Tony Barnstone is an energetic, inspirational teacher and poet. I have seen him at work in both capacities, and admire his achievement both as poet and as translator of Chinese literature. I want him to (1) conduct one or more workshops with Writing Programme students (and others who have an interest), preferably a series of three or four over a two-week period; (2) conduct one or more masterclasses, principally for MA students on the Translation and TWCD MAs and the Writing MA but open to others too, examining how the practice of translation can have a direct impact on one’s own writing; (3) visit one class on the undergraduate module EN 331 Poetry in English since 1945, which I have set aside on this year’s schedule for reading of his war poetry; (4) give a reading of his poetry, which will be open to all. Every one of these aspects of his visit will involve students. The catchment is potentially all students, undergraduate and graduate, in the Writing Programme (c. 120), plus graduate and other students with an interest in translation, plus undergraduates on EN 331, plus any staff. (An optional extra would be a visit to the Literature of World War II module.)
I expect the impact of Tony Barnstone’s visit, when experienced “live” by the students in workshops and classes, to be of various kinds. (1) Creative writing students grow very accustomed to particular approaches taken, and emphases placed, by their usual Writing Programme tutors, and if only for reasons of variety I believe the input of a different style and conceptual angle will be salutary. (2) Tony Barnstone’s visit to EN331 will give students the unusual opportunity to compare their own readings of poems with the author’s own understanding of what he set out to do in his writing. (3) The reading provides all students and staff with a rare opportunity to hear a US writer who already has a robust reputation.
The impact of Tony Barnstone’s visit will be greatly enhanced if we can record events in his programme and store the recordings digitally in the Writers at Warwick archive so that they can be accessed by students and staff in the future. Ideally students would be involved in the making of these recordings, and might themselves want to add elements of programming, such as an interview. The support I should like from IATL would include providing the technical back-up and equipment to make these recordings; coordinating suitable workshop spaces (e.g. theatre spaces at Millburn House) for a series as outlined; support with publicising the events programme, and organising e.g. photocopies, light refreshments.