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Senior Lecturer in English and Creative Writing teaches in Japan

Dr David Belbin, Senior Lecturer in BA (Hons) English and MA Creative Writing recently visited Japan as a guest of Hiroshima University.

David Belbin teaching at Hiroshima Uni High School
David teaching at Hiroshima University High School

Dr David Belbin, Senior Lecturer for BA (Hons) English and MA Creative Writing recently visited Japan as a guest of Hiroshima University, funded by the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science.

David Belbin discussing his first novel
David delivering a workshop at Hiroshima University

David delivered a workshop on the ghost story that was attended by postgraduates, professors and other academics. He also gave a joint reading alongside poets Dr Sue Dymoke and Professor Taka Yamamoto.

On top of that, he also paid a visit to Hiroshima University High School in Fukuyama to read to the students. One class of students studied the original English language version of David’s ghost story Home For Christmas, which has twice been translated into Japanese.

David told us: “The trip to the school informed my own teaching of the haiku in undergraduate creative writing classes at NTU.

“Visiting Japan reminds me that the creative writing culture in the UK is far more advanced than most countries other than North America, but there’s a great openness to the teaching and learning of creative writing.”

The trip, which involved extensive train journeys on the ultra-fast Shinkansen bullet trains, and visiting three other cities, certainly widened David’s horizons.

Dr Yuka Nakai and Sue Dymoke
Dr Yuka Nakai (left) and Dr Sue Dymoke

“I have talked to my students at various levels about the experience of working and travelling in Japan. I think that, especially in the era of Brexit, it is essential that we encourage our students to adopt as international an approach as possible,” he remarked.

As the Chair of Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature (NUCoL), David had talks about the prospect of Hiroshima applying to become a UNESCO City of Literature.

He added, “We were gratefully impressed with the tremendous hospitality we received in Hiroshima, and indeed, throughout Japan.”

Published on 20 February 2018
  • Subject area: English, history and philosophy
  • Category: Culture; School of Arts and Humanities