15 February 2010
St Peter’s has just appointed its first Writer-in-Residence position. This is the first continuous role of this kind at an Oxford college. The position will run for two years, after which time a new appointment will be made. The Writer-in-Residence will receive membership of the Senior Common Room and associated dining rights.
The post will, it is hoped, enhance the cultural life and profile of St Peter’s. Oxford is unusual in not offering creative writing as part of any of its degree courses – in appointing the first college-based writer in residence, we hope to provide a new forum for undergraduates, graduates and senior members who are interested in the creative arts.
The first holder of the Writer-in-Residence position will be Joanna Kavenna, winner of the Orange Award for New Writers, and author of The Birth of Love (forthcoming from Faber 2010), Inglorious (Faber 2007) and The Ice Museum (Penguin 2005). Joanna says of her new role that “It’s always a particular joy to come in at the beginning of something, when at least you don’t have to fear adverse comparison to your predecessors. I think an attachment to an academic institution is such a boon for a writer – it productively interrupts your ordinary isolation and supplies you with a wealth of scholars to consult. I’ll be very glad to encourage the students in their creative writing. I can also, I hope, show them how important research is for a novelist.”