Interview with Professor Margaret Reynolds on new book ‘The Wild Track: Adopting, mothering, belonging’

We caught up with our very own Margaret Reynolds to talk about her new Penguin book The Wild Track: Adopting, mothering, belonging.

Professor Reynolds has recently been featured in The Guardian and the Telegraph and has interviews with Talk Radio, Times Radio, Monocle Radio, about the book and her experiences of adoption and writing the book with her daughter Lucy.

Here’s what she could tell us…

Tell us about your new book ‘The Wild Track: Adopting, mothering, belonging’. How did it come about and what can readers expect?

I adopted my daughter 12 years ago when she was six. And from the first, I used to jot down things that happened to us, little stories about our lives together. Then two years ago I heard a couple of things that reminded me how hard adoption can be, how often (very sadly) it does not work out. But we were still here! So I wanted to encourage others, so show how amazing and important adoption can be in helping children – who necessarily have difficult beginnings – in going on to make a success of their lives.

How has it been working with your daughter on the book? What do you think the book has to say to mothers around the world?

I showed the original version of the book to someone who said ‘don’t you think Lucy should have a voice?’. And I knew he was right! Politically, ethically it is always right to listen to the voices of children. So I asked her to write some sections.  In fact, it was great doing this. We have talked a lot about our different experiences and about the things we share.

Mothers are all different. Always, everywhere. There is no such thing as one ‘motherhood’. But there might be overlaps, and there might illumination and there might be a shared understanding, a recognition and acceptance which could be a positive for both mothers and children.

What 3 books would you recommend to readers after reading your book of course?

Jacqueline Rose, Mothers: An Essay on Love and Cruelty, Rachel Cusk, A Life’s Work, Sarah Knott, Mother: An Unconventional History.

Are there any lockdown lifelines that have kept you going in the last year?

Growing vegetables, going for long walks with our dog, watching classic films, cooking, noticing the seasons, planning a long trip to remote Greek islands.

SED Opportunity Digest – 26 February 2021

In an effort to help students focus by not sending too many emails we’ve stored up all the great opportunities into one short digest.

Don’t worry if you want to get more opportunities throughout the week you can follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the buttons below…

Please let us know if you have any suggestions for next week via


English at Work: SED English Alumni Careers Panel

Wednesday 3 March, 5.30-7pm

A live online panel discussion of English alumni working in publishing, marketing, charity, journalism and content creation, this event will give you the opportunity to hear their journey and experiences across a broad range of careers, as well as advice and tips for entering their sectors.

This is a great opportunity to learn, make connections, and have your questions answered, in an informal online setting. 

Panellists include: 

  • Zoe Rutland – Editor, DK Eyewitness. Graduated from Queen Mary in BA English Literature, 2016.
  • Sumit Sharma – Head of Digital, Prezzo Ltd; Co-Founder, Breaking Atoms. Graduated from Queen Mary in BA English Language and Literature, 2006.
  • Josh Lee – Commissioning Editor, The Guardian Labs. Graduated from Queen Mary in BA English and Drama, 2012.
  • Chrissie Reed – Corporate Partnerships Lead, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. Graduated from Queen Mary in BA English Literature, 2013.

More panellists will be added closer to the date as confirmed.

Profile photo of Sandeep Saib

How Are You Really Feeling? Let’s Talk About Mental Health – 4 March. ‘Join us on ‘University Mental Health Day’ 4 March 2021 as we bring together a Queen Mary University of London mental health community-led panel openly discussing and exploring mental health from various perspectives, and most importantly to see mental health as a university-wide priority to benefit you and the future of student mental health. Come along and be inspired to challenge mental health stigma and discrimination, start conversations, take action and create and be the change for today for a better future. The panel will consist of different members of the Queen Mary community including Sandeep Saib – Co-Director of Happy Heads, Niall Morissey – Queen Mary Head of Advice and Counselling, Dr Dominic Hurst – Senior Clinical Lecturer in Primary Dental Careand Head of Student Support –  and more TBC.

Mental Health First Aid 1-2-1 with Rupert: Rupert is happy to speak to you in a 1-2-1 on Teams to help in a crisis or get information about where to find the best help. You can book here.

Writing Support: Drama with Daniel Oliver – Wednesdays from 12:45-2.45. Sign up to a slot. ‘Although the set up on QM+ is for 30 minute 1-2-1 sessions, students can email me if they want to meet as a group or for a series of shorter sessions. It’s very flexible and can be for any concerns or questions relating to writing – academic in the first instance but not exclusively so. I am going to run a very informal ‘writing retreat’ for students on the Monday of reading week, from 6-9pm. It will be hosted on TEAMS and be an opportunity for students to write at the same time as each other, and to discuss that writing and their general writing practices.

The Writing Group

“Hi all we’re three SED students who love to write! But we want to know who else loves to write, we’re starting a small group that will be here to work on all things writing. Whether fiction or fact, beginner or expert we’re here to see what you’ve done. So if you want to share poems, plays, novels, or even a DnD campaign we’d love it if we could hear them.

So if you want to share your work, or help others with theirs, or even just listen to some stories, please email any of us we’ll be happy to tell you more!”

Outside QMUL

The Anthony Davis Book Collecting Prize awards its winner a £600 cash prize, the chance to work with UCL Special Collections staff to purchase a new item for our printed and archive collections, and the opportunity to publicly display or present their own book collection. To enter, applicants must put together a collection of at least 8 books or other printed or archival items, and write a short, 500-word piece about their collection. We are looking for both creativity and enthusiasm. Applications close on 30 April 2021.  

We know that many students are book-lovers, but don’t think of themselves as book collectors, so we’ve written some advice on how to be a student book collector. We want to highlight collections that have been put together with intention but are not particularly expensive or rare. Collections of all types of printed or archival works are eligible, including, for instance, playbills, music scores, magazines, etc., : the importance is the intentionality and purpose of the collection.  

Andrea Levy

Celebrating Andrea Levy – Thursday 4 March, 18.30, FREE Part of Leeds Lit Fest, join our lively panel discussion celebrating the life and work of prize-winning Small Island novelist and QMUL fellow Andrea Levy as we mark our acquisition of her archive.

Clod Ensemble Free Workshops:

The company also has a Research Assistant post to work closely with Clod Ensemble Co-Artistic Director Suzy Willson. Research will include assisting in the review and curation of the Clod Ensemble archive. Apply by 3 March.

Bellissimo and Azeema magazines

Dazed & Confused ‘SELF PUBLISHED’ Workshops on Magazines and Publishing

HOW TO MAKE YOUR MAGAZINE A MOVEMENT -Tuesday March 2 -3PM GMT London-based publishers AZEEMA are joined by Dazed’s Head of Content Ahmad Swaid to discuss the importance of representing your community in publishing, how to tell authentic stories of womxn from the MENASA region and diaspora, and why inclusive media is the future.


HOW TO MAKE YOUR MAGAZINE FUNTuesday March 2 5PM GMT Ivan Ruberto and Paolo Zerbini of Italian publication Bellissimo are joined by Claire Marie Healy to discuss how they make their magazine unique, go deep into their references, explore the power of 90s teen mags, and talk about their reaction to the seriousness they have been seeing in publishing.. Tuesday March 2 5PM GMT


Ethical Matters: Can Your Identity Survive 21st Century Technology? Monday 15th March • 6.30pm – 8pm (Online) Futurist Tracey Follows presents a fascinating and urgent exploration of what personal identity will come to mean for us in the coming decades, as we navigate social media, AI and the digital afterlife.

Job: Marketing and Advertising Officer at A Younger Theatre – Deadline 1 March

My Story, My Way | Free Workshop | 06 Mar 2021: a new workshop series exploring different artistic methods of story-telling. The first workshop will be hosted by @shivaraichandani, @freddielewiss, @alexnoblezine and @benpechey, who will each take you through their own unique creative process. You’ll be looking at song-writing, photography, dance and fashion, each as means of expressing our complex personal narratives and as powerful tools for self-enquiry.

Paid Publishing Internship: Comma Press – Deadline 14 March. Do you have the ability to work to tight deadlines, write social media copy and confidently communicate with partners and colleagues? Don’t miss this six-month internship with this leading independent publisher…

ShakesQueer – Free event – 27 Feb – Get ready to be transported to a queer closet to hear the shocking stories that circle the Shakespeare legend. Performance artist Tom Marshman elegantly intertwines his personal experience of Shakespeare with queer voices of the past in this fun, energetic multi-artform show ShakesQueer. Book a free ticket.

Staging Decadence: Agitation, super-saturation and trash – Free event 23 March and a call for papers. Plus an event on 10 March with Nando Messias on their performance preparation, which in part involves the selection of a perfume, this talk uses scent as a framework and touchstone to explore some trails through queer solo performance’s indulgence with decadence.

Theatre in the Criminal Justice System: Celebrating Clean Break and TIPP Tickets, Wed, Mar 3, 2021 at 12:00 PM | Eventbrite The event will take the form of short presentations from the present Artistic Directors of Clean Break and TIPP (and current co-Chairs of the national Criminal Justice Arts Alliance), Anna Herrmann and Simon Ruding. Anna and Simon will give a plotted history of their organisations, and this will be followed by an open Q&A.  

Further sources of interesting events, opportunities and jobs are…

Apples & Snakes Artists Newsletter | Arts Admin E-Digest | ArtsJobs | Creative Access (Jobs) | JournoResources | MediaBeans (media jobs) | Tower Hamlets Arts | Write at Home (freelance writing opps)

Did we miss anything? Please email us via

SED Opportunity Digest – 19 February 2021

In an effort to help students focus by not sending too many emails we’ve stored up all the great opportunities into one short digest.

Don’t worry if you want to get more opportunities throughout the week you can follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the buttons below…

Please let us know if you have any suggestions for next week via


ACT is a new campaign that aims to empower students to lead conversations about issues affecting student wellbeing such as sexual and gender-based violence, microaggressions, mental health and more. As part of the campaign, the Students’ Union is running training sessions throughout the semester on consent and being an active bystander. Find out more about the Active Bystander and Consent training available. 

LIBRARY LOVE: New features of the library at QMUL include:

NEW PODCAST ALERT Catarina Grangeon (English student) has launched her podcast Interlude Monologues.

STORIES FROM HOME A film screening event with a collection of folk tales, journeys and stories narrated by grandparents  and retold and illustrated by their grandchildren. Register here

Outside QMUL

ART TRAINEE PROGRAMME at Bold Tendencies – Deadline 1 March ‘The core commitment of the Art Trainee Programme is to a balanced experience of working, learning, training and peer-networking. The ATP aims to offer a healthy and inclusive environment for young people of all backgrounds and life experience at the beginning of their career path.’



CELEBRATE GAMBIAN INDEPENDENCE DAY at Mboka Festival on 18 Feb. An evening of music, storytelling, poetry, film, and song  with artists from Africa and the African Diaspora. Headlined by award winning  GamBrit artists: Rapper, Pa Salieu and Performance Poet, Sophia Thakur.

CLEAN BREAK: ‘Do you know an AMAZING early career artist working in participation? We’d love them to apply for our Participation Associate role! Find out more:


Looking for an internship in theatre production or marketing? Andrew Lloyd Webber’s production company the Really Useful Group is offering two paid internships to Black, Asian or ethnically diverse 18 to 25-year-olds.

Deadline: 26 February

I AM NO BIRD: QUEERING THE BRONTES – 21 Feb: A queer reading of the Brontes, their lives, works and characters. Expect feminist punk, gender-bending, and moorland Gothicism. Tune in BCB 106.6fm on Sunday 21 Feb from 1-2pm UK time.


STANZA – Scotland’s International Poetry Festival 2021. One of the top poetry festivals in the UK, StAnza is famous for its friendly atmosphere and international focus, the place to hear favourite poets, discover new voices and – in happier times – to enjoy the beautiful town of St Andrews and StAnza’s lively festival hub. 

Further sources of interesting events, opportunities and jobs are…

Apples & Snakes Artists Newsletter | Arts Admin E-Digest | ArtsJobs | Creative Access (Jobs) | JournoResources | MediaBeans (media jobs) | Tower Hamlets Arts | Write at Home (freelance writing opps)

Did we miss anything? Please email us via

Get insider insight at International Student Careers Week

International Student Careers Week is coming from 22 February 2021 and is a great chance to discover how to get ahead in work in UK when you’re an international student.

How to get UK work experience & Internships

Tues 23 February, 1-3pm

If you are an international student looking for UK work experience, be that an internship, part time work, volunteering or any other kind of work experience, then join this webinar to find out more. You will discover what opportunities are available in the UK, how to identify opportunities and tactics for maximising your chance of success. This webinar is part of International Students week.

Maximising LinkedIn for your career

Wed 24 February 1-2pm

Would you like to set up a LinkedIn profile? Do you have a LinkedIn profile but don’t know how to use it effectively for your job search? Do you feel LinkedIn can offer more than you are using it for?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, or have any other interest in getting to grips with LinkedIn then come along to this webinar. In it you will learn how to set up a LinkedIn profile and use it to help your search for work experience and graduate jobs. This webinar is designed specifically to support international students, as part of International Students Careers week.

Working in the UK after study for International students – update

Thurs 25 February, 11-11.45

One of the International Student Advisers from the Advice and Counselling Service will tell you the information we know so far about the Graduate (Post Study Work) Route, they will give an overview of the new Skilled Worker Route (previously Tier 2), and let you know about some other visa options for working after studies, plus remind students of the Student visa requirements during study relating to working.

How to write a UK CV & Cover letter

Thurs 25 February, 1-2pm

This workshop is for international students and will outline how you write a CV and cover letter for use in the UK. You will find out the key components of a CV and cover letter, how to make your application stand out to an employer and how to tailor your CV and cover letter to a particular opportunity. Come along if you want to prepare yourself for using a CV and cover letter to get part time work, work experience or a graduate job. This workshop is part of international student careers week.

Start up Visa – Application Workshop 1

Fri 26 February, 12-1pm

The Start-up visa is for early-stage but high potential entrepreneurs who are starting a business in the UK for the first time. To qualify for a visa, applicants must first obtain an endorsement from an approved endorsing body such as Queen Mary.

How do you start your own business in the UK?  Are innovation, viability and scalability important when applying for endorsement? How can I improve the quality of my endorsement application?

If you are interested in hearing answers to these questions, join us for at least 2 of the following workshops before submitting your application:

  • Workshop 1: Learn more about the Start-up visa and Queen Mary endorsement schemes.
  • Workshop 2: Innovation – how to generate ideas and an introduction to the lean canvas.
  • Workshop 3: Viability – what makes a business more likely to succeed?
  • Workshop 4: Scalability and financials – how to grow your business and understand the money side of your business.

The workshops will be hosted by Enterprise Advisor, Miriam Irungu, from the Queen Mary Careers and Enterprise Team. The Queen Mary Enterprise Team are dedicated to supporting students and graduates who have a keen interest in entrepreneurship. They offer a variety of programmes, events and funding opportunities which help bring ideas to life.

Felicity Bush

Careers Consultant, School of English and Drama

WG3, Queens Building, Mile End Campus

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Jobs Blog

SED Opportunity Digest – 12 February 2021

In an effort to help students focus by not sending too many emails we’ve stored up all the great opportunities into one short digest.

Don’t worry if you want to get more opportunties throughout the week you can follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the buttons below…

Please let us know if you have any suggestions for next week via


Blog Manager Wanted!

Are you interested in travel and culture? Do you have an editorial eye and creative mind?

ESN QMUL are looking for someone to take charge of our new blog, acting as part of the 2021/22 society committee. This is a great opportunity to network internationally and present relevant skills for your CV to boost your career engagement. The ESN society is aimed at supporting students on their study abroad, and is part of a larger network spanning 42 countries! We also have other committee positions open for application.

Please email for more information on the roles available.

CUB Journalism and Media 101 workshop will focus on blogging and social media. If you would like to take part in this workshop be sure to sign up via the sign up sheet:

Employable Me series: Imposter Syndrome in the Workplace 23 Feb Book here

“We will be looking at how it is caused, its effects and consequences, and how we can better understand the impact it has on us as people in the workplace, but also on us as humans. We will also be exploring tips and advice on how to manage the experience, and how we can recognise and celebrate our achievements.”

Enhancing Your Online Presence: Level Up Your Photography Skills Workshop Today 12 Feb at 1.30pm on Zoom:

QHack applications are now open! QHack is a high-energy, fun, intensive boot camp that gives you opportunities to learn how to get businesses off the ground! Find out more and apply

QMUL Education Awards – Nominations close 15 Feb!

It’s been a tough year but the QMUL Education Awards give us an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of the staff and students who have committed to improving the Queen Mary learning experience, despite the challenges so please nominate as soon as possible. The Education Awards include the Course Rep Awards are awarded to Course Reps who have made a huge difference to students and their courses. The Teaching Awards are awarded to teaching and support staff that have made an outstanding contribution to the student experience. There are 12 awards up for grabs, including Teacher of the Year, Support Staff Member of the Year, Online Learning Champion and many more.

Nominations close on Monday 15th February so please nominate NOW via

Outside QMUL

BBC Academy Digital Cities 23 – 25 February: A series of FREE events for the creative industries. Bookings go LIVE Tuesday 9 February Book here

Free online workshop highlights include:

HOW TO CREATE A SOLO CLOWN SHOW – 28 Feb Join award winning comedian, QMUL alumna and clown teacher Elf Lyons as she leads a workshop on how to develop your own solo clown show.

‘On the Shore of the Wide World: Keats, 200 years on’ 23rd Feb – 7–9 pm Free tickets here

Two hundred years to the day after Keats’ death, The Poetry Society welcomes a circle of poets and Keats scholars to reflect on his enduring place in our literary imaginations in an evening of poetry, thought and discussion.

2 x 4 photographic portraits of event speakers

Online Lecture: Exploring Wonderlands: Alice on Stage and Screen 18 Feb Online, Free

In this talk, Simon Sladen explores the many adaptations of Carroll’s tale, from 1886’s inaugural stage production Alice in Wonderland to 2020’s Alice in Streamingland created during lockdown. Key films will also be considered as he seeks to analyse the books’ enduring legacy and significant relationship with the performing arts. Book here

Performance in an Age of Precarity Digital launch 18 Feb of a new book written by Maddy Costa and Andy Field. The book is is a new anthology of 40 short essays, each on the work of a different artist, through which Andy and Maddy sketch a map of the contemporary performance landscape in the UK in the period between the financial crisis of 2008 and the Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020. It is available from most of the places where books are available. To coincide with publication, Andy and Maddy are bringing together a collection of the artists they write about in the book to talk about performances they themselves have seen and loved in the past decade. In doing so they hope the event will be not just a book launch but a celebration of the effect live performance has on us, and continues to have, even when theatres are closed.

The event is being hosted online by Artsadmin and will happen on Thursday 18 February, from 7.30pm. It will feature contributions from Alexandrina Hemsley, Augusto Corrieri, Ellice Stevens (Breach Theatre), Jemima Yong, Rachel Mars, Rachel Porter (Figs in Wigs), Sheila Ghelani and Tim Crouch.

You can book a free ticket here

Queerate Tate Queerate Tate is a series of personal responses to Tate artworks, looked at through a queer lens – and we want you to take part too! Write about a work, read along or support the writers. A selection of your queer-ated written pieces will appear on our Instagram and website for all to enjoy, this month and beyond! Find out how to submit

‘Showcasing’ Empires: The Legacy of Colonialism on Post-Imperial Societies – 18-19 Feb Free Online Book here

This virtual conference is timely, set against the backdrop of a critical global moment that is beginning to acknowledge the significance, reality and legacy of imperial history for understanding current politics, the significance of colonial monuments and street names and the toxic legacies of discriminatory legislation and colonial administration. The aim of this two-day conference will be to reflect on the historiographical opportunities offered by the performance and representation of various empires throughout history, and the impact they have had on the cultural and political practices of ex-colonies and ex-metropoles.

Further sources of interesting events, opportunities and jobs are…

Apples & Snakes Artists Newsletter | Arts Admin E-Digest | ArtsJobs | Creative Access (Jobs) | JournoResources | MediaBeans (media jobs) | Tower Hamlets Arts | Write at Home (freelance writing opps)

Did we miss anything? Please email us via

Call for Papers – Queen Mary PGRS Virtual Conference ‘Contagion: Spread the Word’

Queen Mary PGRS Virtual Conference:
Contagion: Spread the Word 12 July 2021

Keynote Speaker: Dr Elizabeth Outka (University of Richmond)
Due to the global pandemic, the word “contagion” may instantly inspire thoughts related to sickness or disease, but “contagion” has numerous metaphorical applications as well. William S. Burroughs in The Adding Machine (1986) states that:

“The Word is literally a virus, and that it has not been recognized as such because it has achieved a state of relatively stable symbiosis with its human host […]. The Word clearly bears the single identifying feature of virus: it is an organism with no internal function other than to replicate it-self.”

This one-day, interdisciplinary conference is organised by the English Department’s Postgraduate Research Seminar (PGRS) Committee at Queen Mary University of London:

We welcome proposals from graduate researchers in literature and related disciplines that ex-plore the theme of “contagion” across periods and genres.
We encourage broad interpretations of the theme.

  • Possible topics include but are not limited to:
  • Historical outbreaks of disease
  • Epidemiology literature
  • Legal developments regarding medicine and medical qualifications
  • Medical figures in history and literature
  • Sickness/disease as metaphor
  • Spread of literacy and knowledge vs censorship
  • Letters and postal systems, epistolary novels
  • Spread of literature through social media
  • Spread of (mis)information
  • Illness and prejudice
  • Imaginative contagion (e.g. the outbreak narrative, ‘zombie culture’, vampire fiction)
  • Bloodlines and the preoccupation with birth and class
  • Migration narratives and travel writing

A 250-word abstract and 50-word biography should be submitted to by 1st May 2021.

SED Opportunity Digest – 5 February 2021

In an effort to help students focus by not sending too many emails we’ve stored up all the great opportunities into one short digest.

Don’t worry if you want to get more opportunties throughout the week you can follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the buttons below…

Please let us know if you have any suggestions for next week via


Book Launch 11 Feb: The Network Turn: Changing Perspectives in the Humanities co-edited by our very own Ruth Ahnert. Book Here

New Student Writing Group – Join here. Details below…

Hi all we’re three SED students who love to write! But we want to know who else loves to write, we’re starting a small group that will be here to work on all things writing. Whether fiction or fact, beginner or expert we’re here to see what you’ve done. So if you want to share poems, plays, novels, or even a DnD campaign we’d love it if we could hear them. So if you want to share your work, or help others with theirs, or even just listen to some stories, please email any of us we’ll be happy to tell you more! / /

Online Seminar: Religion, Populism and the Crisis of Secularism Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences Wednesday 10 February 14:00 [Details]

Online Seminar: Fred Cooper on Family Carers, Loneliness, and Covid-19: Preliminary Findings from ‘Caring Through Coronavirus’ Pathologies of Solitude Tuesday 16 February 17:00 [Details]

Online Seminar: Happy Together? The Intimate Publics of Gay Liberation in 1970s West Germany Centre for the History of the Emotions Wednesday 24 February 13:00 [Details]

Online Seminar: Race as a Sentencing Factor School of Law Wednesday 24 February 16:00 [Details]

Reach Academic Writing and Referencing Workshop for QMUL Students Wed 10 Feb. Sign up here

Outside QMUL

BFI Future Film Festival The BFI Future Film Festival is the UK’s largest festival for young, emerging filmmakers. Join us for 4 days of free virtual events and screenings, all focused on helping filmmakers aged 16 to 25 break into the screen industry.

Online event Ethical Matters: This Is Why I Resist Monday 22nd February • 6.30pm – 8pm (Online)  Activist and political commentator Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu explores the deep roots of racism and anti-blackness in the West, showing that (in her words) “there is no freedom without rights and no rights without the freedom to exercise those rights.”

Diaspora Speaks x QM ProBono Soc present Anti-Racism and Decolonisation in the workplace on 10 Feb Panelists include Dr Sadhvi Dar, Saywah Mahmoud and Nic Patmore. More details in tweet below…

Free Event 19 Feb: Poems, plays and politics: queer lives in the ancient world Join the Museum of London online for an evening extravaganza exploring queer identities in the ancient Classical worlds of Greece and Rome. We will discover how the politics of passion and power were played out in the realms of literature and performance, and how scholarship and interpretation have influenced how we understand these relationships today.

Collection: the Louvre Museum (public domain)

GLITS-e Submissions Open GLITS-e is an annual online journal of literary and cultural criticism published within the English and Creative Writing department at Goldsmiths. It is run and peer-reviewed by postgraduate students and it welcomes submissions of research articles and creative writing.

Our Call for Papers is now extended to the 22nd of February 2021. We welcome all postgraduate students and staff members who would like to write on the theme of ‘tension’ to submit your work to

History Acts 27: LGBTIQ+ resilience ACTIVISM & MUTUAL AID IN THE PANDEMIC Thursday 11 February 6:30-8:30pm To register visit

Job Vacancy: Faith Engagement Officer – FaithAction

FaithAction are working with East London Mosque on a London Borough of Tower Hamlets project that aims to supply Covid-19 infection prevention items to faith settings in the borough.  Are you interested in the joining the project as a part time Faith Engagement Officer?
Please contact if you would like to apply – please be aware that the closing date for applications is Tuesday 9 February and the successful applicant must be available to start immediately.  More details about the project can be found here

Online Literature Event featuring Palestinian writers The Book of Ramallah 6pm (UK), | 8pm (Palestine) Thursday 25 February 2021 Watch via LAAF Facebook Page / Comma Press Facebook Page Thanks for this excellent event recommendation from Hannah Fox:

“Join Liverpool Arab Arts Festival and Comma Press for a journey to Ramallah, as we reflect on the latest title in Comma’s series on ‘Reading the City’. Edited by Beirut-born, Palestinian novelist, who lives in Jerusalem and works in Ramallah, this anthology explores the city in all its countless contradictions. The Book of Ramallah features stories from ten established and emerging Palestinian writers, including Anas Abu Rahma, Liana Badr, Khaled Hourani and Ahmad Jaber.”

The festival is also looking for a part time Marketing Manager. Deadline 17 Feb

Movement Workshops from Clod Ensemble:

PEACH Workshop: See details in Instagram post below…

The 2021 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize is now open for submissions.

SKY: Skills, Knowledge in Youth Join our programme to strengthen your employability skills and boost your confidence in applying for jobs. A FREE programme for 16 – 24yr olds! Sign up here

Sky Arts Logo

SKY ARTS ARTISTIC ASSOCIATES Theatre Royal Stratford East is looking to appoint two Artistic Associates to join the Stratford East team for 12 months. The roles are designed for early-mid career creative individuals, from any creative discipline, with links for East London, as an opportunity to advance a career in theatre. At least one of these roles is for an Associate who self-identifies as D/deaf or disabled. Apply here by 22 Feb

Further sources of interesting events, opportunities and jobs are…

Apples & Snakes Artists Newsletter | Arts Admin E-Digest | ArtsJobs | Creative Access (Jobs) | JournoResources | MediaBeans (media jobs) | Tower Hamlets Arts | Write at Home (freelance writing opps)

Did we miss anything? Please email us via

English and Drama Newsletter – February 2021 Edition

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Join 5,797 other subscribers.

Quick updates from us:

4 Feb English Postgraduate Research Seminar: Nadia Atia

Representing Iraq from Afar: Muhsin al-Ramli’s Scattered Crumbs

18 Feb QUORUM Drama: Lola Olufemi  (Writer of Feminist Interrupted – picture from seminar flyer above left)
Imaginative-Revoluntionary Potential: how, what, where

VOTE ONLINE TO SUPPORT ALUMNA THEATRE SHOW: Fraciska Éry has been nominated for an award for her Hamlet production. Vote to help her win.

WHAT WE’RE READING: We’re publishing an LGBT+ History Month special of our new column What We’re Reading. Be sure to contribute by recommending a book.

THE POWER OF POETRY: Read poetry by our students as we are inspired to celebrate the medium after hearing Amanda Gorman’s powerful work.

STAY CONNECTED: Instagram / Twitter / Facebook / Youtube

Online Events

Sat 13 Feb, Online
We have our next opportunity in January for our 2021 entry offer holders to hear an overview of their course, meet a member of staff for an interview and do a taster session.
Email us for information


We’ve just launched 2 new tasters on Sat 13 Feb:

Drama Year 12/13 Taster: Theatre & The Supernatural

English Yr 12/13 Taster: Contemporary Middle Eastern Writing


Public Space and the Geography of Loneliness
4 Feb, Online Our very own Matthew Ingleby will speak on Public Space and the Geography of Loneliness is the first event in our series of The English Association’s special interest group on Loneliness and Technology.

PEACH Creative Workshop
9 Feb, Online

“In honour of #lgbtqhistorymonth, we have decided to theme our first creative workshop of 2021  on love! The prompts for this workshop will be shaped around the works of queer writers and artists, using their pieces as inspiration for creative creation”.

Diaspora Speaks – February Events
From 10 Feb, Online

Check out the Instagram for all the details

10 Feb, Online

A night organised by our very own student Jasmine Rothon that is open to everyone – beginners and pros! Reading and performing original work and covers of poems we love. Do a reading or just watch.

Sign up here

Book Launch: The Network Turn: Changing Perspectives in the Humanities
on 11 Feb at 4pm GMT

Celebrate the launch of Ruth Ahnert’s co-authored book with a conversation hosted by Jo Guldi and Zoe le Blanc on Zoom.

You can register here

Chang and Eng and Me (And Me)
16 Feb, online
A short performance by PhD student Tobi Poster-Su for puppets in 3 acts followed by a post-show discussion.More information and tickets

Pathologies of Solitude Seminar Series
From 16 Feb, Online

The series continues online this term, with an exciting line up of speakers from literary scholars and historians to neuroscientists. The seminars take place on Tuesdays at 5pm (UK time). All are welcome but booking is required. You can see the full line-up of speakers here and register for attendance here.

Wasafiri Writing workshops

Wasafiri Writing Workshops
Various Dates from February-April 2021

Find out more here

News & Links

Alumni Profiles:

  • Lucy Dear (Drama BA, 2006), Applied Theatre Practitioner, Director and Community Producer.
  • Evie Lewis (English Literature MA), PhD Researcher.
  • Annabelle Sami (English Literature MA), Children’s Author.

Bechdel Theatre co-run by Drama graduate Pippa Sa has received Arts Council funding to help develop the pioneering platform from a 2-person passion-project into a sustainable, equitable company, supporting, amplifying & connecting women, trans & non-binary people who work in & care about theatre & live performance.

Desi Delicacies

Rosie Dastgir (English) has a short story in an anthology of fiction and non fiction and recipes called Desi Delicacies: Food Writing from Muslim South Asia – about south Asian Muslim foodways – edited by Professor Claire Chambers at York University and just published by Picador India.  Her story is called A Brief History of the Carrot – !

Figs in Wigs

Figs in Wigs (Drama alumni) publish a new printed version of their Little Wimmin through Salamander Street.

Buy it here


Rachel Gregory Fox (English)’s co-edited book Post-Millennial Palestine – Literature, Memory, Resistance has been published by Oxford University Press.

Quest Radio and The Museum of London project saw two groups of QM students listening back to recordings of London in the past.

Very exciting news is that the group that explored recordings from London’s LGBTQ+ Club Scene is going to be included in Museum of London’s online content for LGBT History Month!

Students in the LGBT research group include Eve Bolton, Kirsten Johnson, Georgia Wood and Keir McEwan.

Afternoon Deelight

Martin O’Brien (Drama) is interviewed for Afternoon Deelight podcast  by Jordy Deelight. He says ‘it was brilliant to talk about Cystic Fibrosis and my work with someone else with it. We dig into early performance work in Poland, illness, Bob and Sheree, and survival.’

Listen here

Sunday Skool

Martin has just launched a project with Shabnam Shabazi and Joseph Morgan Schofield. It’s The Sunday Skool for Misfits, Experimenters, and Dissenters. It will be a free 12 week course, every Sunday for artists in the early part of their practice: The Sunday Skool – VSSL studio (

Susheila Nasta (English/Wasafiri Magazine) will be one fo the judges for the David Cohen Prize for a full life’s work only awarded every two years. Fellow judges include: Hermione Lee (Chair), Reeta Chakrabarti (BBC), Peter Kemp (The Times lead fiction critic) and Maura Dooley (poet, Prof at Goldsmith’s, previous Director of Southbank Literature). Previous winners of this illustrious include: Edna O’Brien, Tom Stoppard, Harold Pinter, Hilary Mantel, David Holroyd, Julian Barnes, Tony Harrison, Seamus Heaney, VS Naipaul. Read more here

Matthew Rubery (English) writes about how maintaining a critical distance with books might not be around for long on Public Books:

“Scholars have been conditioned to respond to talk of likes and dislikes with embarrassment, if not outright contempt. But the facade of critical detachment may be on the way out,”

Read the article here

People’s Palace Projects (Based at QMUL) has been featured in a UKRI Impact Case Study here.

‘Autumn 2020’ by Kamana Rai – The Power of Poetry

We were excited to receive this entry to our The Power of Poetry campaign from BA English with Creative Writing student Kamana Rai.

She says:

Hi, I’m Kamana, a final year QM student studying English with Creative Writing. I am a writer/poet hoping to publish more of my poetry this year. This poem is about hope, renewal and the beauty of nature. It is inspired by Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, an Asian-American poet. I have come to really admire her work. She writes beautiful poetry that I think is one of a kind. 

Read the poem…

Autumn 2020

The nights are hung, more dark blue than azure

or the summer remnants, of ocean

and warm breeze, in reminiscence, 

still, melting — how it finds a sweet spot on the body, rests, 

releases on the succulent skin, baring, now wished away. 

The seasons, they listen, give and work in life cycles;

await and thrive; survive the torrential man-kind. 

Bloom with the new autumn morning, exhale as night falls.

The leaves are changing with the light. 

Burnt sienna in spectrums, intrinsic golden shapes.

In reflections of pools, living forms making homes

under daylight, in conversational affairs with the horizon, 

like how our irises hold an affinity with heaven. 

The leaves are in love with the waning sunlight,

releasing themselves, vibrant, leaving their remembrance.

Transgressing the summer remnants, in new hues, 

spectrums of light filtering the veins of every leaf.

I can’t help but learn immensely, being present to the environment.

It does not need to talk to me, just open in beauty.

The autumn light permeates every follicle of the cell, raises a warmth 

in the atmospheric sphere.

Vote to Help Alumna Franciska Éry’s Nominated Production of Hamlet Get Recognised in the 2020 Highlights of Hungary

Vote to Help Franciska get recognised. Voting starts on 4 Feb 2021 (today) and will be open for two weeks. Here is the link: The show is listed in the last category as ‘Nagyerdei Stadion – Hamlet

We caught up with Franciska and here’s what she said…

About her nomination

“I am writing to you because I directed a socially distanced Hamlet last summer and it has been named as one of the top 55 creative achievements in 2020 by Highlights of Hungary. I am incredibly happy as this was my first time directing in my home country in my mother tongue, and it was especially difficult to create a show in the middle of the pandemic that was safe for audiences and creatives/cast alike. 

The nomination itself is a huge honour, but this week Highlights of Hungary will open their voting system to the public, and it would mean a lot to me if my QMUL community could help me get Hamlet to the finish line.

About Hamlet:

“Hamlet is a 80-minute long reduced version of Shakespeare’s classic. We also added our own texts and even a Hungarian poem – it is very much the company’s version. In the first half of the performance the audience is sitting outside the Stadium of Debrecen, while the performers are inside the building behind glass. The audience listens to the actors’ mics through headphones, safely distanced from each other. In the second half of the show the actors leave the building and the show turns into a promenade performance outside the stadium, ending with the fencing scene in the stadium’s concourse. It is a piece about responsibility, death, grief and feeling stuck, which resonated with a lot of our audiences. Here is a trailer to give you a taste of the show:

We received great reviews, sadly all in Hungarian:)

About Highlights of Hungary:

“Every year Highlights of Hungary nominates 55 creative achievements in the country without categories. This year the line-up includes the National Ambulance Service, Lili Horváth’s award-winning movie which will probably be Oscar nominated, and many other achievements in sports, community service, environmentalism, innovation and architecture, to name a few. The aim is to celebrate achievements without labels and competition, to raise awareness and connect people across sectors. This is the Csokonai National Theatre’s first time being nominated.

I will be shouting from the rooftops on Twitter at @Franciska_E if anyone wants to come and support. Our hashtags are #vitrinhamlet #hamletinheadphones. As an English and Drama graduate, QM has been a huge influence on the way I work and the way I see performance. If there is interest I am happy to talk more about this and the challenges of making socially distant work if that is of any interest for current students.

Thank you so much for supporting us. Let’s celebrate something that happened in this very bleak 2020.



Additional Funds to support students due to Covid-19

Queen Mary has received additional funding to assist students who need additional financial support as a result of Covid-19 including:

Covid-19 Bursaries 

The bursaries are to support:

  • Care Leavers or Estranged students aged under 25
  • Students who are parents with children living with them 

Covid-19 Financial Assistance Awards 

These awards are for any student, and are based on financial need

  • If you have lost your job; you are unable to work due to Covid-19; you are unable to find part-time work due to the current circumstances; your hours of employment have been reduced 
  • Help with additional accommodation or living costs, such as moving home and having to contribute to costs while still paying full rental accommodation costs in London 
  • Support towards a laptop if you need to purchase one to support remote learning
  • Support towards any additional peripheral IT costs; such as internet to support remote learning

These funds are now live on the website at the following link, please do direct students there where relevant.

This funding is in addition to the existing funding offered to students via the Financial Assistance Fund.  

‘Syllable Syllabi’ by Boudhayan Nag – The Power of Poetry

We’re excited to publish this poem by Boudhayan Nag from the School of Law – Centre for Commercial Law Studies.

About Boudhayan: “If I had to, I’d describe myself as a pretentious wordsmith in search of the next surrealist checkpoint under the hand embroidered patterns in my head.”

Syllable Syllabi 

 Every fourteen years 
 the world changes
 The beginning or end of the time period,
 It is merely the length of an era
 A span of childhood
 Some people remain children forever
 others grow up before the seventh summer of their lives
 What is the distance between your past and present?
 Asks the meta-matician tasked with teaching me the eons
 The singular tune of a songbird is only half of all music
 The other rests on the shoulders
 Of a card-carrying Kapellmeister 
 I deal in nomenclature
 When words lose their meaning
 I stand over their graves watching, 
 waiting for a new beginning
 The beauty of definition
 is that it cannot lie
 For in its depths,
 it carries the heart of the word
 The first feature film to be shot on mars 
 required actors to wear anti-gravity boots
 so, they didn’t shoot off frame every day. 
 I only took care of makeup
 Underneath their helmet
 they were on a Parisian catwalk
 No atmospheric pressure, 
 just the collected calm of forever around them
 The last time I drifted out to sea
 we spacewalked to the edge of the world
 When we fell right off
 the last thing I saw was the blush on her cheek
 I want to live in a world 
 where metal has no meaning
 Liquid gold is coffee 
 on the rocks 
 Below us a decompressed spinal cord
 waves its tail at our surgical incompetence
 No one wants to be a caffeinated beverage
 And yet we are all a means to an end
 The final rush of blood 
 to stick to a deadline 
 derived from the discovery
 of a Moroccan Sufi mystic
 How can you survive in a world,
 where doing right is wrong 
 most days of the week
 We cannot break
 through the tradition of fear
 without a little indifference 
 I was trained in a Platonic cave
 The superhero of revenge 
 stuck in an allegorical epileptic fit
 governed by a candlestick pattern.

SED Opportunity Digest – 29 January 2021

In an effort to help students focus by not sending too many emails we’ve stored up all the great opportunities into one short digest.

Don’t worry if you want to get more opportunties throughout the week you can follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the buttons below…

Please let us know if you have any suggestions for next week via


SED Careers Events There’s some unmissable events coming up for you to get valuable insight and develop your confidence in these uncertain times including:

Employable Me: Your degree doesn’t have to define your career in the workplace. Free workshop from QMSU on Thu 28 January 2021, 5:15pm – 6:30pm. This event will be focusing on how your degree doesn’t have to dictate your future career, that regardless of what you have studied at university, you can venture into different fields and industries. We will be exploring in detail how it is your interests that guide you towards what you want to do next, and that your degree is just one step out of many you will take in your life.

Outside QMUL

Artist Support Programme A GLIMMER from Drunken Chorus – Deadline 15 Feb: ‘A GLIMMER’ is the pilot of a new artist development programme that will support artists to look to the future by addressing the barriers faced during COVID-19. The programme is linked to an annual performance festival – A Bit Of A Do.

Creative Skills Workshops from Roundhouse (online) Free professional level classes in essential creative skills online coming up include:

Famous Muslim Writers of the Past (free online event) on 31 Jan. “Let us take you on a literary journey around the world through the centuries…Celebrating the works of famous Muslim poets and writers including; Averroes, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Gai Eaton”

Description of poster: LAHP feminist reading group is an inclusive, supportive, and collaborative monthly reading group for those who are interested in exploring feminist texts from a wide range of disciplines, angles, and topics. Everyone is welcome to join. We will meet on Zoom on the 4th Tuesday of every month. Next meeting: 23rd February 2021, 5-6:30pm. Next reading: Sara Ahmed 'Feminist Attachments' from 'The Cultural Politics of Emotion' p.168-190.

LAHP Feminist Reading Group Want to discuss well-known and lesser-known feminist texts in a supportive group? A chance to unpack feminist theories together? The LAHP Feminist Reading Group is delighted to announce our first session! You can sign up here and everyone is welcome.

Polish Poetry Night Bohdan Piasecki and special guests at Manchester Poetry Library (online) on 27 Feb. Student Hannah Fox recommends this saying ‘It’s a Polish poetry night at Manchester Poetry Library (online). I attended a Polish poetry festival there previously and it was really good fun! (the poems will be translated to English).’

Recruitment now open for cultural production curriculum The Pattern by Foundation for Future London. Created by Nate Agbetu and Ayo Fagbemi of award-winning London based initiative Play Nice, The Pattern is an incubator scheme and curriculum designed to give future community leaders, cultural producers and aspiring creatives from underrepresented groups the tools and infrastructure they need to develop community projects.

Punchdrunk Workshops Immersive theatre maestros Punchdrunk are offering new online masterclasses in online performance and design, giving you the chance to delve deeper into their practice, from the comfort of your own home. These give the chance to discover more about our creative process, learn techniques for developing new ideas, and how to explore your creative potential. 

Further sources of interesting events, opportunities and jobs are…

Apples & Snakes Artists Newsletter | Arts Admin E-Digest | ArtsJobs | Creative Access (Jobs) | JournoResources | MediaBeans (media jobs) | Tower Hamlets Arts | Write at Home (freelance writing opps)

3 Poems by Sara Kärpänen – The Power of Poetry Series

Sara Kärpänen is a London based writer, poet and multidisciplinary artist (MA) exploring the experiences of belonging and displacement in her work.

She is also founder of Women of the Wick platform and community space. 

This is a Radical Request to Love Yourself

I am a tree

I am the roots
I am the soil
I am the soil where New 

will flourish.

I am what I am
I will protect it
I will build a garden around it

I will water the soil with my teardrops
I will let the light in, I am not afraid of its brightness
I will let love find its space and pace, I will not push it away.

I stand on firm ground
I smell the blossoming of life,
I dip myself to take baths in it,
I let butterflies land on my shoulder blades and teach me
how to stay still.

I am here to listen
I am here for the river and the wind to navigate through me
I am here for life
the life I create, the life I belong to.


I looked inside my heart; it was full of flowers
soft pink yellow white petals
stacked on top of one another

How haven’t I dared to see them before?

My Flamboyant Heart 

Stopped and dropped the shackles of disbelief

now pounding hard, 

my Flamboyant Heart. 

Forcing me to watch what’s underneath 

perfectly shaped 

stonewashed over a thousand waves 


to be heard

in her mother tongue,

rolling r’s

to be seen 

in the way her body forms into a new shape

sturdy and gently

tomboy and a lady

no translation nor identity-check

flattened to please

not adjusted nor erased

My Flamboyant Heart

Holding her space.

‘me’ by @poetinahijab – The Power of Poetry Series

📓 We’re excited to publish our first contribution from @poetinahijab called ‘me’. ⁠

📓@poetinahijab says Maya Angelou’s ‘phenomenal woman’ and ‘still i rise’ inspire most of their poems like this one. ⁠

📓 Inspired to create? Please do submit your work via whether it’s a poem you’ve written, poem you love or poet we should discover. ⁠