English and Drama Newsletter – July 2023 Edition

Welcome to your July newsletter from the School of English and Drama at Queen Mary University of London.

3 Things to Do in July

Queen Mary Drama graduate wins Roundhouse Poetry Slam 2023

Queen Mary alumna Annabel Fabian wins Roundhouse Poetry Slam 2023 at renowned spoken word event at the prestigious London venue, Roundhouse in Camden.

The Roundhouse Poetry Slam is one of the highlights of the Roundhouse calendar, bringing together emerging spoken word artists aged 18-25 to compete for a cash prize and the coveted title of Slam Champion.

Having made it through six national heats, the most exciting voices in spoken word put their original work to the test in front of a live audience and an esteemed panel of judges: gal-dem founder and ‘Rosewater’ author, Liv Little, T.S. Eliot Prize Winner Roger Robinson and Rachel Long, one of the UK’s most acclaimed poets and the founder of Octavia Poetry Collective for Women of Colour.

On the night Annabel’s captivating and emotionally charged performance scooped her the cash prize of £1,000 and crowned Roundhouse Poetry Slam Champion 2023.

Watch Annabel’s performance on Youtube

July & August Events


19 July – ArtsOne BLOC – Free tickets via Eventbrite
Join us for three exciting performance sharings by writer Lishani Ramanayake, poet Hasti and musician Pedro Pereira Sarmento where they explore the possibilities (and problems) of artistic collaboration with AI tools. These experiments reflect on the ethical and creative questions prompted by this rapidly evolving technology.   
After the artists’ presentations, a panel discussion will be led by writer and performer Hannah Silva, who is a Leverhulme Fellow at Queen Mary. The discussion will invite the audience to consider their own perspectives on AI and its potential impacts on creativity and culture.
Please join us for this free event, as we gain practical insights into the challenges, discoveries, and transformative potential that arise when the human imagination encounters artificial intelligence.

Book here


Run to the Nuns (Produced by Estelle Homerstone)
Until 19 July | Riverside Studios, Hammersmith | Various times

‘Run to The Nuns’ is a new, queer musical set in a fictional ‘Nunnery’.

Hannah Maxwell: Nan, Me and Barbara Pravi
19-20 July | Camden People’s Theatre, Euston | 19:15

Entirely fictional. And completely true. Voila. An epic tale of care, crisis and the Eurovision Song Contest by Hannah Maxwell (pictured above), the acclaimed creator of I, AmDram.

Lorna Vassiliades: The Suitcase 20 July | Teatro Technis, Camden | 19:30

On the anniversary of the Turkish Invasion of Cyprus, performance Artist Lorna Eleonora Vassiliades creates a ritual of grief and mnemonic resistance through the suitcase and items her family grabbed when they were forced to flee from their home in Famagusta.

Figs in Wigs: Little Wimmin’
21-27 August | Zoo Southside, Edinburgh | 22:20

Figs in Wigs are back and this time they’ve got their period (dresses). A live art, feminist “adaptation” of Louisa May Alcott’s novel Little Women.

Please do get in touch if you have a show coming up in August you’d like us to mention. 

Follow us on Instagram for more


22 July – Advance Sales Fully Booked – Tickets On Door
A spectacular exploration of death and immortality, Whitechapel Gallery Writer in Residence Martin O’Brien presents a newly commissioned performance work.

Overture For The End (An Ashen Place) transforms the gallery into a place of decay, part hellscape, part apocalyptic landscape, filled with strange bodies performing deathly actions. The performance imagines repetitive cycles of life and death, an eternity of continuation with a promise of death that never arrives. Taking on the figure of banshee and crone, legendary Los Angeles artist Sheree Rose watches over the actions and intervenes in the cycles.

Read all about it in these preview articles: 

ArtLyst | QueerGuru

Listen to Martin on Whitechapel Radio today from 1500

​​​​​​​Listen live here

Find out more

News & Opportunities 

New Centre for Contemporary Writing

We are delighted to announce that Queen Mary’s Centre for Poetry is now a Centre for Contemporary Writing. Unique in the UK, we are a practitioner-led research centre that serves as a real and virtual meeting space, hub, and archive where writers, researchers, artists, and students who are compelled by innovative forms of contemporary writing can not only work together and celebrate each other but reach broader communities. 

Activities at the Centre are led by a dynamic cluster of writer-practitioners, including Rachael Allen, Katherine Angel, Caroline Bergvall, Andrea Brady, Brian Dillon, Dominic Johnson, Nisha Ramayya, Hannah Silva, Rivers Solomon, Isabel Waidner, and Lois Weaver. Working in interdisciplinary and collaborative ways across fiction, creative nonfiction, performance, and poetry, these writers breach ‘specialisms, modes, distinctions, and genres to create a more hybrid space for work to exist’ (to borrow Rachael Allen’s words about her own practice). 

Their concerns are urgent, current, and far-reaching. From climate grief to artificial intelligence, class politics to drone poetics, our work intersects with anti-racist, queer, class, and trans politics, practice, and theory.

Please contact Susan Rudy if you’d like to get involved

Video with our very own Charlotta Salmi on street art in Nepal that displays powerful messages for women and girls

Street art, murals and graffiti can be seen all over urban areas in Nepal. Researcher Charlotta Salmi has considered how activists and agencies in Nepal use these media to raise awareness of gender-based violence (GBV) in the country. How can organisations work to create inclusive, effective, and culturally sensitive messaging around GBV awareness?
 Watch the video

Wasafiri Magazine Publishes Essential ‘Windrush: Writing the Scandal’ Issue for 75th Windrush Anniversary

Marking the 75th anniversary of the arrival of HMT Empire Windrush, Wasafiri, the magazine of international contemporary writing, is excited to announce the publication of Windrush: Writing the Scandal.
 Find out more

Alumni Update: 

Um-E-Aymen Babar

Aymen is an award-winning cricket journalist and one of the few young women of colour working at the BBC on cricket coverage. Read more

Zara Joan Miller

Zara just published her first book of poetry and is performing widely and building up a nice repertoire Read more

Tomiwa Owolade

Tomiwa Owolade is an alumnus, and a Spectator columnist who has recently published ‘This is Not America: Why Black Lives in Britain Matter’.

Read the Guardian’s review of his latest book

Izzy Stuart writes about the political power of indifference/in-difference and Travis Alabanza’s play Overflow

Article title: ‘Fluidity of Feeling: Water, Gender, and the Political Potential of In-difference in Travis Alabanza’s Overflow’

Read the article

Opportunities Highlights


The School of English and Drama, Queen Mary University of London, invites expressions of interest from post-doctoral researchers considering making an application for the 2023/2024 British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship competition. Deadline 7 August.

Download the call out

For more opportunities see our regular Opportunities Digest blog post

Apologies if we missed any listings or made any errors, do let us know and we can post on social media.

Also if you have any news for our next newsletter please do reply or get in touch.

Best wishes,


Rupert Dannreuther

Marketing Manager

Queen Mary University of London

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All Things SED Editor

I am the Web and Marketing Administrator in the School of English and Drama. Amongst my various roles, I run the School's website (www.sed.qmul.ac.uk) and its Twitter feed (@QMULsed). I also manage the running of the School's Open Days and draft promotional materials.

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