Creative Writing News & Events

School of English

The Zoo of the New: Poems to Read Now

Don Paterson has edited (with Nick Laird) a major new anthology of poetry, The Zoo of the New: Poems to Read Now (Penguin Modern Classics). Published at the end of March, the anthology has been described by The Irish Times as a work of “inspiring reach and passion.” Don has also been included in the revamped poetry series, Penguin Modern Poets, alongside Laird and Kathleen Jamie. This volume of the series – which has already featured work by Sharon Olds, Anne Carson, Emily Berry and Warsan Shire – will be published on April... read more

Zinnie Harris productions and shortlisting

Zinnie Harris’ production of Caryl Churchill’s 2002 play, a number, opened on April 6th. Writing in the Herald, Neil Cooper stated that “in Harris’s hands, [the play] becomes an intense psycho-drama, which focuses on the play’s inherent plea for humanity in a tug of war between genetics and parental influence”. In February, Zinnie was also shortlisted for the Susan Smith Blackburn playwriting prize for This Restless House, which premiered at Citizens, Glasgow, in 2016. Mark Fisher, writing in the Guardian, called this four-hour re-working of The Oresteia “a production of depth, ambition and creepy power”. This Restless House will be revived for the Edinburgh Festival this summer, along with two of Zinnie’s new works, a version of Ionesco’s Rhinoceros and Meet Me at Dawn, a fable inspired by the tale of Orpheus and Eurydice. As the New York Times notes (, for one playwright to have three productions at the festival is highly unusual. Fergus Linehan, the festival’s director, remarks that “there’s something in her plays about the fragility of civilizations. Things are always on the verge of collapse, which seems right for this moment in... read more

Ashland & Vine

John Burnside’s novel, Ashland & Vine (Jonathan Cape), was published in February to great acclaim. It tells the story of the meeting between Kate Lambert, a young, semi-alcoholic film student, and Jean Culver, an elderly woman who offers to contribute to the former’s oral-history documentary on the condition that Kate stays sober for four days. Writing in The Times, James Marriott called the novel “a drifty, dreamy, dramatic epic”. On the same day, John’s most recent book of poems, Still Life with Feeding Snake, was also published. Writing in The Guardian, Kate Kellaway praised the poems for “registering the ways in which beauty makes life worth... read more

Oliver Emanuel wins BBC Audio Drama Award for Best Adaptation

Oliver Emanuel’s radio play Emile Zola: Blood, Sex & Money has won the BBC Audio Drama Award for Best Adaptation. This groundbreaking serialisation of all 20 novels of Zola’s Rougan-Macquart family saga aired on BBC Radio 4 in 2015. Oliver has written an account of the process of creating the work for the Oxford University Press blog here. He can also be heard speaking about it on the BBC... read more