MSt tutor Mary Jean Chan reading at Kellogg College, Oxford on Thursday 19th May

This Thursday, 19 May, there will be poetry readings and discussion with two acclaimed poets, Theophilus Kwek and Mary Jean Chan, who will be in conversation with Niall Munro.

This event will run from 17:30-18:30 in the Mawby Room, Kellogg College. Refreshments will be provided. Places are free and all are welcome. The reading is run in partnership with the Kellogg College Centre for Creative Writing.

Register here and join the Facebook event.

Register now for translation workshop celebrating the first anthology of Ethiopian Amharic poetry in English

Songs We Learn from Trees: Translation workshop and reading 5 May 2022

All are welcome to join the Translation Exchange and translator Chris Beckett, to work together translating an Amharic poem into English. *No knowledge of Amharic is necessary to join in!*

The translation workshop is at 16:30 – register here. It will be followed at 18:30 with readings by Ethiopian poets and a drinks reception, for which you can register here.

MSt tutor, poet and novelist Helen Mort, to speak about her forthcoming book in Oxford on 15 February

In the Oxford Centre for Life Writing Weinrebe Lecture, Helen Mort will discuss her forthcoming book, A Line Above the Sky, which melds memoir and nature writing to ask why humans are drawn to danger, and how we can find freedom in pushing our limits. It is a visceral love letter to losing oneself in physicality, whether climbing a mountain or bringing a child into the world, and an unforgettable celebration of womanhood in all its forms.

You can book for the lecture here, and find more information about the book here

MSt alumna Jennifer Thorp receives Ireland Decade of Centenaries Markievicz Award

The Irish Government, in partnership with the Arts Council for Ireland, has announced that Jennifer Thorp will be a recipient of the Decade of Centenaries Markievicz Award bursary scheme for artists in 2021.

The award, named in honour of artist Constance de Markievicz provides support for artists from all backgrounds and genres in producing new work that reflects on the role of women in the period covered by the centenary commemorations and beyond.

A full press release can be found here.

MSt Tutor Jenny Lewis reads with the exiled Iraqi poet, Adnan Al-Sayegh, at the Cardiff Poetry Festival at 11am on 18 April.

Adnan Al-Sayegh and Jenny Lewis will be reading from their ground-breaking dual-language Arabic/English version of part of Al-Sayegh’s astonishing anti-war epic poem ‘Uruk’s Anthem’. Giving voice to the profound despair of the Iraqi experience of recent wars, this superb translation brings the eloquent original Arabic epic to a new readership.

“To see such a significant selection from this major work of world literature in this thrilling translation gives me great pleasure. This fine poet of terror and tenderness has found the translators he deserves.” – Leona Medlin, Mulfran Press, Cardiff

2021: Event 18

MSt alumna Lani Yamamoto’s ‘Ours and Others’ shortlisted for the 2020 Novel Prize

MSt alumna Lani Yamamoto’s Ours and Others has been shortlisted for The Novel Prize 2020, “a new biennial award for a book-length work of literary fiction written in English by published and unpublished writers around the world”. The publishers are Fitzcarraldo Editions, Giramondo and New Directions.

Selected from from close to 1500 submissions worldwide, the six book shortlist includes:

(from the announcement)

“- Lani Yamamoto’s Ours and Others’, a metaphysical mystery of sorts in two parts. In the first, the child of a fallen cult leader tracks an escaped sibling through an endless forest; in the second, the amnesic narrator wakes in a strange, desolate land, and tries to piece together the past. Lani Yamamoto has written and illustrated six children’s books, published in fourteen languages. Her work has been nominated for the Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Literature Prize, the Icelandic Literary Prize for Children’s and YA Books, the Reykjavík Children’s Book Prize, and the Italian Scelte di Classe Award. She holds a BA in psychology from Bryn Mawr College, and master’s degrees in both creative writing and the study of religions from the University of Oxford. from the US, she has lived in Iceland for twenty-five years.

The Novel Prize offers $10,000 to the winner in the form of an advance against royalties, and simultaneous publication of their novel in the UK and Ireland by the London-based Fitzcarraldo Editions, in Australia and New Zealand by Sydney publisher Giramondo, and in North America by New York’s New Directions. The judges are looking for novels which explore and expand the possibilities of the form, and are innovative and imaginative in style.

The Novel Prize is managed by the three publishers working in collaboration. Submissions were open from 1 April to 1 July 2020, with Fitzcarraldo Editions reading submissions from Africa and Europe, Giramondo from Asia and Australasia, and New Directions from the Americas. The winner will be announced in February 2021, and published in early 2022.”

More on the prize and the shortlist here.

MSt tutor Rebecca Abrams’ “Jewish Treasures from Oxford Libraries” long-listed for the 2021 Wingate Literary Prize

MSt tutor Rebecca Abrams’ Jewish Treasures from Oxford Libraries, published in 2020 and  co-edited with Cesar Merchan-Hamann, has been long-listed for the 2021 Wingate Literary Prize.    

From the Wingate Prize announcement:

“The 2021 Wingate Literary Prize long list explores a diverse range of important themes this year, including the Russian Empire, the Holocaust and climate change.

Now in its 44th year, the annual prize, worth £4,000 and run in association with JW3, is awarded to the best book, fiction or non-fiction, to translate the idea of Jewishness to the general reader…

The Wingate Prize short list will be announced late January and the winner will be announced at the end of February.”


MSt alumna Laura Theis’ “How to Extricate Yourself” published by Dempsey & Windle

MSt alumna Laura Theis collecttion “How to Extricate Yourself” has been published by Dempsey & Windle

From the announcement:

“What would it be like to be a writer in residence on the moon? Or to wake up with hair made out of spiders? To move in with a dragon? Or to raise a demon baby by accident? Simultaneously dark and funny, these poems let the reader escape into the realm of the imagination and the fantastical. Unafraid of asking ‘what if…’, the poems’ various speakers and narrative voices try to make sense of their narrowing world and sleepless nights through self-deception and make-believe, spells and incarnations, peeks into the possibilities of other worlds and lives.

Besides being awarded the 2020 Brian Dempsey Memorial Prize, the poems in this collection have won or been shortlisted for the Acumen Poetry Prize, the Geoff Stevens Memorial Poetry Prize, three consecutive Live Canon International Poetry Awards, the Hammond House Award, the Yeovil Prize, the Wirral Poetry Festival Competition, the Blue Nib Chapbook Contest, the Yaffle Prize, the Charroux Prize andthe Oxford Brookes Poetry Prize judged by Jackie Kay

Praise for ‘how to extricate yourself’:

How to Extricate Yourselfcombines vivid narrative, seriousness and delight in language that moves easily between wry imaginative energy and resonant pathos. This is a debut collection of admirable wit and invention, and introduces Laura Theis – already a successful fiction writer – as a poet of distinctive new voice.”

–               Jane Draycott

“No one else does weird and tender quite like Laura Theis.”

– Kiran Millwood Hargrave

“Grabbed me not just for the overall quality from poem to poem but also from line to line… I could have read these poems all night and still have read some more.”

– Paul McGrane, who selected Laura Theis as the winner of the 2020 Brian Dempsey Memorial Pamphlet Prize

“A witty and playful collection from a gifted poet who blends delicate lyricism with candid confession.  An engaging and fresh new voice.” 

– Anna Saunders, 2020 Wirral Prize Judge & CEO of Cheltenham Poetry Festival

“In these poems which sing and see from a distance, Laura Theis is in complete control of tone – never forced or rushed, convinced the gentlemen callers will leave having not detected the fire in the grates of the witchy girls…. It is a book of entrances and exits – the astronaut’s wife, a lover on the moon – reports from a world where jellyfish are admirable, space and distance present both in the barely punctuated lines and between partner and partner. These poems are resourceful and magical, tracing infinity ‘the way bees love to eat / honey but also make honey.’

– Matt Bryden, Judge of the 2020 Charroux Prize

“A sparkling debut…a small treasure box filled with surprising, unusual jewels.”

– Christina HouenPerfect Words

The book is available directly from the publisher through Waterstones / Amazon )