Staffordshire University is hosting a range of inspirational events throughout MAY.
Visitors from around the world will descend at Staffordshire University from 12-13 May for Noisefloor 2022 – a showcase of original works and ideas from international contemporary music composers, performers, and researchers.
May also marks the return of the ‘Live at Staffs’ series with live public performances from world-renowned classical guitarist Stephanie Jones on 25 May and, before that, the launch of Dr Philippa Holloway’s book The Half-life of Snails.
Philippa is a is an internationally published short fiction writer and a Senior Lecturer in English and Creative Writing at Staffordshire University. Her debut novel tells the story of two sisters in a narrative split between sites of nuclear power stations in North Wales and Ukraine in 2014, during the Euro Maidan crisis.
Philippa explained: “One of my earliest memories was the Chernobyl disaster occurring and seeing the footage on the news, not really understanding what was happening. Like everyone else, moving away from the Cold War era, I’d forgotten about it until many years later when I was sent to do some teaching at Wylfa Nuclear power station where I felt very anxious, and I started to question why.”
Philippa studied nuclear psychogeography and her novel draws on research trips to explore the landscapes around Wylfa in Anglesey and Chernobyl in Ukraine.
She said: “When I was in Chernobyl and when I was walking around Wylfa, I was tuning into how my physicality responded to what I could hear, what I could smell, what I could feel. There is no single response to nuclear power stations in the landscape – it’s much more complex. How they work with communities and how people respond to them is very personal.”
When Philippa travelled to Ukraine she was made welcome in the course of her research work. Publisher Parthian Books is supporting the Red Cross Appeal for Ukraine by donating all profits from the sale of the book in the UK to the Ukraine appeal. The intention is that whatever is raised will reflect in some small way the support that Philippa had from people in Ukraine to enable her to tell her story.
The Half-life of Snails is released on Monday 2 May and guests can attend a reading and Q&A with the author, as well as a book signing, on Thursday 5 May.
For Staffordshire Day on 1 May, the university welcomed members of the public for a series of events throughout the day.
For full information and event listings please visit www.staffs.ac.uk/events