Liveness 2020 (Archive)
We create, talk and write about literature in order to explore and frame what writers and critics have thought over time and in different places about what it means to be a person, a fellow citizen, and a human being in complex worlds of other beings. We want to examine and discuss the relationship between individual and collective life, where this relationship sits in the broader contexts of politics and social change, and to explore the critical and philosophical values that can be discerned in literary worlds.
We want to examine our history, not just the decades of the recent past but ways of thinking and behaving that have existed for many hundreds (and in some cases thousands) of years, a history that traces the intertwining and contested threads and tributaries of world history as we see them in the shared culture of London today, and which recognises the powerful geopolitical forces that have shaped the city over many years. We want to discover and work through the influences that inform our identities as readers, writers and citizens living and working together here.
As students and lecturers we have complicated relationships to London and to its history. Perhaps we were born here, perhaps we moved here. Maybe this move was voluntary. It might equally not have been. We, our parents, their parents and grandparents before them may have chosen to live and work here. Perhaps we or they were compelled to move here and were forced to leave other places behind. London is a city of migration and has always been so. Beneath whatever family history we recall there are deeper generational histories we want to explore. These histories frame and explain London and its people in their interconnection, and form the foundations of our degree.
The writing in this year’s anthology shows the continuing strength of the BA Creative Writing and English Literature as a place of serious discussion, ethical accountability to the experience of others and the celebration of our power to imagine and create new worlds. The writing is a response to syllabus assignments that asked students to respond to travel and nature writing through a decolonised lens, ecological being and the different forms of solidarity this entails, the effect on the present of the past, and the different forms and genres creative writing and publishing can take … → Read more
They came to us from around the world. Last year we welcomed students onto the MA Creative, Digital and Professional Writing from South Africa, Saudi Arabia, India, Italy, Ireland, Slovakia and the Ukraine, and of course the UK. Their diverse creative energies and lived experience made them an exciting group to teach, on a course that encourages – indeed demands – that they develop versatile skills. Students across the MA produced many excellent pieces of work, from which we can showcase only a few highlights here. Read more →
The Jhalak Prize is the UK‘s annual prize for a book by a writer of colour. The prize was co-founded by Dr Sunny Singh, Professor of Creative Writing and Inclusion in the Arts at London Metropolitan University and the novelist, journalist and screenwriter Nikesh Shukla. Now in its fourth year, the 2020 prize was won by Johny Pitts for Afropean, described by Booker Prize winner Bernardine Evaristo as ‘an important, groundbreaking book because it turns our gaze towards Europe’s black communities in unprecedented ways … a work that reframes Europe.’ → Read more
‘To call it a war suggests notions of battlefields and heroism but this was not how it was fought. The missiles came quickly and silently. Those with the forethought and power to hide in the subterranean spaces of the Tower survived. Now its walls had collapsed on three sides …’ → Read more
Students and staff in Creative Writing and English Literature present readings lists, links to podcasts, blogs and bookshops.