A Room of One’s Own residencies

Anne Amienne is a writer and scholar who enjoys getting people to think more carefully about food and culture. While finishing her Ph.D. at the University of Chicago, she launched one of the earliest podcasts, Eat Feed, which became her first book, Eat Feed Autumn Winter (named one of Epicurious’ ‘Best Books of 2008’). Under the pen name, Anne Bramley, she has since written for outlets such as NPR, Saveur, and the Washington Post. Through her consultancy, Scholars & Writers, she helps academic writers engage with their audiences in more meaningful ways.

Alexandra Birrell is a mixed-race woman who was transracially adopted in infancy. Through her writing, she explores the impact of growing up as an ethnic minority in her family as well as her wider community, tackling subjects such as representation, feelings of invisibility and erasure, and the psycho-biological effects of everyday micro-aggressions. Her most recent article, ‘How a Lifetime of Racial Indignities Add Up‘. was featured on the Kings College London diversity digest.

Megan Bradbury is a novelist based in Norwich. Her first novel, Everyone is Watching, was published by Picador in 2016. The book was longlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize and Not the Booker Prize, was chosen as one of the Guardian’s Best Books of 2016. It was also translated into three languages. Bradbury’s short fiction has been published in Ambit, The Mechanics’ Institute Review and Pen & Inc Press, and she has written for The Irish Times and the Eastern Daily Press. She is also an experienced artistic collaborator and has worked on commissioned projects with acclaimed artists from across the world. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia, and she has been the recipient of a Charles Pick Fellowship, an Escalator Award, two writing awards from Arts Council England and one from the Authors’ Foundation.

Carrie Patten completed a Masters degree in Creative Writing with the Open University (2018). Her poetry has featured by commission for both British Art Show 8, Mind, Language, Matter curated by JMCAnderson and published in Ink, Sweat and Tears. Short stories have been listed with honours for the Cinnamon Literature Award and published in Lighthouse Literary Journal #7. Her story collection Semaphore presents shifting tableaus bound by nature and environment. Concerned with the complexity of familial bonds and the human need for sensual connection, they explore loneliness in miscommunication through protagonists who raise flags, speak in code, withhold secrets and let them spill.

Julia Webb Poet

Julia Webb is a Norwich based poet, editor and collage artist. She has a BA (Hons) from Norwich University College of the Arts and an MA in Poetry from the University of  East Anglia. In 2011 she won The Poetry Society’s Stanza competition and in 2018 she won the Battered Moons poetry competition. She runs online and real-world poetry courses, mentors poets, is on the committee of Cafe Writers and is a poetry editor for Lighthouse (a journal for new writing). She has two poetry collections with Nine Arches: Bird Sisters (2016) and Threat (2019). She is currently working towards her third collection.

Visible Communities residencies at Dragon Hall

In May 2021 we welcome Anam Zafar, who is this year’s Visible Communities Emerging Translators mentee. She translates from Arabic and French into English, and this will be her first residency. She believes that problems arise when we speak about people rather than listening to what those people have to say for themselves. Through literary translation, she wants to be a conduit for voices that need to be heard, harnessing the power of storytelling to counter misunderstandings and sensationalism surrounding migration, Islam and the Middle East. During the residency, Anam will be working on her translation of the Arabic novel صورة في ماء ساكن (Image in Still Water) by Iraqi-Palestinian author Salwa Jarrah (2014).

In June 2021 we will be joined by Derek Barretto. Encouraged by a succession of brilliant language teachers, Derek thrives on a literary reading diet of English, Lusophone and occasionally Francophone fiction and non-fiction. A would-be literary translator looking to specialize in translation of Lusophone fiction and poetry, he has a keen interest in conveying the richness and variety of Portuguese literature to Anglophone readers. During his residency, Derek will be working on a translation of Madrugada Fria by Laura DaSilva, a contemporary Portuguese poet.

Also in June, we will welcome to Norwich Rabi Thapa, a writer, editor and translator from Nepal, now working from London. He is the founder Editor of La.Lit (www.lalitmag.com), and the author of Thamel, Dark Star of Kathmandu (Speaking Tiger Books). For Visible Communities, Rabi plans to work on translating from Nepali to English Boni (1991) by the pioneering feminist writer Parijat (1937-1993). Boni is a series of missives from the author to a young girl on how she might live her life, and it is hoped an English-language version will help address the paucity of translated works from Nepal, particularly by minority women writers.

Visible Communities virtual translators in residence

Shash Trevett will be the first of our four Visible Communities virtual translators in residence, from January to April 2021. Shash is a Tamil from Sri Lanka who came to the UK to escape the civil war. She is a poet and a translator of Tamil poetry into English. Her pamphlet From a Borrowed Land (which includes original translations) will be published in 2021 by Smith|Doorstop. She is currently editing (and translating), with Vidyan Ravinthiran and Seni Seneviratne, an anthology of Tamil, English and Sinhala poetry from Sri Lanka and its diaspora communities which will be published by Bloodaxe.

Gitanjali Patel is a translator and social researcher. She will be in virtual residence from May to August 2021. She graduated from Oxford University in Spanish and Portuguese and has been translating from these languages since 2010. She translates in a range of media, from film scripts and radio programmes to fiction, including stories by Luisa Geisler, Miriam Mambrini, Fernanda Torres and, most recently, Evando Nascimento. In 2016 she co-founded Shadow Heroes, an organisation which engages secondary school students in critical thought using the art of translation.

Sawad Hussain is an Arabic translator and litterateur who is passionate about bringing narratives from the African continent to wider audiences. Her translations have been recognised by English PEN, the Anglo-Omani Society, the Short Story Day Africa Prize, and the Palestine Book Awards, among others. She has lectured at IAIS at the University of Exeter, taught KS3 & KS4 Arabic in Johannesburg and Dubai, and run workshops introducing translation to students and adults under the auspices of Shadow Heroes, Africa Writes and Shubbak Festival. She holds an MA in Modern Arabic Literature from SOAS. Sawad will be in virtual residence from May to August 2021.

Vineet Lal is a literary translator from French to English, based in Scotland. In 2010 he was awarded one of the first-ever Mentorships in Literary Translation by the British Centre for Literary Translation, with Sarah Ardizzone, and in 2011 published his first full-length translation, Lacrimosa by Régis Jauffret. His first translated children’s book, Panthera Tigris by Sylvain Alzial and Hélène Rajcak, was published in October 2019 (a co-translation with Sarah Ardizzone) and his translation of The Woman Who Didn’t Grow Old by Grégoire Delacourt came out in February 2020. His translation of The Secret Life of Writers by Guillaume Musso is forthcoming in June 2021. Vineet will be in virtual residence from September to December 2021.

You can find more details about our Visible Communities translators in residence here.

Other residencies

In April 2021, we will welcome two Belgian writers to Norwich as part of our exchange with Passa Porta. Els Beerten is one of Belgium’s leading young adult novelists. She has been widely translated and has received several awards. Her most successful novel is We All Want Heaven. During her time in Norwich, Els will be working on a coming-of-age novel about two young Italian boys in the wake of the Second World War. The story is set in Belgium, Italy and England. Els plans to explore the traces of war along the Norfolk coast, and would like to spend time listening to locals’ stories.

Sylvie Marie is the author of four poetry collections: Zonder (Without), Toen je me ten huwelijk vroeg (When you asked me to marry you), Altijd een raam (Always a window) and Houdingen (Positions). She co-authored the football novel Speler X (Player X). She has won several poetry slams and likes experimenting on stage and interacting with the audience. Translations of Sylvie Marie’s poetry by Richard Berengarten will appear in Shearsman 125 / 126 in October 2020. During her residency, Sylvie will be working on #grampoems, new poetry and translations of her work into English.

Later in 2021, Claudine Toutoungi and Diana Evans will each spend a month at the Passa Porta International House of Literature in Brussels.

Claudine Toutoungi is a poet and playwright whose poems have appeared widely including in Poetry Chicago, PN Review, the Guardian, The Spectator and the Financial Times. Her debut poetry collection Smoothie was published by Carcanet in 2017 and her second poetry collection is forthcoming in 2020. Her plays have been produced in a range of theatres and on Radio 4.

Diana Evans is an award-winning novelist, journalist and critic. Her bestselling novel, Ordinary People, won the 2019 South Bank Sky Arts Award for Literature and was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, the Rathbones Folio Prize and the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction. She was the inaugural winner of the Orange Award for New Writers for her debut novel 26a. A graduate of the UEA Creative Writing MA, she contributes to among others Time Magazine, the Guardian and the Financial Times, and is an associate lecturer in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Also in 2021, Penny Boxall will go on a return visit to Estonia as part of our residency exchange with Tartu UNESCO City of Literature. Penny will have the opportunity to take part in the Tartu International Literary Festival Prima Vista, an annual 6-day festival bringing together more than 40 writers from Estonia and abroad.