As if we'd been there
The thorny bog and the human whole


Just a quick post to say that at my viva examination this morning, my PhD in Creative Writing was awarded a pass  I have a couple of typos to correct, and that's pretty much it. (There are no grades with PhDs. You either pass, or fail).

The day had a certain extra spice because one of my examiners was poet and novelist Philip Gross, who the evening before was awarded the T S Eliot prize for his collection The Water Table, and much in demand by the BBC and others. The other examiner, Julia Boffey, is a specialist in medieval and 16th century literature, specially the texts and their reception, which is almost embarrassingly appropriate for A Secret Alchemy, and I was relieved that she didn't find any howlers.

In fact, once I'd stopped being nervous, I enjoyed the whole thing: what's not to like about two extremely knowledgeable readers spending an hour discussing your work with you? The PhD's been a long haul - the Creative Writing PhD is a peculiar creature - but I wouldn't have missed it for anything.