Four of Edge Hill’s Creative Writing students travelled to London to read poetry at The Enemies Project’s annual University Camarade.
The University Camarade is an initiative designed to encourage collaboration and innovation for young poets. The project allows them to expand their practise, knowledge and networks by pairing each student with another who studies within a different institution. The event is internationally-renowned and provides a great platform and showcase for Creative Writing in the UK.
Now in its third year, the Camarade saw students from the Creative Writing Departments of Edge Hill University, Kingston University, University of Glasgow and York St John University present a dozen brand new works in collaboration at London’s Rich Mix.
When asked about his experience of attending an event like this, second year Creative Writing student Michael Sutton said:
“I’ve enjoyed getting to know someone else from a different part of the country, and creating something based around those geographical differences.
“The most important thing I’ve learned from the Camarade is how to negotiate an artistic process which is suited to both partners, to compromise and to embrace different styles.”
Dr James Byrne, poet and Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Edge Hill attended the event with students, Jai Brough, Brontë Pleasants, Michael Sutton and Kieran Wyatt.
“This is something I always look forward to as soon as the New Year starts,” said James. “I think about which kind of students would develop new skills and develop their writing by collaborating with someone else.
“The work that has been produced by the Camarade has always impressed me and there is nothing more pleasurable than seeing a work and a writer develop.
“Taking the students to London and seeing them on the stage, not just reading their own work, but collaborating with the crème de la crème of their peers – it’s one of the highlights of the year for me.”
The University Camarade has begun a tradition of remarkable innovation and energy, allowing young poets the chance to create collaborations across the country. The event was organised by The Enemies Project, which focuses on contemporary poetry in collaboration across the arts. The project explores the facets of experimental poetry and literature by bringing writers together, arranging exhibitions, tours and publications at an international level.
Edge Hill has a long history with the project, having co-partnered with The Wolf magazine to present Enemies of the North in 2015 and having participated in the first University Camarade (2016). Last year the University also played host to the project’s North x North West Poetry Tour which celebrated the dynamic resurgence in literary and avant-garde poetry over the last decade.
The trip was paid for by the Student Opportunity Fund (SOF), which enables students to take advantage of career enhancing and life changing opportunities.
The fund ensures that costs are not a barrier to students making the most of their experience at Edge Hill. It allows undergraduate students to apply for up to £2,000 which can help towards the cost of activities designed to prepare them for the future and enhance their employability skills.