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Creative Writing and the Public Sphere

Warwick's creative writers have been proactively working to bring creative writing out of the academy and into the public domain. Creative writing is often perceived as a niche activity confined to university writing programmes. Warwick's writers' approach is that creative writing can take all forms, that creativity is open to everyone and that writing can intervene meaningfully in the world.

Warwick Prize for Writing – Changing how we think about creative writing and creativity

Founded in 2008, WPW is an innovative literature prize which recognises an outstanding piece of writing in English in any genre or form. Breaking down the usual categorisations of writing, the Prize pursues the moving edge of creative writing and explores how the process of writing can travel in new and unknown directions.

2013 winner Alice Oswald reads the final chapter from her epic poem Memorial based on the Iliad.

The Hippocrates Prize bringing poetry and medicine together

Poets and doctors are united by empathy and the understanding of humanity required to be successful at their roles. This is the underpinning rationale for the Hippocrates Prize which is awarded annually to unpublished poems on any medical topic in 3 categories: Open International, NHS and Young Poets. Since its foundation in 2009 by poet Michael Hulse and Donald Singer from the Warwick Medical School, the Prize has attracted over 5,000 entries from 55 countries, including 2,000 entries in the NHS category. The 2013 Open category winner, an internist at Harvard Medical School, said that poetry has ‘made me not only a more attentive and caring doctor, but also much more efficient’.

Michael Hulse and Donald Singer are joined by Professor of Psychiatry and author Femi Oyebode to discuss poetry in the health service, 2011. (Audio Podcast)

Writing for Freedom of Expression

Maureen Freely has translated 5 of Orhan Pamuk’s novels and other Turkish writers into English. This has led to her involvement in international campaigns against censorships and the restrictions on freedom of expression imposed by the Turkish government. Numerous writers, scholars and public figures have been prosecuted for publicly discussing taboo subjects, such as the Armenian genocide. As a member of the charity English PEN, which campaigns to defend writers and readers whose right to freedom of expression is at risk, Freely has used her knowledge of Turkish literary circles and her writing to raise awareness of the constraints on free expression imposed in Turkey.

Maureen Freely discusses translating Orhan Pamuk, 2009 (Audio Podcast).