2016 events

The Black Heathcliff

Thursday 17 November, 3.00-4.00pm in Diana, Princess of Wales Hall, Attenborough Arts Centre
A rare public screening of the documentary A Regular Black: The Hidden History of Wuthering Heights, which presents the historical case for arguing that Brontë's Heathcliff was a black man. This short film features local historians and the novelist Caryl Phillips. Dr Corinne Fowler introduced the film.

Life Cycles: An Inaugural Reading of Commissioned Writing

Wednesday 16 November, 11.00am-12.00pm in Studio One, Attenborough Arts Centre
Kevan Manwaring read from his newly-commissioned work, which explores the pleasure of cycling. Kevan was accompanied by the Red Leicester choir and joined by sedentary behaviour expert Dr Gary O’Donovan, and Dr Corinne Fowler, who directs the Centre for New Writing.

Writing and Research: Black GIs in Leicester with historian Liam McCarthy

Tuesday 1 November, 10.00am-2.30pm at BBC Radio Leicester
Our second Writing and Research event focused on World War II. Around 25,000 strictly segregated Americans passed through or were based in Leicestershire. The first to arrive in 1942 were African American GIs who came to build airfields, ammunition dumps and camps. The troops’ warm welcome inflamed “white supremacist” violence by white Americans who were stationed nearby. Drawing on new evidence, Liam McCarthy’s research challenges the accepted view of a peaceful ‘occupation’. This evidence reveals casual, brutal racism, murder, hundreds of illegitimate babies, and a statistical spike in local women suffering from sexually transmitted diseases.

Blake Morrison in Conversation with Jonathan Taylor

Tuesday 11 October, 6.00-7.30pm in Lecture Theatre 2, Ken Edwards Building, University of Leicester
The poet, novelist and biographer, Blake Morrison, whose memoir And When Did You Last See Your Father? won the J R Ackerley Prize for Autobiography, was in conversation with Dr Jonathan Taylor about writing memoir, autobiography and biography.

Writing and Research: Writing Lives Together

Tuesday 11 October, 2.00-5.00pm in Seminar Room 29, Brookfield, University of Leicester
Our new Writing and Research series fosters new collaborations between writers and academics. Following the successful conference on ‘Writing Lives Together: Romantic and Victorian Biography’ (September 2015), the Centre is running a workshop for writers who are interested in all forms of autobiography in poetry or prose. Participating writers will take inspiration from an array of autobiographical lyrics, biographies, memoirs, letters and journals produced in the Romantic and Victorian periods, bringing 19th century lives together with their own autobiographical reflections. A print-based and e-publication of the resultant creative pieces will be produced shortly afterwards.

Sharon Millar reading

Wednesday 5 October, 1.00-2.00pm in Attenborough Seminar Block 208, University of Leicester
Sharon Millar is a Trinidadian writer who lives in Port of Spain. Her short story collection The Whale House (Peepal Tree, 2015) was shortlisted for the 2016 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Fiction, and she was a winner of The Commonwealth Short Story Prize in 2013 (for her story ‘The Whale House’) and a Small Axe Short Fiction award. Her work has appeared in Granta, The Caribbean Review of Books and Wasafiri. She lectures in Prose Fiction at the University of the West Indies and is at work on her first novel. Event in partnership with Renaissance One.

Sabyn Javeri: Literature and Cultural Identity Through Creative Writing

Tuesday 31 May, 5.30-7.30pm in Attenborough 111, University of Leicester
Dr Sabyn Javeri holds a Masters with Distinction from the University of Oxford and has a doctorate from the University of Leicester. She currently teaches Muslim Feminist Fiction at the IBA, Karachi, and also works as an editor and literary agent. Her fiction and texts on creative writing have been widely published. She is currently conducting research on cultural identity through Creative Writing as well as completing debut novel Nobody Killed Her, which was published in 2017 by Harper Collins, India. She has also worked successfully in marketing and has to her credit the creative content of the hugely successful Ponds Miracle Woman Campaign.

5th Annual Creative Writing Lecture

Robert Macfarlane - Writing the End of Nature: Literature in the Anthropocene

Thursday 10 March, 6.15pm in Peter Williams Lecture Theatre, Fielding Johnson Building, University of Leicester
In 2016, geologists will decide whether we have now entered the Anthropocene - a new epoch of Earth history in which human influence has come to shape the planet so powerfully that it will long leave its mark in the geological record. How might we write about this new phase of time? What stories, images, dreams, hopes and fears will populate the literature of the Anthropocene? Robert Macfarlane’s multi-award winning, bestselling works include Mountains of the Mind (2003), The Wild Places (2007), The Old Ways (2012) and Landmarks (2015). His books have been adapted into documentaries, films, radio series, and chosen as books of the year by everyone from Philip Pullman to Will Self. He has twice judged the Booker Prize, and even written the libretto for a jazz opera set in a nuclear weapons test site. He collaborates widely with artists and musicians, including Stanley Donwood and Johnny Flynn. Robert is a Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge and of the Royal Society of Literature. This lecture is made possible through a kind donation from Santander Universities.

Black British Women Writers: The Arts in Brixton in the 1980s, a Literary Conversation

Wednesday 24 February, 3.00-5.00pm in Lecture Theatre 3, Bennett Building, University of Leicester
Carol Leeming in Conversation with Dorothea Smartt, chaired by SuAndi OBE. This exclusive event documented a literary conversation between writers Dorothea Smartt and Carol Leeming, to recollect and highlight an exciting, challenging and creative period which spurred the development of Black Women's writing in Britain, and which was centred on the artistic, social, and political milieu of Brixton, London in the 1980s.

Stuart Hill: Guest Lecture 

Tuesday 9 February
Stuart is the award-winning author of the acclaimed Icemark Trilogy of historical fantasy novels. He read from and talked about his writing. Listen to a recording of Stuart's lecture on our Soundcloud page.