Kingston_writers_centre27.jpg

Writers' Centre Kingston www.writerscentrekingston.com

Kingston University's literary cultural centre - Fortunate to be director of this remarkable opportunity and enterprise, a space dedicated to creating innovative connections between writers, writing and literature in all its forms, and the students, alumni and staff of Kingston University, where I’ve taught since 2014.

As of late 2018, the Centre has had over a dozen events, nearly one hundred new readings and commissions, over 400 people in attendance and some really remarkable evenings in and around Kingston. Speakers have included Iain Sinclair, Nell Leyshon, Daniel Hahn, Winsome Pinnock, Tom McCarthy, Joe Dunthorne, Max Porter and many others.

Do visit www.writerscentrekingston.com for much more on the upcoming events and activities of the project.

DSCF3314.jpg
DSCF3209.jpg

WRITERS' CENTRE KINGSTON : YEAR ONE IN REVIEW (2017 / 2018)

https://www.writerscentrekingston.com/yearone A grand first year of Writer's Centre Kingston, bringing some remarkable authors to Kingston-upon-Thames and celebrating the staff and engaging the students who make the University a genuinely energetic, exciting and multifaceted institution. Moreover, beyond that, which is the centre's fundamental remit, the events and projects we created really aimed to level distinctions between those local to the University and those within the institution, at whatever level. The thematic and often explorative, and innovative, nature of the events meant that all those in attendance became collective communities, with the hierarchy of audience and speaker whittled down to its minimum. Over twelve events, nearly one hundred new readings and commissions and over 400 people in attendance, the Centre built on the decade long work of Kingston Writing School and moved into a new direction. 

We began on Living with Tom McCarthy, Sara Upstone and more, with student poets launching new publications with Sampson Low, in the beautiful surroundings of Dorich House. A night of intellectual and complex ideas, one that showed the potential for the Centre to create a Salon type event, where students mix easily with professional writers and thinkers, who offer a picture of a path in literature and art.

on Dying was our first event at The Rose Theatre, a Kingston mainstay, with the great Iain Sinclair speaking alongside Andrew Teverson and more student poets sharing their work. Iain's eloquence and his many decades publishing offered the audiences, many travelling from places nearby but outside Kingston itself, a unique perspective on place and literature. 

DSCF3274.jpg

on Remembering saw three quite unforgettable talks from Nell Leyshon, Winsome Pinnock and John Stuart, with each complimenting the next in its difference and the barriers between who was staff, academic, writer, student, speaker clearly dissolving for a brilliant hour on the Kingston University campus in Penrhyn road.

on Travelling brought one of the UK's greatest ever travel writers, a man who somewhat established the genre, to speaking alongside Alison Baverstock and Albert Pellicer. Alexander Frater's generosity and warmth marked out another intimate night at the University.

on Hoping saw the Centre explore another of Kingston's unique venues, a Yacht club on the Thames with its 70s decor intact, as novelist Tony White presented his Holborn epitaph alongside Helen Palmer and Helen Julia Minors.

on Loving saw a return to the Rose theatre, with remarkable short fiction writer Eley Williams and on Forgetting featured a brilliant talk from one of the UK's finest translators and editors, Daniel Hahn.

Our annual exhibition at The Museum of Futures was a big success, with submission from established fine artists exhibited alongside some original student works. The theme of scribbling and scrawling, the focus on language art once more, led to another great opening night at the Futures,, themed on Making, packed, the windows fogged, with some new collaborations by students alongside talks by Diego Ferrari, Stella Duffy et al

English PEN Modern Literature Festival, running in it's third year, a tradition that asks British writers to celebrate writers currently supported by English PEN and at risk abroad, was a really powerful night in the rarefied setting of All Saints Church, nearly 1000 year old venue. www.theenemiesproject.com/englishpen

Poem Brut was a night of experimentation, a project that asks questions of what literature can be when one sees language differently, whether in the mind or on the page. It saw new performances from a group of poets and artists active across the UK. www.poembrut.com

The European Poetry Festival 2018 closed our busy year of events, the opening event of the festival being our closing. It saw poets from nearly a dozen countries, many visiting, many local, presenting their work in multiple languages. A highlight with French OULIPO poet Frederic Forte, giving his first ever reading in London www.europeanpoetryfestival.com

1.jpg
DSCF1704.jpg

A note on: editing the Sampson Low Poetry Pamphlet series in 2018 January 21, 2018

The Sampson Low Poetry Pamphlet Series is designed to evidence the remarkable contemporary and innovative poetry being written by current and recent Kingston University Creative Writing students. This series of beautifully designed pamphlets each features a suite of poems, most often on one theme or in one style, by a solo author. Visit https://sampsonlow.co/wck-pamphlets/ to purchase from the series.

New releases in the series, debut works by Olga Kolesnikova, Yvonne Litschel and Silje are now available to purchase. Click on the title and author to read more about each publication so far and buy a copy!: Click on the title and author to read more about each publication so far and buy a copy!:

“Kingston University brings together students from all over the world, from as wide a range of backgrounds and cultures as can be found in the UK. It creates a community that cross pollinates influences and ideas, and this is inevitably reflected in the work the students create. The university does not get enough credit for this – it is, I have seen, a vibrant, harmonious environment where originality and difference can be transformed into exciting and innovative expression. The students are hungry for that which is innovative, that which allows them to express the true size and complexity of their experience and their community at the university. This series of poetry pamphlets reflects that. The work is utterly contemporary, it is exciting and energetic. It is, I hope, the best kind of representation of what Kingston University stands for – intelligent, unique and various in its character.”   Series editor, SJ Fowler

DSCF3957.jpg
DSCF5323.JPG
DSCF5355.JPG

Writer’s Centre Kingston is Kingston University's literary cultural centre dedicated to creative writing in all its forms, with an annual programme of events from talks to workshops and festivals.

The core programme consists of a dozen events – each themed, with three speakers responding to that concept with a new reading or talk or performance. The speakers are both guests to the Centre as well as those drawn from the academic staff at Kingston University, home of WCK. Student and alumnus readings often accompany this main programme.

The events are also often hosted and curated in partnership with institutions local to Kingston University and in London, from The Rose Theatre to the Rich Mix Cultural Foundation, from the Museum of Futures to Stanley Picker Gallery. These partnerships are key to the mode of the Centre, sharing and gaining expertise in collaboration.

Special events throughout the year include a European Literature Festival in April 2018, a celebration of English PEN and their writers-at-risk programme, and an exhibition of literary or art. There is also a programme of adult education courses available from the Centre and initiatives including a bookclub and a pamphlet publication series for student poets.

The programme brings together some of the finest writers from across the UK and the world in conversation with the exceptional staff of Kingston University, drawn from a wide variety of writing disciplines - from fiction to journalism, from philosophy to theatre, from history to travel, from poetry to criticism, even including the sciences, engineering and beyond. Our understanding of writing is inclusive and innovative, and it is fundamental to our mission that our audiences and participants are a mix of students and faculty from across departments alongside the considerable local community of writers and literary devotees.

Writers’ Centre Kingston builds on the decade long legacy of Kingston Writing School and aims to create a unique, groundbreaking and adaptable centre that inspires all who attend or participate with a dynamic and original approach to live literature and writing culture.