Inspector Truscott, of the Yard
On Friday, I hurried into Exeter Central Library to return an overdue book. I almost literally ran into my old English tutor, Bill Greenwell. Back when H101 was published Bill remarked that I was the second of his students to get a deal whereas he was still waiting for his first. Last week, I was delighted to find out that he has a deal and a book of his poetry is being published next year. If poetry is your thing, check out his site and follow the links to the weekly poems he produces for the New Statesman.
If you go to the site you'll also see a currently inactive link to 'Art/English Course 1973-2004': this was the course I took in the 80s. At the time I was there, Bill was teaching poetry and modern plays (an equally inspirational tutor called Fran Jenkins covered novels and Shakespeare, and Graham Rich was such a good painting tutor that I was somehow accepted at art college). When we were reading Loot aloud, my dark trilby-esque goth hat became a prop so that Bill could read Truscott of the Yard to full comic potential. I did my A-level dissertation on the parallels between Wilde and Orton. I'm sure it was a dire read (3,000 words a struggle to write? I dream of writing that little now) but it was fun. I went into the course with the notion of being a writer (or other artisitic type) and came out with a grounding in the fundementals of English language, lyricism and rhythm, of patterns and themes. When I look surprised about people taking creative writing courses, I think it is in part because I learnt all these things at A-level and can't imagine what else you really need beyond sparks of ideas and determination.