2018 on the Literature Programme: In Your Words!

This week on the blog we’ve been celebrating everything that happened on the Literature programme in 2018. First, we looked back at all of the trips and events reported on the blog. Then, we had a look back at the big stories on the blog. Now, it is time to hear what you made of 2018, in your words!


It was pretty cool to see all the #YSJComfortReads! I feel like it was a great year of connecting with the #YSJFamily. Thanks for all the good work.

@tomjonyoung speech at end-of-course event, @beyond_votefest, the #WordsMatterYSJ lecture on Literature and Contagion. And, of course, graduation.

I cannot, and will not, squeeze the #BestofYSJ18 into a single tweet. So here’s a thread (available in hardback for Β£9.99 at all good retailers) containing just a smidge of the banging things that happened because of the wonderful @YSJLit and @YSJWriting.

1. @DrAMEvans blew my head off and pieced it back together in the American Literature in the 20th Century module. Thoroughly nourishing reading list, galvanising lectures ft. the dynamite duo @FraserYSJ and @janinebradders, and the hottest seminar delivery skills in the business.

2. Helen Pleasance made me plunge into the deepest ravine of my gut to mine my surest beliefs, and now they gush effervescently every time I open my mouth. Creative Research in Practice made me recognise who I am and what I want; the best teachers teach you to teach yourself.

4. University Camarade III at the Rich Mix in London. Travelling to Bethnal Green with @KCampanello, @definitely_abby, @Joeshaw_, @YeomansDavid to perform at an @enemiesproject event, orchestrated by @stevenjfowler, was truly the first great milestone in my life as a poet.

5. LGBTQ History Month. At Lunch Poems, we read Frank O’Hara and Ocean Vuong with @sztockmann and Liesl King. Michael Amherst came to YSJ to discuss Go the Way Your Blood Beats, the innovative text that gave me the courage to come out to my girlfriend (and myself) as queer.

6. Beyond the Walls. The annual launch of the Beyond the Walls anthology moulds students into practitioners. This year, it was published by Northern Fiction Alliance champions @valleypress, and performing ‘Bloodjack’ alongside my talented peers was such a buzz.

7. Launch of York Centre for Writing. @YSJWriting staff Caleb Klaces, @DrRobertEdgar, Helen Pleasance and @AbiCurtisWriter thrilled a hall full of breathless folk, and @YorkLitFest vibrated with stimulated imaginations after @RobOConnor26 interviewed @FJMoz on Elmet.

8. The Third Figure at York Theatre Royal. I’m still waiting for @elementaladam to release the sequel for his devilish unsettling play The Third Figure, so I can reunite with @MollieW77882, @ReeceDixon2401 and Harriet Mason to perform once again at @YorkTheatre. What a rush!

9. Words with Wagtails. Working with @elementaladam on @WagtailPoets rewarded me with so much. The transcription of James Montgomery’s Prison Amusements, delivering my first lecture to YSJ Liberal Arts students and presenting research at the Talking About Teaching conference.


11. Satire: Deaths, Births, Legacies. @elementaladam and @waugh_JS‘s invigorating conference that questioned the declaration “Satire is dead” (which has recurred for at least the last 300 years) brought delegates from across the globe to say “Nah it’s definitely not lmao”.

12. Music, Memory, Memoir. @DrRobertEdgar, @FraserYSJ and Helen Pleasance’s symposium gathered musicians, music industry professionals and music fans at YSJ, to share their love of music. Pure magic. I can now tick hosting an interview with @tomhingleymusic off my bucket list.

13. Beyond the Vote. @DrAMEvans, @ElodieDuche and @drkaleykramer orchestrated a series of citywide events to celebrate the centenary of women gaining the vote in 1918 and the victories of women since, and to encourage reflection on the challenges and struggles women still face.

14. Dissertation submission. Don’t argue with me on this one, the best shower you will ever have in your life is the one you take after you’ve handed in your dissertation.

15. Graduation in York Minster. Surely this one needs no explanation?

16. Words Matter. The annual gathering of lecturers, UG students, PG students, PhD students and alumni is always special; @waugh_JS‘s Literature and Contagion event provided insight into her fascinating research and great laughs. “It is, of course, fine to like Harry Potter…”

17. Northern Fiction Alliance Roadshow. @commapress, @DeadInkBooks, @andothertweets, @Ofmooseandmen, @valleypress and @peepaltreepress all at York St John University, with workshops from @BradleyBooks, Nora Chassler, Gaia Holmes, Amy Arnold and Hamid Ismailov. My dream come true.

19. @NewWritingNorth Showcase and Roadshow. Kit Fan was here. KIT. FAN.

20. Growing up with all of you. My brain is now an intrepid animal, tightly armoured with an exoskeleton of critical thinking, confidence, and focused ambition. You did this to me. For the best of the best 2018, thank you @YSJLit, thank you @YSJWriting. Thank you @YorkStJohn.