MSt alumnus Arthur Allen’s verse novel “The Nurseryman” published by Kernpunkt Press

MSt alumnus Arthur Allen’s verse novel The Nurseryman has been published by Kernpunkt Press.
From the announcement:

The Nurseryman is a verse novel told in polyphony as the collected account of a 17th Century voyage to Meta Incognita – the absolutely unknown ice-land at the top of the world. A composite of original sources and collected accounts of medieval voyages, The Nurseryman is a postmodern travel compendium that explores the hidden, magical worlds within our own.”

An extraordinary debut that combines the awed wonder of early seafarers with a freshness and buoyancy that is essentially 21st century. Alternating between the late sixteenth century ‘FRAGMENTARY records of a Roote Gatherer, practiced of alchemical craft & in the spiritual use of fruit trees…’, lyrical meditations on the beauty of nature, and notes on rsome of the marvels encountered during the voyage (such as how female whales are snared by their protectiveness towards their offspring), The Nurseryman takes us on a startlingly original odyssey that is at once an homage to the past as well as being a prescient ‘fable for the present.
– Jenny Lewis, author of Gilgamesh Retold

For more information, and to order The Nurseryman, visit Kernpunkt Press.

MSt alumna Jingan Young’s play “Life and Death of a Journalist” at the Vault Festival, London, 25 Feb – 1 Mar 2020

MSt alumna Jingan Young’s play “Life and Death of a Journalist” is on at the Vault Festival, London from 25 Feb – 1 Mar 2020.

From the announcement:

“Award-winning playwright Jingan Young makes a ferocious return to theatre with a new play on sex, censorship and the ethics of journalism – how much are you willing to sacrifice? The play is directed by Max Lindsay and stars Lucy Roslyn in the title role, writer/performer of the hit show Orlando which won the VAULT Festival’s Outstanding New Work Award in 2019.”

For more information and tickets, visit the Vault announcement.

MSt alumnus Sam Guglani’s “Medicine Unboxed” now a podcast on SoundCloud

MSt alumnus Sam Guglani’s “Medicine Unboxed” is now a podcast on SoundCloud.

“Medicine Unboxed aims to inspire debate and medicine and to inform its culture.

Medicine Unboxed is for the public, for health professionals and for all of us who will be patients one day. Despite scientific advances, medicine faces moral, political and social challenges that require the pursuit of meaning as much as knowledge. The arts and other disciplines can help to illuminate the central questions and to foster awe, empathy and humility.

Our annual events – Unboxed (2009), Stories (2010), Values (2011), Belief (2012), Voice (2013), Frontiers (2014), Mortality (2015), Wonder (2016), Maps (2017)and Love (2018) – each have drawn audiences of over three hundred people. Our Soundcloud and Vimeo archives have been seen and heard by tens of thousands of people.

“Our speakers are writers, politicians, philosophers, scientists, musicians and performers. The events are theatrical, moving and challenging and are performances in themselves.

MSt alumna Mariah Whelan’s “the love i do to you” launch by Eyewear Books, 26 November 2019

MSt alumna Mariah Whelan’s “the love i do to you” will be launched by Eyewear Books on 26 November 2019.

From the announcement:

“In this genre-bending debut Mariah Whelan tells the love story of ‘He’ and ‘She’. Once lovers and now… something else, in this collection of sonnets the poems roam across the UK, Europe, Japan and South Korea to explore the oldest of lyric subjects – love, desire, friendship and betrayal. Painful, playful and sensual, these poems explore the bonds that tie lovers and friends together in a collection of startling formal energy and emotional candour.

Mariah Whelan is a poet from Oxford. Her poems appear in The Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual 2019, Best New British and Irish Poets 2018, The Poetry Book
Society website, The Interpreter’s House and elsewhere. Her writing has been shortlisted for The Bridport Prize, The Melita Hume Prize and has won The AM Heath Prize. Mariah has degrees from Queen’s University Belfast and The University of Oxford, and she currently holds a PhD research scholarship at
The University of Manchester where she is writing a new collection of poems and researching trauma and representation in contemporary Irish fiction.

The admirable achievement of Mariah Whelan’s the love i do to you lies not just in its page-turning fusion of lyrical poetics and dramatic narration, but in the moving power of its steady and intimate candour. Whelan’stransformative sense of scene
– ‘your words like trolleys / half-submerged in the river-clay and weeds’ – is never less than compelling, its psychological alertness quietly propulsive from start to finish. —
Jane Draycott”

See the Eyewear website for more information

Details of the launch in London, 26 November


MSt alumna Sarvat Hasin wins inaugural Mo Siewcharran Prize

MSt alumna Sarvat Hasin has been awarded the Mo Siewcharran Prize for unpublished authors from BAME backgrounds.

From the announcement:

“Sarvat Hasin has won the inaugural Mo Siewcharran Prize for unpublished authors from BAME backgrounds, securing a deal with Dialogue Books.

The award, named in memory of Nielsen Book’s director of marketing and communications, was announced at Hachette UK’s Carmelite House offices on Monday evening (4th November).

Hasin, a former PR worker for Hachette Children’s Books who now works for the Almedia Theatre, also won £2,500 and will see her debut novel The Giant Dark published in 2021.

She said: “Thank you very much to Dialogue Books because I think this prize is incredible and I think it’s doing something that’s really important in the industry and more than a lot of the conversations that I think are happening at a lot of publishing houses that are maybe more box-ticking. I think what Dialogue is doing is literally putting their money where their mouth is and that’s really important.”

Congratulating the other shortlisted authors, she thanked those who had supported her. She said: “Writing a book, particularly before you have a publishing contract or any idea of how to write a book can be a devastatingly lonely thing and the best thing you can have is people who support you and who believe in you.”

Alien, Go Home by Temitope Owolabi was named second runner-up, winning £1,500, while Suparna Mansions by Vasundra Tailor finished third. The works were chosen from around 185 submissions, whittled down to an eight-strong shortlist who each got a bag of Dialogue books and a copy of On Writing by Stephen King (Hodder).

The winners were judged by a panel featuring Candice Carty-Williams, Guy Gunaratne, Curtis Brown agent Catherine Cho, Dialogue publisher Sharmaine Lovegrove and Viki Cheung, co-chair of THRIVE.”

Read more at the Bookseller

MSt alumna Maya Popa’s collection “American Faith” published, November 2019

MSt alumna Maya Popa’s debut poetry collection American Faith has been published by Sarabande Books. You can view and buy it here.

From the announcement:

Runner-Up of the Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry.

The ultimate subject of Maya C. Popa’s stunning debut collection is violence. American Faith begins with its manifestation in our country: a destructive administration, a history of cruelty and extermination, and a love of firearms. The violence naturally extends to the personal. What for some is routine can feel like an assault: a TSA agent wipes down a bra tucked in a traveler’s suitcase, adding, “…prettiest terrorist I’ve seen all day.” Tentatively, the title poem casts light on the unrevealed future, a solution that includes faith: “…the days, impatient, fresh beasts, appeal to me—/ You are here. You must believe in something.”
Praise for the collection, from the announcement:

PRAISE FOR AMERICAN FAITH:

“These carefully tuned poems dramatize a classical sensibility shaken awake by the ceaseless shock waves of Trump’s America, where ‘The season turns over/ with perfect indifference,’ and even ‘The Bees,’ as the title of one prose poem claims, ‘Have Been Cancelled.’ How, the poems wonder, can one come to terms with the realities of this dark moment but through understated irony: ‘The principle of the gun law is that anyone/ should have the right to buy what may kill/ a room full of people—this failure is freedom.// I’m sorry there can’t be more poetry in this.’ . . . Popa’s questing and questioning lyric poems are kind company amid the uncertainty of the modern world.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review

“American Faith announces Popa as a debut poet whose compassion, intellect, febrile imagination, and sharp ingenuity set a new standard of literary radiance. It is wholly astonishing to read this artist (part heart-diviner, part brain surgeon) harkening her ancestors and making this poetry of witness, this powerful song of loss and rage and wonder and survival. That survival (‘memory, you crooked thing/I do to the page’) is musical, historical, epic and lyric (Popa’s work inhabits at least seven of the muses’ realms) and gives voice to what didn’t make it: a childhood tragedy, shadows of abuse and violence, the destruction of a child or a family or a species. The book is a world-traveling, time-leaping historical document, each poem a pin on the map of its self-interrogating, wildly hopeful journey to the center of a longed-for spiritual justice.”
—Brenda Shaughnessy, author of The Octopus Museum

“In these striking, memorable pages we are reminded that violence, both public and private, is part of what it means to live in America today: ‘A boy with a cricket rifle / kills his sister in Kentucky. / No teacher can show him / how to live with it.’ Another poem announces, ‘The government has been canceled.’ The dictator ‘drapes a medal over his shadow / then extradites the dead from purgatory.’ There are guns everywhere, in a variety of colors— ‘pink for girls to shoot squirrels.’ Even love misses ‘a shot for someone cute.’ At the same time, American Faith appeals to the senses with its strange and beautiful song. How does Popa do this? How does she find that that keyhole, through which the ordinary becomes poetry, becomes a terrifying and unsettling lyric hymn?” 
—Ilya Kaminsky, author of Deaf Republic and Dancing in Odessa

“Maya C. Popa’s clear-eyed lyrics register with steady power a spectrum of 21st century violences as ‘losses gracelessly accrue/without logic or pattern’ and ‘even the anchor/reading from a teleprompter/is surprised by what he has just had to say.’ In poems that take on the devastating pressure of climate change, gun violence, and our threatened democracy, Popa uses her gift ‘to anguish/and ascribe a language’ to what has been lost—to grieve and in grieving forge song. Revelatory yet emphatically unsentimental, Popa’s unflinching distillations illuminate the facets of our broken world; there is much wisdom here, and grace, and heart. American Faith is a fierce and brilliant debut.”
—Deborah Landau, author of Soft Targets 

“Maya C. Popa’s poems move with a confident, quick-as-dread sweep toward an alarmingly clear articulation of what it is to be an American ‘under/ duress by a language, its failure to imagine the present world or next…’ Her lyrics address our huge unknowns, when ‘The government is cancelled/ but not the body,’ tides of unsorted information threaten to sink us, and in the poisoned sea ‘the shame is that the parrotfish/cannot be remade from scratch.’ American Faith marries a richly detailed music to this careening hour.”
—Mark Doty, author of Deep Lane