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Sitting Ducks to be taught as part of “Stoke-In-Print” Course

I was absolutely delighted to hear from Dr Catherine Burgass this week – that she will be featuring Lisa Blower’s “Sitting Ducks” novel in part of her new public-access course at Keele University.

I don’t know if there any spaces left – but it sounds fascinating, costs £80, and starts in February.

Below are a few details about the course.

And thank you to Dr Catherine Burgass who has been championing”Sitting Ducks” since it was published in April 2016.

If you would like to buy a copy of “Sitting Ducks”, read about it, and its reviews please go here   or for the Kindle version go here


 A literary-historical look at the Potteries from its Victorian heyday to the post-industrial present

A short public-access course led by

Dr Catherine Burgass at Keele University (February-April 2017)


Course overview: This course explores literary representations of the Potteries from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. We will look at fiction, poetry and some journalistic pieces to see how Stoke has been presented, attacked or defended by authors over the period. We will discuss the work of Stoke-born writers such as Arnold Bennett, John Wain and Arthur Berry, along with literary ‘tourists’ – from Dickens to Joanna Trollope, examining the exchanges between these two groups. Lastly, we will consider the development of Stoke’s literary heritage by contemporary writers and its contribution to public perception of the city today.

The course will be of interest to local culture vultures, as well as avid readers and writers who wish to explore the region’s literary traditions in greater depth. Teachers of English may also like to learn more about Stoke’s literary history in order to inform and inspire their pupils.

Course leader: Catherine Burgass is a regional literature specialist with twenty years’ experience as a university lecturer (Leicester, Liverpool and Staffordshire) and international publications. She has given numerous academic papers and public talks on local literary figures such as Arnold Bennett and Arthur Berry at festivals, museums and galleries. Catherine is keen to spread the word that Stoke’s literary heritage includes diverse other writers and to gain fresh perspectives on that writing with a new group of readers!

Meeting time and location: Wednesdays 6-8pm, 1st Feb to 5th April 2017 at Keele University (room confirmed nearer the time).

Cost: Just £80 for all ten two-hour sessions, handouts, library access, tea/coffee, and biscuits. Parking is free at Keele after 5pm.

How to register:

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