, who works as a lecturer at the University of Gloucestershire, has been a creative writing student at Aberystwyth since 2008, having taken an MA here before embarking on his PhD. His first novel, Fireball, was published in 2010, and was followed by a second, The Drive, in 2013. ‘Sealskin’ is taken from his first collection of short stories, Burrard Inlet, which was published this year by Parthian Books. The judges wrote: “‘Sealskin’ is a stunner. Tyler Keevil has accomplished something rare: a story about rough masculinity that brims with emotion and pathos.”

Read more here.

Celebrating popular children’s writers of the past

Dr Beth Rodgers published an article in The Irish Times this week to mark 100 years since the death of LT Meade, who was the JK Rowling of her day but is now a largely forgotten figure in the history of children’s literature. Check it out here

Beth will be talking more about her research on Meade at the department research seminar on Wed 3rd Dec at 4.15pm (Room D54).

Beth was also on the airwaves last week discussing a much more familiar name – Enid Blyton. Following the news that The Faraway Tree is to be made into a film, Beth appeared on Radio Ulster to talk about Blyton in the 21st century. You can hear the discussion at 1 hour 53 minutes from the following resource 

Keats in Three Crowds

Amid the Mediterranean’s “balmy zephyrs” and autumnal “streams of light”, Professor Richard Marggraf Turley gave a keynote lecture at the University of Cyprus’s international “Romanticism and the Future” conference. The two-day event was held in the House of Arts and Letters (pictured) in Paphos. His paper, entitled “Keats in Three Crowds”, discussed the English Romantic poet’s experience of surveillance culture in 1819, and identified new contexts for the composition of the famous ode “To Autumn”. Earlier this year, Professor Marggraf Turley delivered the opening keynote at the first Keats Foundation conference at Keats House, Hampstead, also on Keats’s experience of State eavesdropping. A co-authored new book, written and researched with Jayne Archer and Howard Thomas, Food and the Literary Imagination, is published later this month, and includes a section on the Romantic poets:



LBA Prize for Fiction 2014                                          

Congratulations to undergraduate student Camilla Woodrow-Hill who has won the 2014 LBA Prize for Fiction with her novel Cadence. Camilla graduated this week with a BA in English and Creative Writing.

The annual LBA Prize is a long-standing partnership between the Department of English and Creative Writing at Aberystwyth and Luigi Bonomi Associates (LBA), a leading London literary agency. LBA was established by literary agents Luigi Bonomi and Amanda Preston in March 2005. They represent a wide variety of best-selling and prize-winning authors, journalists and writers, including Fern Britton, Josephine Cox, John Humphrys, Gervase Phinn, Alan Titchmarsh, Terry Wogan, and former Director of Creative Writing in the Department, Jem Poster. The prize is only open to students in the Department of English and Creative Writing, with the winner meeting Luigi to discuss their work and to learn more about the publishing industry.

Luigi was very impressed by Camilla’s work: ‘Cadence is a vibrant, original take on a rarely seen mythological creature. We loved the Siren storyline, and think the plot is adventurous and exciting. The writing is young and captures the teenage setting perfectly - Molly comes across as someone with whom we can empathise and who is genuine, while Theo is captivatingly mysterious. Cadence has the potential to become a YA hit, and is a fantastic example of the extraordinary level of talent exhibited by this year's competition entries.’

Camilla is delighted to have won: ‘I really am beyond thrilled. I think there's a common idea that YA fiction isn't “literary” enough but it's always been what I love most. There's no way I would have expected to win. I know how talented the other people writing at Aberystwyth are!’

Dr Katherine Stansfield, Lecturer in Creative Writing and LBA Prize Co-ordinator in the Department, congratulated the winner: ‘We’re all delighted for Camilla. Meeting with Luigi is a fantastic opportunity for her to receive feedback on her writing from a major figure in commercial publishing. The standard of entries from our students is always exceptionally high so to win is a major achievement. The continuing relationship between the Department and LBA demonstrates the Department’s commitment to supporting students in securing publication of their work and learning more about careers in the publishing industry.’

Thanks to all who entered this year’s competition. Details of the 2015 LBA Prize will be announced in the spring

Literary prize success for department students!

We’re very proud to say that a third of the writers nominated for this year’s Welsh Book of the Year award are current students or graduates of the department. Current student Jemma King’s first collection of poetry (also shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas award), and former students Fran Rhydderch and Tyler Keevil’s first and second novels were picked from over 100 books as representing the very best writing in Wales today. More details can be found here:

'Engage 2014' Competition

Professor Richard Marggraf Turley has been invited to join the panel of judges for the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement’s “Engage 2014” competition. The Award Ceremony will be held in June at the Natural History Museum.

 Aber lecturer’s poems featured in the Guardian


Dr Tiffany Atkinson, Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing

So much cold
even the moon can't swallow it
or the harbour in its fishy dark. You
balance your breath like a bowl of dry
ice. It's all a mistake, this body,
this job, this love. Somewhere inside
where the heart spins hard on its string
is an animal watching. It scratches
at night, perhaps a beak or a tusk,
is neither kind nor unkind, just restless.

So much rain
even the deepest hill can't filter it
or the river with its open gills. You
carry your heart like a full dish of blood.
It's all such a blessing, this body,
this job, this love. Somewhere inside
where the lungs stretch their intricate wings
is an animal watching. It wriggles
at night and shows its belly or its tender scales,
is neither kind nor unkind, just restless.

Published in the Guardian 15.2.14 as ‘Poem of the Week’. Tiffany’s poem ‘Autobiograpy Without Pronouns’, the Guardian’s poem of the week in April last year, can also be found on their website. Catulla et al (Bloodaxe Books, 2011), her second collection, was shortlisted for the Roland Mathias Poetry Award (Wales Book of the Year) in 2012 and was a TLS Book of the Year. Her third collection, So Many Moving Parts (Bloodaxe Books, 2014), is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation.

Being Human

The department has been successful in bidding with partners for funding to take part in BEING HUMAN, the UK's first national festival of the humanities, led by the School of Advanced Study, University of London, in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the British Academy. The bid was submitted by Jacqueline Yallop as part of her recent research SIP project, and is a partnership with the University of Sheffield and Ruskin's Guild of St George. The money will fund a day of talks, public activities, films, projections, displays and artworks in November 2014, celebrating Ruskin's phrase 'There is No Wealth But Life.'

Stormy Weather

New Year got off to a memorable start with the worst storms in living memory! Luckily the bad weather passed off quickly and, despite the dramatic pictures, there wasn’t any damage to any of the halls. First year Beth Shepherd lives in the seafront residence and said “after the brief evacuations, which were dealt with well, everything returned to the normal 'routine' the day after - I felt that although the disruption was a tad frustrating, it was extremely good of the university staff to make our wellbeing and safety their priority. Plus, free food for a weekend? I won't lie, that was pretty awesome.”

Research News

Professor Sarah Hutton has been invited to be a member of the moderating panels for two AHRC funding schemes: the Research Grants scheme and the multi-dsiciplinary Science in Culture scheme. AHRC moderating panels play a key role in deciding the outcome of applications for research funding by making funding recommendations on the basis of the peer review reports on funding applications

Employability Event

Seventy-six undergraduate students attended the employability event on February 24th. Designed as a round-table discussion, the 2-hour seminar focused on possible careers in publishing and welcomed five speakers from across the UK: a commissioning editor, a literary agent, a marketing specialist, a commercial writer and a publishing intern. All the speakers were eloquent and encouraging, allowing students to better understand the structure of the profession and the opportunities available.


The 4th Annual David Jones Centre conference, Alun Lewis and Welsh War Poetry, will take place on Wednesday 23rd September (1.30-6.30pm) in the Drwm, National Library of Wales.

To book a (very cheap) ticket, just go to


‌Book of the Year Award Shortlist

Congratulations to Kate Hamer who has been shortlisted for the British Book Industry’s Book of the Year Award for her novel ‘The Girl in the Red Coat’. Kate graduated from Aberystwyth University in 2014 with an MA in Creative Writing.


Student Led Teaching Awards 2015

April has been an amazing month for the Department. Last week the English & Creative Writing Society won the 2015 “Society of the Year” award. Well done to all of the students who work so tirelessly to make the Society so vibrant and inclusive.


Then on Friday we enjoyed amazing success at the annual Student-Led Teaching Awards ceremony. Anka Furlan was awarded “highly commended” in the Support Staff of the Year category and Patrick Kavanagh was “highly commended” in the Postgraduate Teacher of the Year award. Finally, just to polish things off nicely, the Department won “Department of the Year 2015”.

Thank you to all of our students who took the time to nominate and vote – we couldn’t do it without you.