The Creative and Critical Practice Research Group (CCPRG) explores the mutually interdependent relationship between creative and critical writing. The critical insights of practising creative writers, gained from the subjective experience of the writing process, may be lost to scholars who wish to establish a critical object of study in their fields. Conversely, theoretical insights about interpreting texts, grounded in a knowledge of literary history and cultural criticism, may remain unheard by aspiring writers, even though such insights may be potentially ‘creative’. We hold six annual events in flexible forms – discussion groups, seminars, guest lectures, presentations, roundtables and interviews – during which academic staff and postgraduates speak about their creative and critical practice.

The creative-critical group is an interdisciplinary forum for the benefit of the research community throughout the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and beyond. The CCPRG’s mission is to

  • provide a home and shop window for the considerable outputs of creative writing.
  • organise research/practice-led discussion groups, panels, guest lectures, roundtables, presentations and interviews which will provide intellectual coherence to our thriving constituency of PhD students.
  • develop partnerships with creative industries in close collaboration with the Cultural Institute.
  • provide an interdisciplinary hub within the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (and potentially cross-Faculty) for those working in creative writing (including media), creative-critical and/or critical practice.
  • in partnership with the Cultural Institute, support career-development networking opportunities for those working in creative fields (both staff and postgraduates).
  • constitute a forum in which the growing body of Creative Writing PGRs can work alongside an interdisciplinary network of staff.
  • advocate for arts funding.
  • work in close partnership with the Cultural Institute to provide a range of public engagement and outreach events for diverse target audiences, including the possibility of the incorporation of more critical-creative events in the future.

Management Board: Dr Alan Bilton and Dr Richard Robinson (Co-Convenors), Dr Elaine Canning, Professor Kirsti Bohata, Professor Julian Preece, Dr Joanna RydzewskaProfessor Tudur Hallam and Dr Alexia Bowler.

Photo of Dr Alan Bilton

Dr Alan Bilton is an academic and novelist who lectures American Studies and English Literature and Creative Writing at Swansea University. He is the author of two, dreamlike, surrealist novels, The Sleepwalkers’ Ball (2009) published by the independent Welsh press Alcemi and Unknown Sea (2014), along with the short story collection Anywhere Out of the World (2016). He has additionally penned Silent Film Comedy and American Culture (2014), An Introduction to Contemporary American Fiction (2002) and was a co-editor of The American 1920s (2004). His short fiction, essays and articulates have made appearances in the New Welsh Review, Planet, the Journal of American Studies, The European Journal of American Culture. Dr Bilton's new novel, The End of the Yellow House, is a historical fantasy which narrates a story of a sanatorium cut off from the chaos of the Russian Civil War. The novel is the very first title of Watermark Press and can be purchased at their site.

Photo of Dr Richard Robinson

Dr Richard Robinson is Associate Professor in the Department of Literature, Media and Language. He works in twentieth-century and contemporary writing, with a particular interest in modernism and its afterlife, style, Irish Studies, border studies, and aspects of Italian film and fiction. He is the author of two monographs, Narratives of the European Border: A History of Nowhere (Palgrave, 2007) and John McGahern and Modernism(Bloomsbury, 2017). He has published on writers such as McGahern, Kazuo Ishiguro, James Joyce, Italo Svevo, Elena Ferrante, Rebecca West, Ian McEwan and Edward St Aubyn. Richard is currently developing a collaborative project on style: he is co-editing (with Dr Barry Sheils) a special issue of Textual Practice titled ‘The Contemporary Problem of Style’. Richard is also completing articles on Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant, allegory and Brexit and on representations of Central Europe in British literature. He is currently Admissions Officer, having been the Department’s Programme Director and Exams Officer, and supervises a number of PhD projects: on Arnold Bennett and his critical reception; on technology and contemporary writing; and on James Joyce and Italian literature.