Featured Fellow: Jeanette Lynes

Dr Jeanette Lynes, Visiting Research Fellow 2018

Dr Jeanette Lynes was a Visiting Fellow in April and May 2018. She directs the MFA in Writing at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, where she is also a Professor of English. Her seventh book of poetry, Bedlam Cowslip: The John Clare Poems received the 2016 Saskatchewan Arts Board Poetry Award. Jeanette's first novel, The Factory Voice (Coteau Books, 2009) was long-listed for The Scotia Bank Giller Prize and a ReLit Award. The story, a work of historical fiction, is inspired by women who built war planes in northern Ontario during World War II. Her second novel, The Small Things That End The World (Coteau Books) has just been published. The novel concerns three women and a great deal of bad weather.

Finding a professional home and community for a hybrid creature like myself – someone who is both a researcher and creative writer – can prove a challenge. IASH provided an ideal home and community with its vibrant scholars from across the globe, and its openness to those of us working on creative projects.

During my fellowship at IASH I completed my second novel and began work on a new collection of poetry. I also drafted and submitted work to a new anthology of poems inspired by Scottish writer Muriel Spark. Considerable background reading and research were required to mobilize this project; the library facilities at the University of Edinburgh and the National Library of Scotland were excellent resources. The weekly scholarly presentations at IASH sparked an infusion of new ideas that often linked in interesting, unexpected ways with my creative interests. IASH hosted a poetry reading during which I presented my creative work along with Edinburgh poet Jane Bonnyman. This facilitated the building of a network of Scottish poets with whom I will continue to stay in contact, as well as scholars I met at IASH.

My fellowship at IASH was a productive period that launched the next phase of my work as a creative writer. IASH is a hub of brilliant, engaged thinkers; it is a special place and I’ll long be grateful for the opportunity to be part of this community. 

You can find out more about Jeanette’s latest novel, The Small Things that End the World, from her publisher, Coteau Books.