J. S. Loveard is a writer enrolled on the Literary Practice PhD at the University of Warwick. He was part of the staff on the Writing Wrongs Schools Programme run by the Warwick's School of Law alongside the Department of English. For the 2019-20 academic year, he supervised a number of personal writing projects, for EN3E3. He also lectures and tutors at the Centre for Academic Writing (CAW) at Coventry University.
Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Writing - Common Place
‘Its original nucleus, the plausible excuse for the town's coming into prosperous existence, lies in the fiction of a chalybeate well, which, indeed, is so far a reality that out of its magical depths have gushed streets, groves, gardens, mansions, shops, and churches, and spread themselves along the banks of the little river Leam’ – Nathaniel Hawthorne Our Old Home (1863)
From Royal Leamington Town Map 1887, via Digimaps,
produced by the Landmark Information Group
I am at work on a novel Common Place that sets out to recreate the Warwickshire towns of Leamington Spa and Warwick itself – both as central characters and settings.
James Joyce claimed that he wished Ulysses (1922) ‘to give a picture of Dublin so complete that if the city one day suddenly disappeared from the earth it could be reconstructed out of my book.’ The large repertoire of the modernist artist made this picture of the city possible, but it was a means of picture-making that largely passed the towns of the British Isles by. It was in the cities were where these artists, on the whole, lived and worked or in Joyce’s case remembered (from Trieste, Zurich, Paris). All across the Atlantic Archipelago and beyond, cities were remade in words, mapped through kaleidoscopes of consciousness and montage – the London of Virginia Woolf, the Birmingham of Henry Green, Döblin and Berlin, Llosa and Lima, Rhys and Paris, the Petersburg of Bely, the New York of Dos Passos, and the list could go on.
The vortex touched small town America too, from William Faulkner to William H. Gass, Sherwood Anderson and Jean Toomer, and this novel is an attempt to bring this spirit to Warwick and Leamington – to create a picture of their present and to uncover the palimpsest of their past whether that’s the medieval farm tilled by Germanic settlers, or the obscure village passed between lord and priory, or the bustling nineteenth century resort, what A. B. Granville in his Spas of England and Principal Sea-Bathing Places (1841) termed the ‘king of the English Spas of the present day,’ appearing out of nowhere, conjured by some Enlightenment slight of hand.
My supervisor was Sarah Moss; my current supervisor (from Sept 2020) is Ian Samson.
Writing - Where the Marsh Plants Grow
An offshoot of the novel has involved contributing a text to the Where the Marsh Plants Grow project run by the Birmingham-based experimental vocal ensemble Via Nova. The piece “Rogation” concerns an imagined rogationtide procession in the village of Leamington Spa around the year 1760. The music is collaboratively devised by members of the ensemble, in a process led by its musical director Daniel Galbreath. It is now available through various streaming services, and also on CD/download via the Focused Silence label. This recording project was publicly funded by Arts Council England, and has works by Kerry Andrew, Emily Doolittle, Olly Chalk, and a new commission from jazz composer Percy Purseglove. The project explores humanity's relationship with the earth from various perspectives from science to spirituality, horticulture, memory and psychology. The cover art is by Klara Kofen.
I also write non-fiction. My essay ‘a weakness for past masters’ on Christopher Isherwood and his Modernist forbears was published in 3:AM Magazine.