Painter to the King

Amy Sackville, author and teacher of Creative Writing at the University of Kent Paris School of Arts and Culture, has released her third novel Painter to the King.

This week it appears as the Guardian’s Book of the Week and is described as “one of the finest historical novels of recent years” by a novelist with “extraordinary gifts.”

Her first novel, The Still Point won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and was long-listed for the Dylan Thomas and the Orange Prizes. Her second novel Orkney won a Somerset Maugham Award.

Amy Sackville will be appearing at Shakespeare & Co, a historic bookstore in Paris, on the 3rd of May. She will be teaching at the University of Kent Paris School of Arts and Culture this Autumn 2018.


Students at the Paris School of Arts and Culture celebrated the end of the Spring term in style with dinner on the Seine, starting near the famous Pont des Arts which until recently was covered with thousands of padlocks.

The evening was organised by the Paris Society, a student group who organise varied activities across Paris throughout the year. Other activities this term have included an excursion to the Château de Versailles, a cinema trip and a St Patrick’s day party.

BBC report filmed in Paris

The University’s Paris School of Arts and Culture was the focus of a BBC Sunday Politics South East report on the importance of student and staff mobility.

Filmed on 27 and 28 February, reporter Briohny Williams interviewed Professor Jeremy Carrette, Kent’s Dean for Europe, and students Alice Cadney and Olivia Toulmin about Erasmus+ and the opportunities studying abroad presents. Professor Carrette also outlined the University’s plans for ensuring student and staff mobility continues post-Brexit.

French alumni Kim Randazzo and Theo Thieffry spoke about their experiences of studying at Kent and, more broadly, in the UK.

The report was broadcast on 18 March and can be viewed by the UK audience here  (from 41:00) for 29 days.

Resistance in WWII Paris

Nigel Perrin, PHD student in the School of History at the University of Kent and teacher on the HI890: Revolutions & Resistance module in Paris, led students around the 16th arrondissement of Paris, highlighting places of resistance in WWII Paris.

Follow the adventures of the students on the HI890: Revolutions & Resistance module across Paris here.

Bilingual poetry reading

On Thursday 15th March we welcomed Allen Fisher to Reid Hall as part of our Thursday lecture series. This was our first event featuring readings in both English and French. Allen Fisher began the evening with a conference, Decoherence Aesthetics. This was followed by readings from his work in English and we were also pleased to welcome Jean-Charles Depaule, who gave readings in French. Olivier Brossard, from l’Université Paris Est Marne-la-Vallée, read the translations.

This evening was organised as part of our Thursday lecture series, in conjunction with the group Poets & Critics and with the support of l’Institut Universitaire de France.


Allen Fisher

Born in London in 1944, Fisher is a poet, painter, publisher, teacher and performer. He has exhibited widely and has work in the Tate collection, King’s College Archive, Living Museum Iceland, and Hereford Museum. He participated as poet, performer and installation artist with the English Fluxus group in the 1970s. He started professional work as a painter in 1978. After twenty years in lead and plastics industries he started teaching art, art history and poetry at Goldsmiths’ College in the eighties. He started work at Herefordshire College of Art & Design in 1989 and in 1998 became Head of Art at Roehampton University. In 2002 he was appointed as Professor of Poetry & Art and in 2005 became Head of Contemporary Arts at Manchester Metropolitan University, where he is Emeritus Professor of Poetry and Art.

Last year saw a reprint of his volume PLACE and the publication of the collected Gravity as a consequence of shape, from Reality Street and a collection of essays, Imperfect Fit,published by University of Alabama.

Jean-Charles Depaule

Jean-Charles Depaule was born in Toulon in 1945. After spending his childhood in Nîmes and Paris, he lived in Cairo and Marseille before settling in Paris again. An urban anthropologist as well as a poet, Jean Charles Depaule taught at the School of Architecture of Versailles before pursuing his research on the spaces of the Eastern Arab world and on the words of urban life at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). Besides his writing practices as scholar and poet, Depaule is also an artist who works with 2 or 3D images.

Jean-Charles Depaule has explored and practiced decasyllabic and irregular lines, quatrains, and sestina writing. He has also been working on translations, descriptions and portraits. He wrote several essays on what he calls the labor of poetry (on such topics as diverse as the new generation of French poets at the end of the 1990s, contemporary Arabic poetry, sound poetry, Charles Olson, Francis Ponge, Emmanuel Hocquard…)

A former member of the editorial board of the poetry journals Action poétique and If, he was also an editor of the art history and anthropology journal Gradhiva. A co-founder ofIrrégulomadaire (a journal exploring the relationships between text and image), he is a regular contributor to CCPCahier Critique de Poésie.

Paris underground

Nigel Perrin, PHD student in the School of History at the University of Kent and teacher on the HI890: Revolutions & Resistance module in Paris, organised for a group of students to visit the Carrière des Capucins. Everyone has heard of the Catacombes, however this section of the city is normally closed to the general public. Guide Gilles Thomas brought this secret area underneath Paris to life for the students.

Read more about subterranean resistance and the Nazi occupation in an article by Nigel Perrin here.

Follow the adventures of the students on the HI890: Revolutions & Resistance module across Paris here.

Daniel Hahn appointed to The Paris Writer’s Residency

20 March – 19 April 2018

The American University of Paris, the University of Kent Paris School of Arts and Culture and the Centre Culturel Irlandais (Irish Arts Centre) are pleased to announce that Daniel Hahn has been appointed to the first Paris Writer’s Residency. We look forward to welcoming him to Paris to work with our students and to join our community of writers.       

Daniel Hahn is a writer, editor and translator with fifty-something books to his name. His work has won him the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, the International Dublin Literary Award and the Blue Peter Book Award. He has been shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize and the LA Times Book Awards. Recent books include the new Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature and a co-translation of a Guatemalan novel. He is a past chair of the Society of Authors (the UK’s writers’ union) and currently on the board of a number of organisations that work with literature and free expression.

David Hockney: transatlantic artist

Politics of Translation: Translation of Cultures

David Hockney: transatlantic artist

Presented by Martin Hammer,

Professor of History and Philosophy of Art at the University of Kent.



With the major Hockney show coinciding with his 80th birthday about to arrive at the Pompidou, having attracted huge visitor numbers in London, this is a good moment to offer fresh thinking about what made his early art so distinctive, but also what concerns and attitudes he may have shared with his 1960s contemporaries. This talk will focus in particular on a comparative discussion of the work of Hockney and Ed Ruscha, born within a few months of one another, friends and fellow Los Angeles residents, who have both tended to be categorised as Pop Artists, and now number amongst the most famous painters on the planet. What, then, can we learn about well-known Hockneys such as Tea Painting in an Illusionistic Style (1961) and A Bigger Splash (1967) from juxtaposing them with Ruscha’s current production as painter and maker of photobooks?

 Tuesday 23 May 2017

6:30 pm at Reid Hall in the Grande Salle

4 rue de Chevreuse, Montparnasse, Paris 75006

All welcome.

Lee Ann Brown – Creative Writing Reading Series

Creative Writing Reading Series

 Wednesday 22 March 2017

6.30pm at Reid Hall, in the University of Kent in the Kent Paris  Seminar Room

4 rue de Chevreuse, Montparnasse, Paris 75006

All welcome.

Lee Ann Brown

“To paraphrase Lee Ann’s version of her own poetic genealogy: enthusiasm is the mother (‘We are the daughters of enthusiasm’), excitement the sister (‘Where are my excitement sisters’). Sappho, Emily Dickinson, and Gertrude Stein are among the many innovative godmothers who grace her work with their influential kisses. As a woman writer myself, I am grateful to Lee Ann for the way she unabashedly connects gender to knowledge. In her poems, knowing is knowing as a woman. Knowledge is pleasure. The life of the mind is refreshingly erotic. What was once deemed too trivial here shines.”

– Elaine Equi

Lee Ann Brown was born in Japan and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. She is the author of several works, including Other Archer, which also appears in French translation by Stéphane Bouquet as Autre Archère, In the Laurels, Caught, which won the 2012 Fence Modern Poets Series Award, and Polyverse, which won the 1996 New American Poetry Competition, selected by Charles Bernstein. In 1989, she founded Tender Buttons Press, which is dedicated to publishing experimental women’s poetry. She currently divides her time between New York City, where she teaches at St. John’s University, and Marshall, North Carolina.

Abdulrazak Gurnah: Rendered into English

Politics of Translation: Translating Cultures

Thursday 30 March 2017

7:00 pm at Reid Hall, in the University of Kent in the Grande Salle

4 rue de Chevreuse, Montparnasse, Paris 75006

All welcome.

Abdulrazak Gurnah: Rendered into English

A reflection on the implications of ‘rendering’ into English concepts and beliefs which derive from another culture and language, from the perspective of writing fiction and the issues that arise in this process.

Abdulrazak Gurnah was born in Zanzibar and is now best-known as a novelist. His fourth novel Paradise was short-listed for the Booker Prize in 1994. His latest novel is The Last Gift (2011). His main academic interest is in postcolonial writing and in discourses associated with colonialism, especially as they relate to Africa, the Caribbean and India. He has edited two volumes of Essays on African Writing, has published articles on a number of contemporary postcolonial writers, including Naipaul, Rushdie and Zoe Wicomb. He is the editor of A Companion to Salman Rushdie (Cambridge University Press 2007).