Roehampton Professor named as judge for Man Booker Prize

The judges of the 2016 Man Booker Prize for Fiction have been announced this week, and include University of Roehampton professor, David Harsent.

Posted: 15 December 2015

image for news story Roehampton Professor named as judge for Man Booker Prize
The judges of the 2016 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, including University of Roehampton professor, David Harsent. Photo credit: Mark Cocksedge

David Harsent is a poet and Professor of Creative Writing at the University. In January 2015 he won the renowned TS Eliot Prize, one of the most admired in the poetry world, for his collection of poems, Fire Songs.

The Chair of the panel is Amanda Foreman, award-winning historian and internationally bestselling author of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire.

Professor Harsent said: “I am delighted to be selected as a judge for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction. I very much look forward to reading some of the most promising books of the year during the next 12 months and I am sure we will have some interesting debates.”

At Roehampton, Professor Harsent runs masterclasses on creative writing for students and with Wimbledon BookFest, of which Roehampton is the lead educational partner. He is chair of the Roehampton Poetry Centre and supervises PhD students. His most recent success was in creating the libretto for an opera titled The Cure, which was composed by his long term collaborator Harrison Birtwistle and performed at the Royal Opera House.

Alongside Professor David Harsent, and Amanda Foreman the judging panel consists of: 

  • Olivia Williams, actor, currently starring in a National Theatre’s production of Harley Granville-Barker's Waste.
  • Jon Day, Critic and Lecturer in English at King's College London, specialising in modernist fiction.
  • Abdulrazak Gurnah, Booker Prize-shortlisted novelist and Professor of English and Postcolonial Literatures at the University of Kent. 

The Department of English and Creative Writing has a reputation for the quality of its literary criticism and research and is currently ranked in the top three London universities for English and Creative Writing (The Guardian University Guide). Writers have less than a month left to enter the next of the University’s own literary competitions: The Ruskin Prize for Poetry, which closes on 16 January.

Next year is the 48th year of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction. This year’s judging panel will be looking for the best novel of the year, selected from entries published in the UK between 1 October 2015 and 30 September 2016.


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