Madibaland World Literary Festival: Michael Cawood Green
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Michael Cawood Green is a novelist and Professor in English and Creative Writing at Northumbria University UK. He was born and raised in South Africa. He supported his undergraduate university studies as a stoker on steam engines, and achieved some recognition as a protest-oriented singer-songwriter, drawing more attention from the apartheid-era Security Police than the music industry. His album White Eyes was banned from airplay but is now included in archives commemorating creative work lost in the ‘hidden years’ of those oppressive times.
He completed his MA on a scholarship at Stanford, California, and his doctorate at York. Returning to South Africa, he held various university posts and published widely as an academic, mainly on uses of history in fiction. This is the subject of his book, Novel Histories: Past, Present, and Future in South African Fiction.
Green was Senior Professor and Head of English at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa, and then Head of the university’s School of Literary Studies, Media, and Creative Arts. He is also the author (under the name Michael Cawood Green) of three works of historical fiction, Sinking: A Verse Novella, For the Sake of Silence, winner of the Olive Schreiner Prize for Prose, and The Ghosting of Anne Armstrong (2019), which was completed under the auspices of an Arts and Humanities Research Council Fellowship, is published by Goldsmiths Press/MIT Press.
He is one of the founders of the international Poetry Africa and Time of the Writer Festivals held annually in Durban. In February 2009 he was inducted into the Society of the Fellows of the University of KwaZulu-Natal in recognition of distinguished academic achievements.
Green relocated to the UK in 2009, taking up a post in Creative Writing at Northumbria. He was instrumental in setting up the university’s partnership with New Writing North and is currently chair of the interdisciplinary Northumbria Practice Research Group.