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Creative writing graduate awarded publishing deal after poetry competition win

Posted Friday 26 April 2013

Kingston University Creative Writing graduate Frances Spurrier has beaten tough competition to scoop the Cinnamon Press Poetry Collection Award, winning the opportunity to have a collection of her work published in 2014 as part of the prize.

Speaking about the quality of the poems, Cinnamon Press editor Jan Fortune said:
"Frances' work grabbed our attention and held it: beautifully turned phrases, visceral images in precise language, lyrical and well-controlled lines and the ability to create haunting moments in time made this collection one we are delighted to be publishing."

Many of the poems that form part of Frances' collection were perfected during her studies at Kingston University - first on the Creative Writing MA course and later on the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, which she completed in 2012. Siobhan Campbell, principal lecturer in Creative Writing and award-winning published poet, taught Frances on the course and supervised her final dissertation. "Frances excelled on the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, as she honed her poetry to produce a fine collection that operates at the borderlands of identity and history, with work that displays both a personal and a mythic reach," said Siobhan.

The collection, to be entitled Pilgrim's Trail, will include the poem Selkie - you can read an exclusive excerpt here:

Drunk on cheap whisky from the Institute, I first met Megan.
I told her I was a poet.
After the fourth scotch, I told her I was a shepherd.
After the fifth, that I was thinking of becoming a monk.
A whisky monk? she said, then caught my hand
and we tore around to the sound of flute and fiddle.
She told me she was a selkie, changed to a woman
to trap a fisherman.
We laughed so much, tumbled out into the cold wet wind
staggered about the shoreline, sobered up only when twelve
drifting lights at sea
reminded us we were alone in that salt-sheet night.

Frances Spurrier

Before discovering writing, Frances worked in the charity sector and raised three children. Her poems have appeared in print magazines HQ, Staple, 14, Reach and South, as well as on the internet and in various anthologies, including one forthcoming from Eyewear Publishing. Frances is also a member of the editorial committee for the poetry website ‘Write out Loud', and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Kingston University launched the first Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing in the UK in 2008. The course offers talented and aspiring writers the chance to refine their skills under the tutelage of acclaimed professionals while receiving accredited training and experience in teaching in higher education.

To find out more about the range of creative writing courses available at Kingston University, visit the Kingston Writing School website.

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