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English academics launch collection of creative writing produced across UNESCO Cities of Literature

The Critical Poetics research group launch their publication this month, which brings together writers from across five UNESCO Cities of Literature

Writing the Contemporary cover
Taken from the front cover of Writing the Contemporary

The Critical Poetics research group at Nottingham Trent University (NTU) has this month launched the book, Writing the Contemporary: Poetry and Postcards from UNESCO Cities of Literature.

It has been published by the university’s own imprint, Trent Editions, which was founded in 1988 and aims to make radical and culturally significant works accessible to new audiences.

Edited by Dr Jo Dixon, research assistant in the School of Arts and Humanities, and Associate Professor Dr Daniel Cordle, the publication is the culmination of three strands of the group’s innovative Re:Vision programme. The project involved a series of creative-critical writing workshops delivered through the UNESCO Cities of Literature network in Nottingham, Katowice, Dublin, Tartu and Ljubljana; an innovative online creative-critical writing course and a mentoring programme for three emerging writers.

The Re:Vision programme encouraged aspiring writers to engage in reading, philosophical reflection and discussion and creative writing activities through the workshops and online course. This allowed participants to explore what it means to live in the twenty-first century, and reframe how we think creatively and critically about contemporary challenges.

Writing the Contemporary features work by three European poets to explore themes of home, technology and environment. These are framed with postcards from other writers from the Re:Vision programme and accompanied by expert introductions by the Critical Poetics team. The collection reflects on the challenges of the twenty-first century moment.

Dr Jo Dixon commented: “During the Re:Vision programme we worked with over 60 writers from Nottingham, Dublin, Tartu and Ljubljana, exploring innovative ways to engage with contemporary issues of home, environment and technology. The aims of this publication were to share new work from these emerging European writers with a wider audience and to advocate for the potential of working at the intersections of creative and critical writing.”

Dr Daniel Cordle added: “It’s been a joy to be involved with Re:Vision and to engage with members of the public from across the UNESCO creative cities network. Participants brought perceptive comments – and immense enthusiasm – to our discussions about the twenty-first century moment. The workshops helped us develop our understanding of the significance of ideas of home and belonging, the environment and technology to the lived experience of the twenty-first century. We’re really proud of the work the poets featured in the book put in and the quality of the writing they produced.”

You can purchase the physical copy of the book or the ebook on our online store.

Published on 29 July 2019
  • Subject area: English, history and philosophy
  • Category: Research; School of Arts and Humanities