Tag Archives: Creative Writing PhD

Keevil V Johnston: The Event in the Tent – Tuesday 8th October

30 Sep

Keevil V Johnston

The Drive CoverIt’s officially on: the event in the tent, the argy-bargy in the marquee, the affray in Montpellier, the… Call it what you will, Tyler Keevil V D.D. Johnston, refereed by Martin Randall, is happening. They won’t be boxing, unfortunately (that really would be worth seeing). No, they’ll be reading from their new novels, and possibly engaging in light banter. Yes, it’s the rumpus off the campus, the free-for-all at the festival, the mêlée in the tepee, the… I’m out.

Cover for D.D. Johnston's novel, The Deconstruction of Professor ThrubWhen is it? Tuesday 8th October at 6pm.
Where is it? The University of Gloucestershire Tent, at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, Imperial Square, Cheltenham.

It’s free and everyone’s welcome.

See you there!

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Lecturers’ new publications

29 Jul

Scenes from a diverse world coverThis month sees a rush of publishing activity from the University of Gloucestershire Creative Writing lecturers. Just out is Scenes from a Diverse World, an anthology of play extracts, compiled by the International Centre for Women Playwrights. The anthology includes an extract from Lucy Tyler‘s Measurements of a Murderer, a play that was originally performed in 2009-10. The play takes a surreal look at the custom of holding beauty pageants in Russian women’s prisons, and tells its story with poetry and striking imagery.

ABC Studies coverMeanwhile, there’s a chance to get a glimpse of Dr Martin Randall‘s novel-in-progress, Ostend. The opening chapter is published this month in American, British and Canadian Studies journal. From what little Randall’s revealed, Ostend is a metafictional novel about a man’s search for his missing brother, a response to contemporary European fiction, a meditation on photography, a love story, and a tour of a dilapidated seaside town. Those lucky enough to have heard Randall read extracts will know the beauty with which all this is expressed.

Cover for D.D. Johnston's novel, The Deconstruction of Professor ThrubDon’t forget that D.D. Johnston‘s new novel, The Deconstruction of Professor Thrub, has also recently hit the shelves. Discussing it on Monocle Radio, Georgina Godwin described it as ‘a great book – and really funny’. It was originally written as a PhD at the University of Gloucestershire, and you can hear the author discussing that process with Martin Randall and Martin Goodman here.

Finally, we’re just weeks away from the launch of Tyler Keevil‘s much anticipated new novel, The Drive. If you don’t already know, here’s the synopsis:

The Drive Cover

A single call from his Czech girlfriend catapults Trevor into a serious crisis. Desperate to get his mojo back, he blazes down Highway 99 in a rented Dodge Neon. But soon his journey to California is fraught with peril, and all he has for protection are a semi-automatic pistol, his trusty plastic visor and a flea-ridden cat. As the drugs and the heartbreak kick in, the question is no longer whether Trevor will get over his girlfriend’s infidelity, but whether he’ll get out alive. A fast-paced and hilarious contemporary odyssey, The Drive has all the adventure and surrealism of Hunter S Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas but overlaid with heartfelt yearning and hope.

We’ll have more about the launch of The Drive soon, but in the meantime, don’t forget to pre-order your copy.

Lecturer publishes new novel

23 May

The Deconstruction of Professor Thrub, the second novel by University of Gloucestershire Creative Writing lecturer D.D. Johnston, is now available to pre-order from retailers including Amazon and Waterstones.

The novel

Cover for D.D. Johnston's novel, The Deconstruction of Professor ThrubThe novel, to be published in June, was originally written as a doctoral thesis at the University of Gloucestershire. It’s presented as a PhD that’s been written by an eccentric, love-sick student, who is supervised by an even more eccentric professor. It asks big questions about the limits of free will, how social change is possible, and the pitfalls of Kantian metaphysics. It interweaves fact and fiction, plays with ‘fraudulent artifacts’ (to borrow the phrase coined by David Shields and Matthew Vollmer), quotes psychology papers, and satirises our socio-historical moment. It crashes around the twentieth century, trying to write history in a way that recognises the interminable chain of cause and effect. But it’s also a campus novel that’s full of laughs and scandal and appalling behaviour. It’s a big historical epic that charts the rise and fall of revolutionary optimism. And above all else, it’s a love story.

The Publisher

barbican_press_logoBarbican Press is a new publishing venture based in London and Hull. Its directors are Martin Goodman – award winning author of fiction and non-fiction, and BBC New Generation Thinker – and James Thornton – the CEO of Client Earth, whom New Statesman named as one of ten people who can change the world. The Deconstruction of Professor Thrub will launch Barbican Press’s Doctored Books series: novels written in universities as part of PhD creative writing programmes. They say: ‘We’re looking for modern classics – books so different they can always seem new. Books that rose to so many challenges they forgot to compromise. Books with minds of their own for readers with minds of their own. If you’re a reader who doesn’t need pandering to, whose life has been shaped by books that dared to be different – welcome to your new home!’ You can follow Barbican Press’s evolution on Facebook.

The Author

DDJohnston1compressedD.D. Johnston lives in Cheltenham and works at the University of Gloucestershire, where he is a University Teaching Fellow and a lecturer in Creative Writing. You can read his Q&A about the new book on the Barbican Press website. He is currently trying, and failing, to understand the world of social media; he blogs at ddjohnston.org, and you can follow him on twitter @dd_johnston