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CHASE Creative Writing Residency 2019: Day 7


Sunday, the last full day of the residency. I slept a full ten hours, uncharacteristically, as if my body was already anticipating the early mornings and structured time to which it would soon be returning. It promised to be a fine day, so I set off on long stroll through the Cheshire countryside.

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CHASE Creative Writing Residency 2019: Day 5


North of Watford, just south of Chester, Uber-able from the station. 

Today, like yesterday, and the day before, there’s a fly in the coachhouse kitchen. It panics at my actions to set it free and flies away from the open door. Poor stupid fly. I’ll try again tomorrow. 

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CHASE Creative Writing Residency 2019: Day 3


I wake early, go downstairs for coffee. The rain is my constant companion. Back upstairs with the coffee, in bed, I write. About anything. The only rule is that I write by hand. Today I copy out two poems: Some Trees by John Ashbery, and To Be of Use by Marge Piercy. I love the rhythm of poetry to start a day.

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‘Politics and reflexivity when studying conflict’: Responses and reflections by Hana Sandhu (SOAS)


This piece is a response to a seminar on ‘Politics and reflexivity when studying conflict’ organised by doctoral students from the Courtauld Institute of Art that took place at Birkbeck University on the 19th March 2019. This issue is suggestive for my doctoral project because I am looking at the representation of the First and Second Congo War in popular culture but I am neither Congolese nor of African origin.

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Intelligent Futures: Automation, AI and Cognitive Ecologies


Intelligent Futures was a postgraduate and ECR conference, supported by CHASE DTP and Sussex Humanities Lab. Over the course of two days, the conference challenged researchers to find original, philosophical and cultural approaches to Artificial Intelligence. The interdisciplinary explorations spanned the social sciences, informatics, psychology, art, literature and more, promoting critical and speculative engagements with technical cognition.

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BAME Masterclass blog | Nadifa Mohamed


Nadifa Mohamed gave a masterclass at UEA on ‘Writing Violence: Literature as Reportage/Recovery’ and she began by sharing with the group how she came to write her debut novel Black Mamba Boy, for which she won the 2010 Betty Trask Award. The novel is a fictionalised account of her father’s experiences as a child and young man in Africa in the 1930s and 40s.

By Elspeth Latimer (CHASE funded student, University of East Anglia)

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CHASE Creative Writing Residency day 5


We arrived on the moon last Friday.

"I know the world is meant to be round, but I ain't sure about this place."

There's a swimming pool I haven't yet swam in. There's a pool of inspiration and I haven't yet come up for air.

No need.

There are these people, different people, articulate and crazy and clever and full of colour and spit and I'm swimming around in it. It's a joy and it's a story and it's a lesson and it's unforgettable (though that might be tested in X amount of years).

For now though the conversation is open, discoverable, possibly impossible but impossible to curb.

I is they and you are we and we are together and we are alone.

And the work is of the highest standard. And the work is aiming higher and aiming laterally and climbing the mountain to our broken hotel and navigating the city and remembering the jungle and swimming the sea and landing on the island and loving fucking and vulnerability and burying our father while holding our queerness and helping the priest while staving back hunger and forgiving tyrants. And forgiving tyrants. And remembering the loved dead and so much more through poetry, where phones claim souls and mongrels reclaim their identity and we all howl at the moon.

So of course we are not really on the moon.

That would be silly.

But we are cosmonauts and this is our journey.


CHASE Creative Writing Residency day 4


Another sunny day in North Norfolk on the CHASE residency retreat. The lanes around the barn in which we are staying are full of blossom and the verges white with cow parsley. Crows caw loudly in the large horse chestnut in the field next door.    We are falling into a productive pattern of writing in the morning and classes in the afternoon. Today we had a masterclass on narrative in poetry and prose, followed by a workshop which featured a play set in an Iraqi car wash in Wolverhamption and the opening of an historical novel set in India which drips with atmosphere.    I have personally been working on the synopsis to my novel and have found the peace and quiet really useful for getting on with this hard task. Usually this would have taken me much longer than it has this week. I'm really grateful for the opportunity to be here