Monday, 8 December 2008


Tim Allen read to a large and appreciative audience at THE LANGUAGE CLUB, Plymouth Arts Centre, on Saturday night, December 6, to launch his new book Settings, which is just published by Shearsman of Exeter. Tim read from his new book for the first half and was followed by Plymouth regulars Steve Spence, Kenny Knight, Philip Kuhn, James Turner, Jean Symons and others for the open mic set. Tim Allen is co-editor (with Andrew Duncan) of Don't Start Me Talking: Interviews with Contemporary Poets, Salt, 2007.

Thursday, 4 December 2008


On December 3rd, Mary Jacobs gave an apparently lighthearted and entertaining talk on the twenty-year long MI5 surveillance of writer Sylvia Townsend Warner and her companion and lover Valentine Ackland. It was great fun to hear about the ludicrous mismatch between senior MI5 officers and local police investigating a couple of leftist literary women (members of the British Communist Party) living in remote rural Dorset. The information came from recently released MI5 archives. Despite the humour of class and lifestyle incomprehension, it was moving to learn of this radical writer's sustained and practical political commitment: working in Spain for the Red Cross during the Civil War, attending the congress of anti-Fascist writers there, and organising accommodation and financial help for Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany. Mary's most recent article on Warner appears in the Journal of the Sylvia Townsend Warner Society, she is Lecturer in English and Creative Writing at the University and teaches Life Writing on the MA.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008


MA Creative Writing graduate Ann Gray's latest poetry book At the Gate is just published from Headland publications. Ann has published three previous collections. Her work has appeared in many magazines and anthologies including The Forward Book of Poetry (Faber, 2008) and Making Worlds: One Hundred Contemporary Women Poets (Headland, 2003). Clive James has written: 'Ann Gray's poetry is a measured but sumptuous revelation, like the sun coming up a few inches at a time. Very few women and no men at all, can write from a good soul and bad conscience with quite her combination of tact and recklessness. This collection is the garden of the heart laid bare'. Ann Gray lives in Cornwall. The cover image for the book is 'The Lovers' by Michael Scott (copyright, 2005).

Saturday, 29 November 2008


At Super Saturation, a Centenary Celebration of Modern Diving, on Saturday 1 November 2008 in the Roland Levinsky Building at the University, Martin Goodman (on the left of this picture, with Richard Dawkins) gave a talk on the remarkable life story of scientist and inventor John Scott Haldane, the world's greatest serial self-experimenter who first put canaries into mines. In 1908, Haldane's diving tables were adopted by the Admiralty and modern diving began, allowing divers to reach much greater depths in a controlled and safe way, without suffering 'the bends'. Martin's biography of Haldane, Suffer and Survive (now in paperback from Simon & Schuster, 2008), which got rave reviews from both specialist medical journals and the national press, recently won the British Medical Association's Basis of Medicine prize. Martin Goodman is Lecturer in English and Creative Writing at the University of Plymouth.

Thursday, 27 November 2008


More than a hundred new writing and art enthusiasts turned out for the launch of the second issue of Plymouth based journal Short Fiction in the Roland Levinsky Building, University of Plymouth, on Wednesday 19 November. There was a reading by Luke Kennard of his story 'How I Lost My Job' and a screening of Anya Lewin's powerful short film With Heartfelt Gratitude for the Painless Treatment, which provides images for the magazine. Short Fiction is edited by Anthony Caleshu, Senior Lecturer in English and Creative Writing at the University.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008


Plymouth poet and poetry activist Tim Allen will be appearing at THE LANGUAGE CLUB at the Plymouth Arts Centre, Looe Street, 7.30pm on Saturday 6th December. Tim will be reading from and launching his new book Settings just published by Shearsman of Exeter.
The Language Club is a tolerant and friendly performing writers' scene, a Plymouth open mic event with bar, seasonal food, first glass of wine free.
This book launch is a free event open to all. 
Singers and musicians are especially welcome for the open mic.

Further information from Tim on 01752 661339 --

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

MA Creative Writing students

Hana Sklenkova is a finalist for the Aesthetica Creative Works Competition and her short story will be published in an Aesthetica anthology this December. 

Bill Eaton has been appointed Plymouth City Council's writer in residence and is running creative writing workshops at the Efford library on thursday afternoons. The residency is funded by Arts Council England, South West. 

Abimbola Aloa won the BBC 24 Degree competition, which is a partnership between between BBC Writersroom and the Royal Court Theatre, giving emerging writers access to and experience of theatre and the BBC.

MACW graduate Tom Vowler has recently had stories published in Brand, Words, and Riptide. He won first prize in the HappenStance short fiction competition and fourth place in the Cadenza competition.