Left Column Logo

UrbanLab Logo

Left Col

Writing Cities: writing workshops and tutorials for UCL PhD and Masters students

Start: Jul 10, 2013 10:00 AM
End: Jul 10, 2013 01:00 PM

Location: UCL Urban Laboratory

The Dead Yard

In collaboration with the UCL Arts and Humanities Faculty the UCL Urban Laboratory is delighted to announce the appointment of the writer, critic and journalist Ian Thomson, as the inaugural UCL Urban Laboratory Literary Fellow.

Ian will run two urban-themed writing workshops for UCL PhD and Masters students in June and July 2013. Students are invited to sign up for one or both workshops (places are limited so RSVP: urbanlaboratory[at]ucl.ac.uk). Ian will also offer a limited number of one-to-one tutorials for UCL students working on urban topics, providing advice to students on researching and writing effectively and creatively. 

Ian Thomson is a writer, critic and journalist. His book about Haiti, Bonjour Blanc, was described by J.G.Ballard as “hair-raising but hugely entertaining”, and by the film director Jonathan Demme as “one of my very favourite all-time books”. Thomson’s subsequent work, Primo Levi: A Life, won the Royal Society of Literature’s W.H.Heinemann Award in 2003. His most recent book, The Dead Yard, an account of contemporary Jamaica, was awarded the Ondaatje and Dolman prizes in 2010, and was praised by Zadie Smith in Harper’s as “excellent”. In addition to writing, Ian has edited Articles of Faith: The Collected Tablet Journalism of Graham Greene, translated the Sicilian crime writer Leonardo Sciascia into English, and contributed to the short story collection Kingston Noir. He is currently working on a book for Faber & Faber about the Baltic under Nazi and Soviet occupation. 

Workshop 1: The Baltic

10.00-13.00 Monday 3 June, Room G01, Central House, UCL

Ian will read from his work-in-progress, Shot by Both Sides, about the Baltic city of Tallinn during WW II. The author’s mother was born in Tallinn in 1929; she settled in London after the war by way of DP (Displaced Persons) camps in liberated Germany. Afterwards Ian will discuss elements of life writing, the use of interviews and the place of the city in non-fiction writing generally. Students attending this workshop will be offered follow-up one-to-one supervision sessions on 12 June.

Workshop 2: Rome

10.00-13.00 Wednesday 10 July, venue TBC

Ian lived and worked in Rome in the 1980s after leaving university. In this workshop he will be reading from two of his Rome-related articles: ‘Assault on Via Salaria’, about a mysterious head injury sustained in his flat near the Rome railway station, and ‘Pier Paolo Pasolini: No Saint’, about the Italian poet and film director Pasolini’s treatment of Rome in both film and literature. Afterwards Ian will discuss aspects of life-writing, the organization of literary material, interview techniques, and the uses and misuses of human memory in writing. Students attending this workshop will be offered follow-up one-to-one supervision sessions on 15 July.

Page last modified on 09 may 13 09:26

Bookmark and Share