Writers’ Centre Norwich is supported and advised by a diverse board of experts drawn from across the public, private and voluntary sectors.
David Gilbert (Chair)
Following a long and successful career in retail including being MD of Currys Ltd, Chief Operating Officer of Dixons Stores Group worldwide, and MD of Waterstones Booksellers, David now devotes all of his time to the Creative Industries and the Arts. He is Chair of Creative United, an Arts Council backed company which delivers innovative finance for Creative Businesses. He is also Trustee of the Big Draw and is a Director of the Whitechapel Gallery. David is Board Advisor to iconic jewellery brand Tatty Devine. David has recently been appointed Chair of DigVentures Archaeeology. David holds an MA in Comparative Literature and is an Alumnus of UEA.
David Bryan is Director of Xtend UK Ltd, a management consultancy working in organisational change, leadership development and diversity. His arts management experience is across several art forms and decades. It began with establishing a specialist bookshop (1976), this culminated in the first Black Bookfair in the UK. As the director of an arts centre – Brixton Village – he pioneered the development of Black Comedy and created a platform for diverse theatre. In his role as a producer he has organised Black Theatre festivals, exhibitions, film festivals and Nubian Steps (a Black contemporary dance event). He has been a board member of several arts organisations including The Gate Theatre and Tara Arts. He has lectured on Management Studies at Goldsmith College; Arts Management at Birkbeck College and Caribbean History and Literature at City Lit Institute. Outside of the arts he has had an extensive involvement with the world of charitable trusts, such as Thames Telethon Trust, City Bridge Trust, Camelot Foundation, Comic Relief and the Trust for London.
Helen lives in Norwich. As Trustee for Dragon Hall before it became the home of Writers’ Centre Norwich, she knows the building well. She has a background in Criminal Justice: as a prison governor; and charities: previously as a CEO of an offender resettlement charity, and more recently as a founder trustee of Felbeck Trust, a charity that improves habitat for wildlife. She has an interest in textiles and is currently Chair of the Norfolk Countryside Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers. Helen believes passionately in the inspirational and healing power of the written word for everyone, but especially for those disadvantaged and disillusioned in life.
Chris is the Chief Executive of Writers’ Centre Norwich. After completing a PhD in German Poetry and Philosophy at the University of Manchester, Chris worked in publishing for Carcanet Press and PN Review, then spent several years working as a consultant for the cultural sector and was the Director of Manchester Poetry Festival and then Manchester Literature Festival. He sits on the Advisory Group for Manchester University’s Centre for New Writing, is on the Board of Directors of ICORN (the International Cities of Refuge Network), is Co-Chair of the National Association for Literature Development and a Board Member of Writers’ Centre Norwich as well as Norwich small press Eggbox Publishing. He is also an Artistic Assessor for Arts Council England.
Pam is a psychotherapist working in Cambridge. Prior to that, she worked in the arts for over twenty years leading organisations such as Cambridge Drama Centre, the Arts Marketing Association and Arts Professional. As a co-director of the consultancy Henderson Aplin Partnership she worked with the four UK arts councils, most of the UK’s regional audience development agencies and a range of arts organisations of all scales. She first worked with the New Writing Partnership (as WCN was then) in 2005, and continued to work with the organisation on strategic development and human resources before joining the board in 2012. Pam enjoys alpine walking (not easy in the Fens), and playing the melodeon.
James lives in Norwich and is a Partner in the law firm Taylor Vinters, where he specialises in the acquisition, sale and development of commercial property. James completed an LLB(hons) degree at King’s College University of London and is also an Associate of King’s College. He trained to be a solicitor in the Midlands and then worked for a number of years at law firm Slaughter and May in London before moving to East Anglia . James is an avid reader (when time allows) and collector of post 1960’s crime and thriller novels.
George Szirtes came to England as a refugee in 1956. He studied Fine Art and published the first of many books of poems, The Slant Door, in 1979. It won the Faber Memorial Prize. He won T S Eliot Prize for Reel in 2004, and was shortlisted for the same prize for two subsequent books. The Burning of the Books (2009) and Bad Machine (2013). His New and Collected Poems appeared in 2008. He is also a multi prize-winning translator of poetry and fiction from Hungarian, sharing the translator’s prize in the Man Booker International 2015. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature since 1982, he has also written books for children. His work is translated into various languages. He wrote the poetry course at Norwich University of the Arts in 1991. In 2006 he moved to the University of East Anglia. He retired from teaching in 2013. He has served on various boards.
Helen has a background in broadcasting having been a producer and editor on the Today programme, the World at One and PM. After a stint in New York and Washington for the BBC she became Managing Editor Radio 4 and then Controller Radio 4. After leaving the BBC she ran an independent production company and then became Chair of Southern Norfolk Primary Care Trust for the NHS. She is currently Chair of the Norfolk Cultural Forum, and the New Anglia Cultural Board (Norfolk and Suffolk) working with the Local Enterprise Partnership. Helen is a member of the Heart Board and Chair of the Norfolk 2012 Steering Group. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts.
Andrew joined a family office as Chief Financial Officer at the beginning of 2009 after 18 years with PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he served a wide variety of clients as part of audit, tax and wealth advisory teams. A Chartered Accountant by training, Andrew is also a Chartered Financial Planner.