The contributors


Claire Ashworth is an English Lecturer based at Lincoln University. During her 14-year teaching career, Claire has published several educational resources including: A Critical Approach to Feminism in Frankenstein (2006) and A Christmas Carol: Teacher’s Scheme of Work with Class Activities (2007) - both ZigZag Education Publishing. Claire is currently in the final stages of her PhD at Loughborough University which focuses on representations of memory in Dickens's fiction. She is particularly interested in Dickens's understanding of Victorian mental sciences, including mesmerism and 'double consciousness' and his subsequent translation of these theories into didactic fiction. Claire is currently working on a thesis chapter which investigates Dickens's exploration of psychological haunting in Great Expectations.

Amanda Bigler received her BA in English Literature with a Creative Writing emphasis from the University of Kansas in the United States. In 2010 she was awarded the University of Kansas' Creative Writing award for her short work, "Tightrope". She then completed her MA in Literature with a negotiated pathway from Loughborough University in 2013. Currently, she is a postgraduate research student at Loughborough University. Amanda's research focuses on contemporary literature, humanist American and British literature, and technology's influence on current literature in a post-postmodern era. Amongst her publications are: "Unorganis(z)ed Chaos" (You Is for University), "Golden Brown Market" (Tales from the Punk Side,, "On the River's Edge" (The StoryGraph,, "Patriots, Lobsters, and Nudity: Exploring Situational Irony in Contemporary American Humorist Literature" (New Writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing), and "Cardinal" (Wicked Young Writers Award).

Johanna O'Shea is a PhD candidate in the English and Comparative Literature Department at Goldsmiths, and she is writing her thesis on danger and strategies of resistance in Jean Rhys’s fiction. She has previously studied at the University of Warwick and the University of Sussex.  Her primary academic interests are modernist studies and the interdisciplinary field of philosophy and literature.  Her current research focuses on Deleuze’s philosophy and recent cultural theories of the politics of negativity, both in relation to Rhys's writing.  

Francis Gilbert is a writer who has been a secondary school teacher for over twenty years in various London schools. He has published twelve books, including I'm A Teacher, Get Me Out Of Here and The Last Day of Term as well as a series of study guides on classic texts such Frankenstein, Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre, which are published on Kindle. He currently teaches part-time in a large comprehensive and is completing a PhD in Creative Writing and Education at Goldsmiths College for which he is writing an autobiographically-inspired novel, Who Do You Love?, and conducting some educational research which investigates what happens when teachers share their fiction with their pupils. The PhD has made him re-evaluate many of his assumptions about the education system. He is particularly interested in the ways in which teachers can cultivate a sense of beauty – what he terms an “aesthetic sensibility” – in their pupils by using all the tools of the internet, including blogging, video and audio. You can learn more about his work by logging onto his website:

Tanguy Harma was born and educated in France, Tanguy graduated in 2006 from the University Paul Valéry (Montpellier). The first year of his MA degree (2006-2007) was concerned with literary and audio translation (English to French, University Charles de Gaulle, Lille). He then taught for a year in the UK (2007-2008) as a French assistant in a secondary school in South London and then returned to Montpellier to finish his MA where he specialised in American literature and wrote a dissertation on Jack Kerouac supervised by Dr Simone Pellerin, which received a distinction (mention Très Bien). He received an overall distinction for his MA degree in 2009 (mention Bien). The following year Tanguy joined the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis where he worked as a French language assistant and attended postgraduate classes.  He returned to the UK and since September 2010 he has been a PhD student in the English and Comparative Literature Department at Goldsmiths, University of London. Now into his fourth year part-time, his thesis is supervised by Dr Caroline Blinder. It focuses on the writings of Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg and looks at how these two writers explored the paradoxical desire for death through their writings. Tanguy’s interests include 20th and 21st century American literature, continental philosophy in general, critical theory in particular and film studies.

Michael Simpson is Senior Lecturer in the Department of English & Comparative Literature at Goldsmiths.  After completing his undergraduate and postgraduate studies in the UK, he spent several years teaching and researching in the USA, at universities in New York, Texas and Wisconsin, before his appointment at Goldsmiths.  His research interests span Romanticism, Classical Reception and Postcolonialism.  He has published across the broad field of Romantic literary culture, on drama and theatre, poetry and the novel.  His interest in the Greco-Roman classics has been centred on their modern adaptation within African and African-Caribbean literatures and theatres.  Within Romantic literary studies, he is currently writing a book on distraction; and within Classical Reception Studies, he has begun co-writing a book on the bearing of the Classics and of classical literature on the cultural history of the British Labour Movement in the 20th century.         

Simon Stirling. After a brief stint at the University of Glasgow, Simon trained as an actor at LAMDA and then turned to professional scriptwriting, winning a Writers’ Guild Award in 1995. He returned to his native West Midlands in 2000 and spent two years as Youth and Community Director at the Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury, at the same time becoming a freelance script consultant and screenwriting tutor. Most recently, he has lectured in Screenwriting and Film Studies at the University of Worcester and presented educational Shakespeare tours in Stratford-upon-Avon. As a scriptwriter, Simon wrote for various mainstream television series and scripted physics, cosmology and mathematics programmes for the Open University; his adaptation of the libretto for Opera North’s production of Carl Nielsen’s Maskerade was performed at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, in 1991. Simon’s first book of nonfiction history was The King Arthur Conspiracy: How a Scottish Prince Became a Mythical Hero (Stroud: The History Press, 2012). He followed this with Who Killed William Shakespeare? (Stroud: The History Press, 2013), the result of over twenty-five years of research into Shakespeare’s life and times. Simon is currently writing Shakespeare’s Son, a biography of Sir William Davenant, for The History Press (publication due February 2016). His further research into the Scottish origins of the King Arthur legends will shortly be published in The Grail: Relic of an Ancient Religion by Moon Books.

Sophie Ward is an actor and writer from North London. She has written for The Times, the Guardian, Observer, Spectator, Gaze Review and crAve Magazine and was a regular columnist for g3. She is currently studying for her PhD at Goldsmiths on the use of narrative in philosophy and her book A Marriage Proposal is available from the Guardian.

Paul Wasserman and Chris Succo met in a parking lot in London in 2009.  Both had the same destination. An all-night session on poetry followed. They began collecting and sharing lines, noticing a similar attitude and content in what they selected. An unrestrained, semi-compositional way of writing together introduced itself. Referring to the three-chord aesthetic, the work in their forthcoming book, The Price You Pay For Not Being Alone With Your Dying, is romantic, humorous and brutal.

Susan Watson grew up in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire (the birthplace of D.H. Lawrence). She read English at Cambridge and has an M.A. in Creative Writing from UEA. Her poems have appeared in The Rialto, Brittle Star, The Frogmore Papers and the anthology A Room to Live In (Salt Publishing). She is currently working on a collection of poems that respond to and enter into a dialogue with the work of other writers, particularly D.H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf. The critical component of her research is a study of the poems of Anne Carson, who also writes about other writers.