The poet Jamie McKendrick will open the University’s brand new distinguished speaker series next week, on 24 October.

The exclusive new series titled Creative Minds at Birmingham from the School of English, Drama, and American and Canadian Studies (EDACS) invites renowned writers, poets and theatre leaders to give a talk or reading showcasing their latest works to an audience of students and local community.

Jamie McKendrick has previously been named as one of the Poetry Society’s ‘New Generation’ poets and he is the author of numerous collections of poetry including The Sirocco Room (1991), The Kiosk on the Brink (1993), The Marble Fly (1997), winner of the Forward Poetry Prize , Ink Stone (2003), Crocodiles and Obelisks (2007) and his most recent collection, Out There (2012), winner of the Hawthornden Prize. He has also translated two novels by Giorgio Bassani, and his translations of the poems of Valerio Magrelli, The Embrace (2009), won the Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize and the John Florio Prize.

Professor Michael Toolan, Professor of English Language at the University of Birmingham, said: ‘Having major writers come to campus, to see them face to face, to hear them read from their work, and to ask them questions about it, all makes the work ‘real’, and personal - for staff and students in the department especially, but really for very many people in the University and beyond.’

Future speakers include Bernard MacLaverty, writer of short stories, novels and plays and Alice Oswald acclaimed poet and first poet to win the £25,000 Warwick Prize.

For more information about attending the Creative Minds at Birmingham lecture series, please visit the online shop

For media enquiries, please contact Samantha Williams, University of Birmingham Press Office, +44 (0)121 414 6029