MSt tutor Jenny Lewis with poet Adnan al-Sayegh, artist Frances Kiernan, exhibition at Iraqi Embassy, London

Exhibition and readings of work by MST tutor Jenny Lewis at Iraqi Embassy cultural event

MSt tutor Jenny Lewis joined the distinguished Iraqi poet Adnan al-Sayegh and the British artist Frances Kiernan to present an exhibition of prints and extracts from Gilgamesh Retold, Jenny’s re-imagining of the Epic of Gilgamesh, at the the Iraqi Embassy on 29 April, 2017. The presentation was followed by the launch of The Flood an extract from Gilgamesh Retold with Arabic translations by Adnan al-Sayegh and Ruba Abughaida and original woodcuts by Frances Kiernan, published by Mulfran Press.

The ceremony was opened by His Excellency the Ambassador of the Republic of Iraq Dr. Saleh Al-Tamimi, who welcomed the guests and the audience, highlighting Jenny’s poetry and the importance of her collaboration with the Iraqi poet Adnan al-Sayegh which is funded by Arts Council England and supported by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford and The Poetry Society. Dr. Al-Tamimi also stressed the importance of these cultural evenings that shed light on the ancient civilization of Iraq and its history which is currently under threat from terrorist groups.

Dr Al-Tamimi also thanked the media ambassador Waheeda Al-Miqdadi for her efforts in organizing this evening in co-operation with the Embassy.


MSt alumna Kiran Millwood Hargrave overall winner of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2017

MSt alumna Kiran Millwood Hargrave’s The Girl of Ink & Stars is the overall winner of the Waterstones Children’s  Book Prize 2017.  It is also the winner in the category Younger Fiction.

From the Waterstone’s website:

“…we’re proud to announce Kiran Millwood Hargrave’s extraordinary debut The Girl of Ink & Stars as the overall winner of our thirteenth Waterstones Children’s Book Prize. Compared by our Children’s buyer Florentyna Martin to the mythical atmosphere of Pullman’s His Dark Materials, Kiran’s storytelling prowess takes a tale already rich with invention and delivers a fantasy of real emotional heft.”

Read more about the prize and the book


Plays by MSt alumna Jingan Young & MSt tutor Amal Chatterjee in “Foreign Goods Last Forever 2: Visions of England”, 24th, 25th April 2017

Plays by MSt alumna Jingan Young and MSt tutor Amal Chatterjee feature in Jingan Young’s Pokfulam Rd Production’s “”Foreign Goods Last Forever 2: Visions of England””

From the announcement:

After a sell out show at Theatre503 in November of 2016, Foreign Goods returns with ‘Visions of England’ in April 2017 featuring fully-formed short plays by Chinese, South East Asian playwrights Amal Chatterjee, Kathryn Golding, Stephen Hoo, Amber Hsu, Julie Cheung-Inhin, Cathy Lam, and Jingan Young. The night will include the UK premiere of ‘Trying to Find Chinatown’ by Tony award-winning David Henry Hwang (Chinglish, M. Butterfly).

More information at Pokfulam Rd Productions, and at Theatre503 (including tickets)

MSt alumnus Rory Gleeson reading at Anthony Burgess Foundation 28 March

MSt alumnus Rory Gleeson is one of three debut writers reading at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation

From the Foundation’s announcement:

“… novelists Rory Gleeson and Alys Conran, and poet Joey Connolly. Roddy Doyle wrote of Gleeson’s debut, ‘Rockadoon Shore is terrific’, while Conran’s novel Pigeon is longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize. Gregory Award winner Joey Connolly’s first book is just out from Carcanet.”

More about the event from the Anthony Burgess Foundation

MSt alumnus James Ellis on his novel, The Wrong Story, being published

MSt alumnus James Ellis’s novel The Wrong Story has been published by Unbound.

After falling from a car park roof, cartoonist Tom Hannah is left with partial amnesia and the feeling that something important is missing from his life. His journey to recovery is hampered by a growing inability to distinguish between real and imaginary events. The characters from his cartoon strip assume a grimy reality, while the lives of his family and friends appear ever more unreal.

The Wrong Story is about the borderlands between memory, imagination and the real world. It is about the desire for self-determination and the obligations on a responsible creator. But mostly it’s about a man who falls off a roof and wants to know why – was it an accident, did he jump, or was he pushed?

James on how it feels to see his first novel published, and how it feels now that it is “out there”:

It feels great to see my first novel published. I’m happy, excited, proud and relieved. It has an ISBN, a shipping weight, it occupies shelf space. It’s a book. What began with a few doodled notes in Rewley House developed into an MSt year two project and ended up as an 80,000 word paperback.  Along the way it was pitched, rejected, picked up, crowdfunded, drafted, edited, proofread, printed and distributed. So yes, it feels great.

But being ‘out there’? That can be scary. People might read it. What would their reviews be like? The rankings? It has talking animals in it! I readjusted my thinking. The published book is not my story any more, the one I nurtured for two and a half years. It has independence. It is complete. It is rubbing shoulders (or covers) with all the other novels that are out there. My feeling now is that it should stay out there for as long as possible.

For more information on The Wrong Story and to buy it, go to Unbound.

MSt alumna Kiran Millwood Hargrave’s “The Girl Of Ink And Stars” shortlisted for Waterstones Children’s Book Prize

MSt alumna Kiran Millwood Hargrave’s The Girl Of Ink And Stars has been shortlisted for Waterstones Children’s Book Prize in the Young Readers category.

Kiran Millwood-Hargrave … offers us the rich allegories of a young girl fighting for truth against oppression…”

The winner will be announced on 30th March 2017.

More information on the shortlist and the prize.

MSt alumna Sarvat Husain’s novel “This Wide Night” launch, 17th March, Oxford

MSt alumna  Sarvat Hasin’s debut novel, “This Wide Night” will be launched at Blackwell’s Bookshop in Oxford on 17th March 2017.

A retelling of Louisa May Alcott’s ‘Little Women’, but transported to 1970s Karachi, this stunning new novel presents a quiet, seething world of four women in the subcontinent.
Sarvat Hasin was born in London and grew up in Karachi. She studied politics at Royal Holloway, and wrote her debut novel whilst studying for a Creative Writing masters at the University of Oxford. She has also worked as a bookseller and at publishing houses. Her short stories, essays and poetry have appeared widely in journals and anthologies including The Mays Anthology, Diverse Quarterly, Catweazle Magazine and Dawn Newspaper.

Fri 17 March 2017
7:00 –  8:30 pm

Blackwell’s Bookshop, 51 Broad Street, Oxford

Attendance free, registration required. For more information, visit this page.