Creative Writing Institute Welcomes Rod Mengham
On Wednesday, 22 March 2017, the Institute for Creative Writing and Literary Translation welcomed Rod Mengham. A writer, editor, and translator, Mengham is member of the English Faculty at the University of Cambridge, Jesus College. His area of expertise is contemporary fiction, poetry, and art. He has published poetry and prose, and has been collaborating with photographer Marc Atkins on a series of experimental short films.
Mengham read poems from his 2016 collection, Chance of a Storm. Among them was “Diary of an Imperial Surgeon” and “Occasion Inuit.” The latter is a story he wrote for the exhibition “The Polar Muse,” at Cambridge University’s Polar Museum. In the poem, Mengham describes the futile efforts of the Arctic Surveying Balloon, which was used in the mid-1800s in the search for explorers missing in the arctic regions.
After the reading Mengham spoke about the importance of art for his writing process, as a “springboard to create something else, something new.” He also described the short films he realizes in collaboration with Marc Atkins. The films feature both images and words (in a voice over by Mengham himself), which are thematically close but not strictly connected to each other. They decided on this type of short films so that “neither the words, nor the video would prevail over one another,” said Mengham.