Polly Stoker, a doctoral research student at the Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology, is co-editor of a brand-new collection of original stories inspired by the Odyssey and set in the Midlands today, A Midlands Odyssey, commissioned by Writing West Midlands, to be launched at the Birmingham Literature Festival on 7th October by author and broadcaster Natalie Haynes.

Cover art for A Midlands Odyssey, edited by doctoral student in Classics, Polly Stoker

Polly’s doctoral research project is a study of creative reworkings of ancient Greek and Roman literature by contemporary women writers and of the ways in which such receptions intersect with feminist theory. A Midlands Odyssey is one way in which she is looking to make her work on modern versions of Classical literature accessible to a wider public. Polly said,

"The collection consists of ten responses to Homer's Odyssey and provides a fascinating snapshot of epic in the twenty-first century, as each writer tries to make sense of Odysseus and his homecoming in a contemporary Midlands' setting. The opportunity to work alongside practitioners of creative writing adds a new dimension to my research, comparing academic theory with artistic practice."

The book is the product of Polly’s collaboration with ‘Writing West Midlands’, for a "Communicating Ancient Greece and Rome" Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded initiative, led by the Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama at the University of Oxford.

To book tickets to attend the launch of the book click on this link: