Competition names English graduate as best new poet

A University of Wolverhampton English graduate picked up a poetic accolade recently and has secured a place in a new book of poetry.

Work by Samantha Roden, originally from Shard End in Birmingham but now living in Wolverhampton, is one of 50 poets chosen for inclusion in The Best New British and Irish Poets 2017 anthology, due for publication in March.

The competition was run by Eyeware Publishing LTD, a British indie press based in London which searches for emerging talent as well as well-established figures.  Poets of any age from across the UK who had not yet published a full-length collection of poems were eligible to compete. Poet, Dr Luke Kennard, considered all submissions anonymously.

Samantha was working as an Unqualified Teacher when she studied for a degree in English at the University of Wolverhampton and graduated with First Class Honours. She became a Lead Practitioner for English, training other teachers and specialising in literature, and was commissioned by Cambridge University Press as an author to write resources for a GCSE English resource package. 

She has recently co-authored a book of criticism based on American author Philip Roth with Dr Paul McDonald, Course Leader for Creative and Professional Writing at the University. Samantha and Paul have been asked to speak about their research at The International Philip Roth Society conference in Boston later this year.

Samantha said:  “My time at the University of Wolverhampton made me fully realise my passion for English and was undoubtedly the springboard for my subsequent achievements.  The rigorous and diverse nature of the course fostered my intellectual curiosity and gave me a thirst for further research.

“It was during my time at the University that I realised I wanted to be a writer; discovering that many authors - and indeed some of my own inspirational lecturers - came from a similar working class background to myself - made me consider possibilities that hadn't occurred to me before. My degree made me feel liberated, challenged and empowered, the testimony being that I am now a teacher, educational leader, academic and poet.” 

Samantha began writing poetry five years ago and her poems have been published in a range of print and online magazines. She is hopeful that her first full collection of poems will be available next year and she is currently writing a novel.

ENDS

For more information please contact the Media Relations Office on 01902 32 2736 or 01902 518647.

Date Issued: 4th February 2017

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