Successful Writer and poet Clare Best and scriptwriter Sara Clifford will be working with students in the coming year.
30 Sep 2014
As part of its "Writer in Residence" scheme, the University of Brighton College of Arts and Humanities has appointed two accomplished Sussex-based writers to help develop students' writing over this academic year. Poet Clare Best and scriptwriter Sara Clifford will work with students and staff identifying other communities with whom to engage and collaborate.
Clare and Sara are part of an on-going partnership between the university and local writers, with a plan for seminars and public events. They will deliver creative master classes, literary salons and one-to-one writing clinics. Each of the writers will also play a key role in delivering the MA in Creative Writing. The resident writers will capture their experiences and tips in a monthly university blog, where students will be encouraged to join in the conversation with their own comments and thoughts.
Commenting on the appointments, Dr Jessica Moriarty, course leader for the Creative Writing MA, said: “Sara and Clare are terrific writers who also have diverse portfolios of community projects, teaching, other residencies and live events that will help our students to think about their writing and creative practices and how they can connect the knowledge they acquire at university with the wider world. The programme Clare and Sara have put together is tremendously exciting and we are thrilled to have them working with us.”
Clare Best has published in the USA, Canada and the UK, and her poems have been broadcast on BBC Radio. Her first full collection, Excisions, was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre Prize. Her prize-winning long poem, Cell, written in the voice of the anchoress of Shere, will be published in 2015 as a chapbook with drawings by Michaela Ridgway.
Clare is currently collaborating with the painter Mary Anne Aytoun-Ellis on a major project (supported by South Downs National Park) exploring hidden and mysterious bodies of water across the South Country of England.
She is fascinated by the relationship between medicine and the arts, and has presented her autobiographical poem cycle Self-portrait without Breasts, with photographs by Laura Stevens, in a variety of Medical Humanities settings around the UK as well as in Boston and Toronto.
She has worked with writers in universities for more than ten years and has undertaken residencies in settings as diverse as Woodlands Organic Farm, HMP Shepton Mallett and a small town on the shore of Lake Maggiore in Italy.
Clare says: “I’m looking forward to an action-packed year of collaboration, fun, invention and learning, and I’m especially excited to be working with Sara.”
Sara Clifford has written over twenty plays including work for York Theatre Royal, Oxford Touring Theatre Company, the Soho Theatre and Nottingham Playhouse, and was a writer on attachment at Chichester Festival Theatre. Her play A Thousand Days, was a Finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn award, for women who have written works of outstanding quality for the English-speaking theatre.
As director of her company, Inroads Productions, she creates large scale site specific projects, most recently Our Dancing Feet (True, and not so true, Tales from the Dancefloor), performed in the Oceana nightclub; and The Port, the Beast and the Traveller; performed at Newhaven Fort.
She is writing two new site responsive pieces, Home Fires, at Newhaven Fort; and Stanmer, about the history of Stanmer House and Park. Her new play, I see the Horizon goes on tour with Forest Forge in 2015.
She has taught extensively in higher education, and is a member of the international network The Fence, which has led to various collaborations, including Non, a play with live music with French writer/musician, Denis Baronnet, produced in Rome in 2013.
Sara said: “I am very excited to be taking on this role and I look forward to new and inspiring collaborations – and particularly to working with Clare.”