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NTFS Winner 2006 - David Morley

Professor David Morley

Job title: Professor of English and Comparative Literary Studies
Organisation: University of Warwick
D Morley


National Teaching Fellow 2006

David Morley, Senior Lecturer and Director of the Warwick Writing Programme, has been awarded a prestigious National Teaching Fellowship from the Higher Education Academy. The National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS), which launched in 2000 and is sponsored by The Guardian, recognises and rewards teachers and learning support staff in higher education in England and Northern Ireland for their excellence in teaching.

David has written eight books of poetry and edited six anthologies of new fiction and poetry, two of which are set texts in teaching. He writes essays, criticism and reviews for the Guardian, Poetry Review and international journals and has produced two works of public art and directed a film about poetry readings in the UK Gujarati-speaking community. In 2005, he received a Warwick Award for Teaching Excellence, achieving the highest score for that year and across all the years that the scheme has been running.

One of David’s main aims is to develop a community of writers who support and nurture each other and their work. In 2000, he led 60 students in schools in Coventry in a workshop project involving 2000 people, resulting in an anthology, Phoenix New Writing. In 2002, students worked with professional writers and medical staff to produce The Gift: New Writing for the NHS. After national media attention, George Bush’s Healthcare Review team telephoned and ordered copies.

David believes that creative writing is a discipline with its “door open on the world”: he asks writers to deliver teaching through workshops and encourages students to work in the community, running new festivals of writing and even their own publishing houses. He developed the pioneering BA in English and Creative Writing – the first undergraduate degree to place the practice of writing equally alongside the study of literature. Over 800 home and EU applicants apply for 25 places each year, making it one of the most popular arts degree courses in Europe.

The Warwick Writing Programme is the subject of a huge amount of external acclaim. The Independent called the programme “one of the most imaginative experiments in higher education”. Salman Rushdie chose Warwick as the first place to read in public before the Fatwah was lifted, saying to reporters, “The WWP is bridging the gap between academic and creative writing. I came here because I believe in what it is doing.”

D Morley