UEA unveils spring events marking 50th birthday of creative writing course

News - Festivals Thursday, 17th December 2020

Ali Smith, Anne Enright and Tsitsi Dangarembga involved in online literary festival

Tickets went on sale yesterday for UEA Live’s spring 2021 events, part of the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the ground-breaking creative writing programme at the University of East Anglia in Norwich.
Starting on Wednesday 24 February, the literary festival will run on seven Wednesday evenings up to May, with the line-up including 2020 Booker Prize-shortlisted writer and UEA’s international chair of creative writing Tsitsi Dangarembga, Booker Prize winner Anne Enright and Ali Smith, who will be broadcasting a short film.
UEA creative writing graduate Christie Watson will speak about her success as a writer, and about her new book - The Courage to Care: A Call for Compassion.

According to a statement from organisers: 'UEA Live will see writers and readers come together to debate and deliberate the big issues we’re currently facing, from the global pandemic to international political activism, and ask big questions like "What will writing look like in 50 years?" and "What role will authors play in the future?".
'The first ever UEA Live took place in autumn this year, and the move online saw attendance levels soar, reaching a wider, international audience. Picking up the baton from the UEA Literary Festival, the newly revamped "festival of ideas" has  two new co-directors from UEA – Alison Winch, lecturer in Media Studies, and Kate Moorhead, lecturer in Creative Writing.
'They take over from Prof Chris Bigsby, who stepped down as festival director earlier this year after 27 years in the role, and Dr Philip Langeskov, senior lecturer in Creative Writing at UEA.'
Moorhead said: "As we look towards the future of creative writing at UEA, our new iteration of the festival, UEA Live, will seek to broaden this definition - across disciplines, continents and experiences. We’re grateful for the work of Chris Bigsby and Philip Langeskov and we hope to build on their success in bringing edgy, world-class writers to Norfolk."
Winch said: "Imagination is crucial in these turbulent times because it offers hope and alternative futures. Continuing our celebration of 50 years of Creative Writing at UEA, our spring programme showcases pioneering writers who use creativity to forge the world differently."
Organisers released more details of the UEA Live Spring 2021 programme:-
'Wednesday 24 Februrary 2021 – UEA’s International Chair of Creative Writing and award-winning author Tsitsi Dangarembga sits down with Canongate’s Editor-at-Large, Ellah Wakatama Allfrey to discuss her 2020 Booker Prize shortlisted novel This Mournable Body.

'Wednesday 3 March 2021 – UEA Creative Writing graduate Christie Watson speaks about her success as a novelist and memoirist, and what it’s been like returning to work as a critical care nurse during the coronavirus pandemic.

'Wednesday 10 March 2021 – Celebrating UEA’s strong ties with The Booker Prize Foundation, scholarship recipient Stephen Buoro, Booker Prize-winning author Anne Enright, and the Foundation’s Literary Director, Gaby Wood, delve behind the scenes of the leading literary award.

'Wednesday 17 March 2021 – Poet, playwright, performer and UEA UNESCO Scriptwriting Fellow Inua Ellams  looks at race, identity and masculinity in his latest poetry collection The Actual, described by Bernardine Evaristo as ‘Poetry as fire, as lament, as beauty ... I was blown away by this book.’

'Wednesday 24 March 2021 – Enjoy a closer look at landmark UEA Creative Writing project – Future and Form – with contributors Mona Arshi, Mitch Johnson, Imogen Hermes Gowar and James McDermott discussing their multi-media work.

'Wednesday 28 April 2021 – Feminist theorist, novelist and critic Marina Warner unpicks her memoir Inventory of a Life Mislaid with the book’s illustrator, Sophie Herxheimer.

'Wednesday 5 May 2021 – An exclusive short film by Ali Smith and filmmaker Sarah Wood, incorporating Ali’s words and archive footage from the East Anglian Film Archive.'

Tickets on sale now at £5 per event via UEA Live’s website. Access to all seven events is £30, with concessional season passes £25.  

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