BA English student wins Fairtrade Poetry Competition

We are thrilled that our third-year BA English student Marisa with her poem ‘Mirage of Eden‘ won this year’s Fairtrade Competition.
‘FAIR PAY FOR FARMERS’ BY JENSON, AGED 9

This year’s Fairtrade fortnight celebration supported the awareness of Climate Change. Students submitted poetry or spoken word pieces applying in some way the concept of: ‘Your vision of the world you want for farmers and workers worldwide, and the planet we share’.

All shortlisted poems, including Marisa’s winning entry can be found here: https://haringeyunchained.com/haringey-unchained-and-creativityunleashed-editors-judge-2021-spoken-word-competition/

The judges felt that Marisa’s piece ‘Mirage of Eden‘ was a clever read in that it told a Climate change story in a realistic fairy tale way. The title alone, captivated the judges to want to know more and felt lured in during the read:

‘MIRAGE OF EDEN’ BY MARISA

To this vision I am bound:
the wasp buzz of a wave;
life and colour all around;
the blessings mother gave.
I am – choking – on dreams
of a rich, safe Eden –
a world serene at its seams,
uncut by cords of freedom.
Inhale fumes – exhale smoke –
a star – with wings
interrupts my hope –
and the – breath – it brings.
Fair trades and honest tongues,
sustainability will suffice.
Cemeteries of – uprooted lungs –
replaces paradise…
reward! – to those who stab-
at our womb –
and for those who tend, not grab,
the creatures, fruits, and bloom?
This rot – is in – my veins –
consume, consume, consume
we must – burn these chains
to kill – our barren doom.
Touch life beyond the computer,
rain and jungle dew,
a cleaner, greener future,
peace not just for the few.
My throat – burns
satisfaction slips my fingers
and to the past returns,
so only faith now lingers.
For libraries of celestial stories
Sun and Moon chase each other
Over unpolluted territories.
Tree nymphs will rediscover
their legs to dance and play
among skyscraper trees and towers.
Ink-free mermaids visit the bay
threading crowns of flowers,
never to know a plastic hell.
Fair costs and full cheeks
Nature, cast your spell!
Sung from mouths and beaks.
Imagine bellies full of berries,
imagine poverty, illness ended,
imagine trees alive with fairies,
imagine our earth, tended.

Marisa’s prizes includes interviews in print publications by Haringey Unchained, Russell Sage College in upstate New York and Barnet TV!

Congratulations also to second-year BA English student, Leonardo Simoes, whose poem ‘A Product of the Here and Now‘ was shortlisted. All the shortlisted poems from young people around the country have featured in the Fairtrade Foundation’s Youth Online Exhibition Hall: https://www.fairtrade.org.uk/choose-the-world-you-want/exhibition-hall/

Creative Writing Mini Lectures by Adam Dalton

Our BA English lecturer in English Literature and Creative Writing, Dr Adam Dalton has prepared a series of mini-lectures on how to become a famous writer, aimed at aspiring writers of all ages.

1. Plot: https://www.youtube.com/embed/infEChtI7w0?rel=0

2. Character: https://www.youtube.com/embed/7AFNAAOTzGA?rel=0

3. Publishing: https://www.youtube.com/embed/IF33FRthME8?rel=0

Enjoy watching!

Also, check Adam’s free creative writing mini-lessonshttps://metaphysicalfantasy.wordpress.com/mini-lessons/

Finally, if you are interested in studying Creative Writing at university, check our BA English course at Middlesex University: https://www.mdx.ac.uk/courses/undergraduate/english

PRESENTING… THE ENGLISH REVIEW SERIES: MONSTERS!

BA English at Middlesex University is hosting the ‘English Review Series’ of monthly conversations on Monsters in cultural texts. Come and have a monster time with us chatting about popular culture! It’ll be fun. We’ll be talking tv, film, comics, the news and books (all different ‘cultural texts’).
All meetings can be accessed via Zoom: https://mdx-ac-uk.zoom.us/j/96567350722?pwd=L1Q3dVNOWkttWHhkSUtIZDM2ZkVuUT09

Topic: Monsters and fear3:30-4:30pm, Monday 19 October 2020, on Zoom

  • Why do different cultures have similar monsters?
  • What monsters are you scared of? Where did that fear first come from – listening to fairy tales? Watching something? Listening to the news and hearing about a serial killer?
  • Are you more scared of real monsters (like the serial killer Dennis Nilsen, played by David Tennant in a new series) or mythical monsters (like zombies)? But why?
  • Why is horror now a popular genre, when sales of horror (tv and film) were at rock-bottom in the 90s?

Topic: Witches – 3:30-4:30pm, 16 November 2020, on Zoom

  • Witches are wicked, right? What about Sabrina, Hermione, the good witch in The Wizard of Oz, and Maleficent?
  • How did the wicked witch come about, then?
  • Do any of us know anyone who’s a ‘white witch’?
  • Why are there so many UK witch groups on Facebook?·        

Topic: Vampires and devils –  3:30-4:30pm, 7 December 2021, on Zoom

  • Dracula in the novel and Hammer movies was Satanic, right? How come he’s a good guy in the 2013-14 tv show? And why are vampires goodies in True Blood, Buffy (sometimes) and Twilight?
  • Is the Dark Lord a sympathetic character in today’s world? But why?
  • Aren’t vampires just silly and made-up, or is there some real aspect to them?
  • Would you like to be immortal?

Topic: Zombies –  3:30-4:30pm, 18 January 2021, on Zoom

  • Why on Earth are zombies still popular?
  • Is it cos of covid?
  • Or immigration?
  • Are they still making The Walking Dead? Sheesh. How many series?

Topic: Werewolves and shape-shifters – 3:30-4:30pm, 15 February 2021

  • Is there a ravening beast hiding inside you?
  • Jekyll and Hyde is still popular. Why is that?
  • Why does every vampire series always end up with a bunch of werewolves as enemies?

Topic: Frankenstein and A.I.s – 3:30-4:30pm, 15 March 2021

  • Do the sciences of cloning and A.I. mean we are about to create a new Frankenstein? Is that really a good idea?
  • Are Pinocchio, The Blade Runner, Avengers: Age of Ultron, West World, etc, all the same story?
  • Is it horror, sci-fi or actually happening?

WANT TO PARTICIPATE? RESERVE YOUR PLACE FOR ONE OR MORE SESSIONS BY EMAILING DR ADAM DALTON (a.dalton@mdx.ac.uk) OR DR ANNA CHARALAMBIDOU (a.charalambidou@mdx.ac.uk)! YOU CAN ALSO RESERVE PLACES FOR FRIENDS!

BA English student profile: Claire Cusack

Claire Cusack  is a 2020 BA English graduate from Middlesex University and winner of the Dean’s Award for Best Independent Project in English.

Claire Cusack

“Studying BA English at Middlesex was a great experience and one that allowed me to grow immensely as a writer. Over the past 3 years I have learnt new skills that have helped me to enrich my creative pieces and become a more confident writer.

My third year at Middlesex especially helped me hone in on the skills I have learnt as my final project was a 5,000 word piece of creative writing. After putting a lot of time and effort into finishing the piece and therefore completing my studies, I feel satisfied knowing that I have done my absolute best and can take what I have learnt and use it in whatever career path I end up taking.”

Read Claire’s award-winning crime-fiction that she developed for her final year Independent Project, featuring detective Jennifer.

‘On the Chase’

            1

The meeting room fell silent when the retrieved footage appeared on the screen and showed the robber at work. Covered from head to toe in all black protective gear and a motorbike helmet, the individual opened the money vault, having punched the numbers in without hesitation. They strolled away confidently. Hips swayed. A woman? She departed with two gym bags filled with cash.

Continue reading “BA English student profile: Claire Cusack”