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Dr Laura Fish

Assistant Professor

Department: Humanities

Dr Laura Fish is a writer of Caribbean heritage. Lying Perfectly Still (extracted in Johannesburg Review of Books, 2017) won S I Leeds Literary Prize Readers’ Choice 2022 and was SI Leeds Literary Prize listed 2018, 2020. Her second novel, Strange Music (London: Jonathan Cape 2008; Vintage 2009) was Orange Prize listed 2009; International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award nominated 2009; selected for Pearson Edexcel's Black British Writing A level reading guide 2017/18

Laura has over 10 years’ experience with BBC in broadcast television and radio in news, current affairs, features and light entertainment. She has been invited to read from and talk about her work internationally.

 

Selected Publications

Fiction

Lying Perfectly Still (extracted in Johannesburg Review of Books, 2017)

Angry Black Birds, short story (Kwani? Kenya, 2015)

Strange Music (London: Jonathan Cape 2008; Vintage 2009)

Flight of Black Swans (London: Duckworth 1995)

 

 

Selected Essays, Articles and Interviews

Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, Contemporary Black British Women's Writing: Experiments in Literary Form, ed., Elisabeth Bekers, Helen Cousins, special issue interview (Volume 41, Number 2, Fall 2022) pp. 211-222  Project MUSE - Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature-Volume 41, Number 2, Fall 2022 (jhu.edu)

Fish, Laura; Pavey, Liz, ‘The Other Side of Me: Moving Words into Motion’, (Journal of Adaptation in Film and Performance, 2021) https://www.intellectbooks.com/journal-of-adaptation-in-film-performance

Fish Out of Water: the Novel and the Senses (Al Araby Al Jadeed, London-based pan-Arab daily newspaper 2017)

'Woman in the Mirror: Reflections', Perspectives from the Radical Other, Synthesis: An Anglophone Journal of Comparative Literary Studies (indexed in MLA International Bibliography List of Periodicals): http://synthesis.enl.uoa.gr/perspectives-from-the-radical-other-7-2015/laura-fish.html

‘Victorian Secrets’, Mslexia, Issue 38, (Mslexia Publications Limited: 2008)

‘Strange Music: Engaging Imaginatively with the Family of Elizabeth Barrett Browning from a Creole and Black Woman’s Perspective’, Victorian Poetry, a bicentenary special issue on Elizabeth Barrett Browning (West Virginia University Press: 2006) 44(4), 507-524

http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/victorian_poetry/v044/44.4fish.html

Fish L. ‘Black Fish in a White Sea’ and ‘Letter to My Self’ In: Harris, P, ed. In Search of Belonging: Reflections of Transracially Adopted People. British Association of Fostering and Adoption (London: BAAF, 2006) pp.203-205; 206-210.

 

Selected Academic Positions

Creative Writing Tutor: St Andrews University; University of Western Cape; University of East Anglia, where she attained the MA and PhD in Creative Writing; Newcastle University, RCUK Academic Fellow in Creative Writing.

Iowa International Writers’ Programme Fellow

This Is Who We Are UK/Australia Mentoring Programme: Reframing the Margins, intergenerational and intersectional women artists, producers and creatives of colour:

https://www.renaissanceone.co.uk/reframing-the-margins

 

British Council Writers’ Directory: Laura Fish - Literature (britishcouncil.org)

 

 

Selected Awards and Nominations

S I Leeds Literary Prize Readers’ Choice winner 2022; S I Leeds Literary Prize listed 2018; 2020

This Is Who We Are UK/Australia Mentoring Programme: Reframing the Margins 2022 intergenerational and intersectional women artists, producers and creatives of colour:

https://www.renaissanceone.co.uk/reframing-the-margins

Faculty Research Fund Award 2012

Arts Council Award 2020; 2009

Orange Prize Listed 2009

International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award nominated 2009

Creative Arts East Anguish’s Educational Foundation, Norwich through, Norfolk 2006

Society of Women Writers and Journalists Award 2001

Seth Donaldson Memorial Award School of English and American Studies, UEA 2000

Society of Authors Award 2000

British Council “Women Achievers” promoting women’s in Britain and South Africa 1999

Society of Authors Grant 1997

Race in the Media Awards Producer/Director/Researcher, BBC documentary listed by Commission for Racial Equality 1992

 

Recent invitations include

Guest speaker, Vrije Universiteit Brussel Brussels University weKONEKT week 2023

Oxford University, Department for Continuing Education 'The Nineteenth Century Slave Narrative' 2023

Guest lecturer, University of Zurich 2021

Invited speaker, Elizabeth Barret Browning and Place, with Cora Caplan and Simon Avery, Ledbury Poetry Festival 2019 https://www.poetry-festival.co.uk/?s=browning

Edinburgh University research seminar 2018

BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour Jenni Murray DBE, interview 50th anniversary of Jean Rhys Wide Sargasso Sea 2016

 

Fellowships and Contributions to Professional Organisations

Programme Leader, MA in Creative Writing, Northumbria University 2017 – 2022

Fellow of Higher Education Academy 2015

External Examiner Imperial College, London, M.A in Creative Writing undergraduate programme 2012 – 2015

Member of Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts (NCLA) 2009 - 2014

Seven Stories National Centre for Children's Books, Judge for The Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices Children’s Book Award shortlist 2013

Freedom from Torture Residential weekend for Amnesty International Writing competition at Edinburgh Festival working with victims of torture 2012

Writer-in-Residence Deerbolt Young Offenders Unit, March-August 2012

Iowa International Writing Program, Iowa University, USA 2010

Writing Together Mentor to secondary school teachers, UEA Department of Continuing Education initiative 2007

Selected by the British Council to promote the work of women in Britain and South Africa 1999

Hawthornden Castle, Writer’s Fellowship, Edinburgh, Scotland 1998

 

 

Selected Conference Papers

‘Turning Anger into Art: Confessions of a Black Woman Writer’ Common Threads: Black and Asian British Women’s Writing University of Brighton 2022

‘The Other Side of Me: Art in the Anthropocene’ jointly written paper Dr Laura Fish and Liz Pavey at international conference ‘Art in the Anthropocene’, Trinity College, Dublin, 2019

Georgia Radio interview with Salome Asatiani on Jean Rhys and Wide Sargasso Sea, Feb, 2019

https://www.radiotavisupleba.ge/a/29759883.html

Durham University Guest Speaker at a Trevelyan College postgraduate Literature students 2012

Newcastle University Conference paper: The Black Woman in the Mirror, “Echoes of the Past: Woman, History and Memory in Fiction and Film”, U.K 2009

Chawton House Library “Imagining Transatlantic Slavery and Abolition,” an International Conference to mark the Abolition of the Slave Trade in Britain and the United States 2007

University of North Carolina “This Is Living Art,” Elizabeth Barrett Browning in the 21st Century: An International Bicentenary Conference and Celebration,

Baylor University, Texas, 2006; Victorian Institute’s Conference “The Nine Lives of Victorian Poetry,” 2005

 

 

Selected Lectures and Public Readings

Ledbury Poetry Festival 2019. Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Place: a one-day event.

Goldsmiths University, George Wood Theatre, new MA in Black British Writing, Centre for Caribbean Studies 2015

Newcastle University ‘Landscape, Wilderness and the Wild’, presentation at cross-disciplinary Ph.D. workshop on creative research methodologies 2015

Newcastle University Andrea Levy’s The Long Song 2011

Oxford Literary Festival 2010

Prairie Lights Bookstore Iowa City 2010

Iowa City Public Library panel discussion, A Sense of Place 2010

Iowa State Television interview 2010

Iowa University Contributed to International Literature Today Course 2010

Wordstock Literary Festival Oregon; working with homeless; inner-city teenagers; public lectures

Wellesley College, Boston, USA Lecture on Elizabeth Barrett Browning and reading 2010

BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour, Jenni Murray DBE, interview, July 2008

Calabash Literary Festival Treasure Beach, Jamaica 2009

BBC World Service 2009

Durham University Toni Morrison: New Directions Symposium 2009

Liverpool Literary Festival 2008

Manchester Literary Festival 2008

Arvon Foundation Centres Scotland and Devon 2001

Cape Town Festival South Africa 1999

British Council “Women Achievers” conference, Cape Town; promoting the work of women in Britain and South Africa 1999

Universities of Estonia Tallinn, 1997

University of St. Andrews 1998

 

Public Engagement

 

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Interview on Wide Sargasso Sea with Salome Asatiani Correspondent, Georgian Service, 2019

BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour Jenni Murray DBE, interview on 50th anniversary of Jean Rhys Wide Sargasso Sea Sept. 2016

Visiting Writer status obtained for Billy Kahora, Kenyan-based writer, film maker, prose fiction and script writer and editor of Kwani? African literary journal Oct-Nov 2014

Visiting Fellow/Researcher status obtained for Dr. Maude Dikobe, Lecturer in the Expressive Arts of Africa and the African Diaspora, University of Botswana, Oct-Dec 2013

Aminatta Forna: Literature and Human Rights - A Critical Examination chair of symposium panel, Newcastle University 2013

Site and Sight: Ingrid Pollard Visiting Lecturer Series, Newcastle University 2012

Internal Examiner for PhD viva in Creative and Critical Writing, Newcastle University 2011

Prof Marjorie Stone Visiting Lecturer Series, Launch of Volume 5 Pickering and Chatto Elizabeth Barrett Browning edition, Newcastle 2010

Even Better Writers New Writing North and Newcastle City Council pilot course to support and enhance creative writing teaching and creative practice in secondary schools 2008

Fictionalising Historical Events Spring School open to public, Newcastle University 2008

Elizabeth Barrett Browning Seminar ‘The Browning’s’, Newcastle University 2008

 

 

 

Further Information

Lying Perfectly Still is set in Eswatini, the small landlocked Southern African country formerly known as The Kingdom of Swaziland. It is an exploration of identity and belonging, grief and connection, privilege, and abuse. The three issues at the heart of the book are the value placed upon black lives, violence against and exploitation of young women, and a global pandemic - HIV/AIDS. The story focuses on aid workers who trade charity for sexual favours.

 

Having lived and worked in Southern Africa as a researcher for Save The Children Fund in Sudan, and a Network Africa/BBC World Service reporter in Eswatini and Mozambique in the 1990s, Laura has experience of these aid and developmental concerns.

https://www.sileedsliteraryprize.com/2022-awards-ceremony/

 

Strange Music offers a fictional exploration of Elizabeth Barret Browning’s family from the Creole and black slave woman's perspective. It is set in both England and Jamaica in the late 1830s.

 

Flight of Black Swans is set in Aboriginal Australia and received very favourable reviews.

Laura Fish

Campus Address

Northumbria University
Lipman 024
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE1 8ST

  • Postcolonial writings and rewritings

  • My research interests include narratives of cultural difference, black literature and literary criticism, the politics of marginalisation, the writers’ ethical responsibilities, issues of gender, the constructs of difference and otherness, and retrieving and rewriting hidden stories and histories. Literature and writing are central to my life and work. My research engages with dialogues across different cultures and geographies. The main themes in my publications cover gender, ethnicity, identity, displacement.

  • Lying Perfectly Still is set in Eswatini, the small landlocked Southern African country formerly known as The Kingdom of Swaziland. It is an exploration of identity and belonging, grief and connection, privilege, and abuse. The three issues at the heart of the book are the value placed upon black lives, violence against and exploitation of young women, and a global pandemic - HIV/AIDS. The story focuses on aid workers who trade charity for sexual favours.

     

    Having lived and worked in Southern Africa as a researcher for Save The Children Fund in Sudan, and a Network Africa/BBC World Service reporter in Eswatini and Mozambique in the 1990s, Laura has experience of these aid and developmental concerns.

    https://www.sileedsliteraryprize.com/2022-awards-ceremony/

     

    Strange Music offers a fictional exploration of Elizabeth Barret Browning’s family from the Creole and black slave woman's perspective. It is set in both England and Jamaica in the late 1830s.

     

    Flight of Black Swans is set in Aboriginal Australia and received very favourable reviews.

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Lying Perfectly Still, Fish, L. 2022
  • The Interrelatedness of Form and Content in Contemporary Black British Women's Writing: Interviews with Victoria Adukwei Bulley, Laura Fish, Lou Prendergast, and Bernardine Evaristo, Bekers, E., Burnett, E., Cousins, H., Fish, L. 1 Sep 2022
  • The Other Side of Me: Moving words into motion, Fish, L., Pavey, L. 1 Mar 2021, In: Journal of Adaptation in Film & Performance
  • [Fiction issue] Exclusive excerpt from Lying Perfectly Still, a work in progress by Laura Fish, Fish, L. 6 Dec 2017
  • Fish Out of Water: the Novel and the Senses, Fish, L. 25 Feb 2017
  • Angry Black Birds, Fish, L. Dec 2015, Kwani?, Nairobi, Kwani Trust
  • Woman in the Mirror: Reflections, Fish, L. 1 May 2015, In: Synthesis
  • Strange Music, Fish, L. 9 Jul 2009
  • Strange Music, Fish, L. 22 Jul 2008
  • Victorian Secrets, Fish, L. 2008

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Oral presentation: Common Threads: Black and Asian British Women’s Writing International Conference, University of Brighton (2022) 2022
  • Other: This Is Who We Are (TIWWA) UK-Australia Mentoring Programme: Reframing the Margins 2022
  • Other: The Other Side of Me 2021
  • Invited talk: Runaway Slave at Pilgrim's Point 2020
  • Hosting an academic visitor: Gary Lang 2020
  • Invited talk: Elizabeth Barret Browning and Place: A day conference 2019
  • Participating in a conference, workshop, ...: Art in the Anthropocene 2019
  • Oral presentation: The Other Side of Me 2019
  • Visiting an external academic institution: Trinity College Dublin 2019

Selected Academic Positions

Creative Writing Tutor: St Andrews University; University of Western Cape; University of East Anglia, where she attained the MA and PhD in Creative Writing; Newcastle University, RCUK Academic Fellow in Creative Writing.

 

Fellow of Iowa International Writers’ Programme 

This Is Who We Are UK/Australia Mentoring Programme: Reframing the Margins, intergenerational and intersectional women artists, producers and creatives of colour:

https://www.renaissanceone.co.uk/reframing-the-margins

 

British Council Writers’ Directory: Laura Fish - Literature (britishcouncil.org)

  • Creative Writing PhD June 30 2007
  • Fellow (FHEA) Higher Education Academy (HEA) 2015


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