Critical and creative work by BA Creative Writing and English Literature students. Designed by BA Graphic Design and BA Illustration & Animation students from the Visual Communications cluster.
This year our annual anthology of student writing and design has been produced under very different circumstances. Because of the pandemic it will be a digital launch rather than the usual celebration with students, staff and members of the public at the summer show. We hope to hold a paper launch later in the year. Secondly, our writing and design students worked together at various points to decide chapter themes, the text and chapter order, and to promote the book on social media with a series of interviews and blogs. Every student’s experience of this project has been radically transformed compared to previous years, and I want to commend the tenacity, creativity and collaborative spirit that has informed the project throughout.
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.
You disembark in Woolwich with Somali migrants and wander through the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries to the fringes of North London and the pleasure of the countryside in England and Pakistan. You’ll spend time with Catherine Blake and Virginia Woolf, and learn about the modern influence of Ancient Greece. You’ll watch Twin Peaks and see Olafur Eliasson’s art in the Tate. Sweden, South Africa, Australia and Italy are here, as well as a pub in Northern England in several years’ time. These are all works of great imaginative sympathy – the gift literature gives us whenever we are ready to receive.
My thanks as always to the wonderful support and guidance from tutors in Visual Communication. To Alistair Hall, Ricardo Eversley and Angharad Lewis, collaborating is one of the great pleasures that the School of Art, Architecture and Design provides. Thanks also to Andy Stone for his continuing championing of the school’s collaborative work.