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The Writer in the Academy: Creative Interfrictions

The Writer in the Academy: Creative Interfrictions

Edited by Richard Marggraf Turley
Copyright Date: 2011
Edition: NED - New edition
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 246
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  • Book Info
    The Writer in the Academy: Creative Interfrictions
    Book Description:

    For many years now the professional "creative writer" within universities and other institutions has encompassed a range of roles, embracing a plurality of scholarly and creative identities. The often complex relation between those identities forms the broad focus of this book, which also examines various, and variously fraught, dialogues between creative writers, "hybrid" writers and academic colleagues from other subjects within single institutions, and with the public and the media. At the heart of the book is the principle of "creative writing" as a fully-fledged discipline, an important subject for debate at a time when the future of the humanities is in crisis; the contributors, all writers and teachers themselves, provide first-hand views on crucial questions: What are the most fruitful intersections between creative writing and scholarship? What methodological overlaps exist between creative writing and literary studies, and what can each side of the "divide" learn from its counterpart? Equally, from a pedagogical perspective, what kind of writing should be taught to students to ensure that the discipline remains relevant? And is the writing workshop still the best way of teaching creative writing? The essays here tackle these points from a range of perspectives, including close readings, historical contextualisation and theoretical exploration. Professor Richard Marggraf Turley teaches in the Department of English and Creative Writing, Aberystwyth University.BR Contributors: Richard Marggraf Turley, Damian Walford Davies, Philip Gross, Peter Barry, Kevin Mills, Tiffany Atkinson, Robert Sheppard, Deryn Rees-Jones, Zoë Skoulding, Jasmine Donahaye

    eISBN: 978-1-84615-794-3
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgements
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. List of Contributors
    (pp. ix-xii)
  5. Editor’s Essay: Interfrictions
    (pp. 1-26)

    A young woman warms her back against a fire. It’s been burning in the besieged public space long enough to have partially ashed down; low flames and embers set the silhouetted sleeve of her leather jacket aglow. Charred poles from makeshift placards, sacrificed for heat, protrude at angles from the edges of the pyre, together with thicker timber of uncertain origin. The woman is fashionable, striking even with that long, oat-coloured scarf looped confidently around her neck. In the deeper field, a melee of other young people: a kneeling figure among them clutches a placard that says, simply, ‘NO’. The...

  6. ‘This alabaster spell’: poetry as historicist method
    (pp. 27-48)

    In crucial, inescapable ways, all evaluative writing in English Studies is life writing – a historicisation of professional and personal selves. Thus the seemingly rarefied academic exercise of charting the ‘(re)turn to history’ in Romantic Studies in the introduction to a recent collection of essays on the legacies and current modalities of New Historicist practice became for me a kind ofbiographia literaria.¹ In the process of anatomising what is still the dominant methodology in the field, and identifying the characteristic moves of my own, and others’, critical negotiations with Romanticism, I was invoking and interrogating not only another age,...

  7. Then again what do I know: reflections on reflection in creative writing
    (pp. 49-70)

    Here, or nearby, is a poem.

    Read it.

    Does any more need to be said?

    The heartfelt response of many readers, and of many writers, would be No! Anything you add by way of a gloss, says that response, diminishes the poem; it undermines its autonomy, denying its power to speak for itself. The most common criticism of a poet’s introductions in performance is that they repeat-in-advance, less concisely, what the poem already says and does. Equally, the reader’s freedom is reduced … and in practice it makes no sense to distinguish between the ‘autonomy’ of the poem (which may...

  8. Writers as readers, readers as writers: ‘focal-plane’ activities in creative writing practice
    (pp. 71-92)

    The take-off of creative writing courses within university English departments happened so quickly in the UK that a lengthy phase of ‘pedagogical deficit’ was perhaps inevitable. The situation is in some ways a repeat of what happened with literary theory in the 1980s, when a major new area of content was added to the syllabus very rapidly, before any serious thinking had been done about how to teach it. This may partly explain why the influence of theory has proved to be more ephemeral than we would have imagined twenty years ago. The same may yet prove to be the...

  9. The theology of Marilyn Monroe
    (pp. 93-112)

    It’s not often that personal items come to my academic address, but there it was in my pigeonhole that afternoon. The flickering of my monitor that had been merely annoying was becoming painful to my eyes – text coming and going; flashes of black space. I needed to get the chapter done by the end of the month so I couldn’t just abandon the business and go home to watch reruns of Miss Marple on the ‘Elderly Female Detectives’ channel. “‘How Depict the Invisible?”: Eusebios of Caesarea, St John Damascene and theSkiagraphicQuestion’ – what was I thinking? The only reason...

  10. Black and white and re(a)d all over: the poetics of embarrassment
    (pp. 113-132)

    And another thing, the implied reader mutters as I begin: no more ditsy stories like how your father would phone each time he read one of your first person poems to ask, ‘But when did this happen?’¹ For heaven’s sake don’t be anecdotal – it’s so mainstream. Deploy the appropriate academic register if you want to be taken at all seriously. Invoke strategies of resistance or ethnogeographies or synergy and don’t mention dads, telephones or whathappened.It’s justembarrassing.

    But the scene of writing – and associated activities like teaching, giving readings, workshops, negotiating the critical–creative interface – already seems prickly...

  11. Linguistically wounded: the poetical scholarship of Veronica Forrest-Thomson
    (pp. 133-156)

    A poet, Brian Kim Stefans, spots the dissonance immediately.

    ThoughPoetic Artificeadheres to the conventions of a text that can be re-used by members of the academy, there are moments when Forrest-Thomson’s skill as an experimental poet, along with her occasional wit, lift the writing and theory itself beyond the level of disinterested speculation, engaging the reader – should the reader be a poet – in what is serious shop-talk.¹

    Should the reader be a scholar these occasional moments in Veronica Forrest-Thomson’s critical masterpiecePoetic Artifice(1978) might seem out of place or saccharine lapses of taste to disguise the bitter...

  12. ‘Jump to the skies’: critical and creative responses to creative writing – theory and practice
    (pp. 157-176)

    Why do we teach creative writing in higher education? Since the late 1990s, many prominent contemporary British and Irish writers have engaged in creative writing teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, some we might hazard primarily for economic reasons. Unlike our U.S. counterparts, however, many British writers, particularly poets, have not themselves been a ‘product’ of the creative writing workshop. In this essay, I will think specifically about the role of the writer as writing tutor, emphasizing the importance of process-based teaching and thinking through the need for teachers to clarify in their own minds their expectations of the discipline,...

  13. Translating cities: walking and poetry
    (pp. 177-198)

    This essay explores translation and co-writing in the context of Metropoetica, a project that began in 2009 with a group of seven women poets and translators from different European cities working collaboratively on walking, writing, translation and performance, partly online and partly through workshops in Krakow and Ljubljana. The first phase of the project, involving Ingmara Balode (Latvia), Julia Fiedorczuk (Poland), Sanna Karlström (Finland), Ana Pepelnik (Slovenia), Sigurbjörg Thrastardottir (Iceland), Elzbieta Wójcik-Leese (Poland) and myself, is complete, although at the time of writing further collaborations and performances are planned.¹ The initial idea for Metropoetica grew out of my Arts and...

  14. Noisy, like a frog …
    (pp. 199-220)

    How squirmily embarrassing it is to think about, let alone reveal, what goes on in a writing process, whether creative, critical or confessional. It is an intensely private matter, and, at the same time, darkly and murkily unknown. The reader might want to know, but you, the writer, don’t. It feels a little like being asked to think about your toilet habits, and, thinking about them, to wonder how yours might be like, or unlike, those of someone else (unless, of course, you’re inclined for other reasons to think about these things).

    R. S. Thomas, asked once at a poetry...

  15. Bibliography
    (pp. 221-228)
  16. Index
    (pp. 229-234)
  17. Back Matter
    (pp. 235-235)