Anthony Nanson

This week, each of the three blog posts will be on a lecturer from one of my three years at Bath Spa University. So, today I’ll write about one from second year, Monday was one from first year and Friday will be one from third year. Each of them has had a significant influence on me and my work and so I just wanted to dedicate a post to each of them. Today’s entry will be on Anthony Nanson, and it just so happens that I had ‘Anthony Nanson’ in my blog’s suggestion box a while ago, so with this post I’m also providing an overdue response to that.

I was very lucky in second year because Anthony actually taught two of my modules, so quite a significant portion of my classes were taught by him. I remember in the first class I had with him, he arranged an activity for the whole class where we had to describe our writing in a single word. The word Anthony used to describe his word was ‘ecobardic’ and I would later learn all about the very interesting subject of ecobardism through him. However, at the time I thought he said ‘Ichabodic’ in reference to the obscure Biblical character Ichabod and for a short while I wondered what exactly he’d meant by that. But, anyway, that wasn’t the only activity we did in his first class; we also did an unusual thing were we loosened our muscles and shook ourselves around and I was quite confident after that first class that I was certainly going to enjoy Anthony’s teaching.

The two modules he taught were the second year’s Core (compulsory) class and Genre Fiction. His Core classes were extremely helpful is getting me to present myself as a professional writer and to understand the value of my writing talents, while the Genre classes always got me keen to try writing in a variety of styles. Often, at the end of the class, we’d all get a special treat and Anthony would tell us a story in the distinctive style for which he’s known and I remember often hoping that he would as a class got to an end. One time, he even told the class about a live performance he was doing at a local theatre and so David Tubb and I both went along and had an absolutely marvellous time. I do hope I’ll be able to attend another at some point.

I think the second year at Bath Spa University may have been my favourite, and regular classes with Anthony are certainly a part of that. A prompt he gave in one of his classes lead me to produce a short story which I consider one of my best, he was kind enough to contribute a piece for this very blog and an upcoming Finger Puppet Show is an adaptation/retelling of a story I heard from him (he was even going to appear in it, but I’m not sure if that’s still going to happen.) My favourite memory of him will have be the time he said in a lecture “Sadly, nobody will ever know the story of the King of Bath… Until now” and then he stepped behind a screen for a second, then stepped out wearing a costume and delivered a monologue in character as the King of Bath. Needless to say, I feel very grateful that I had the opportunity to be taught by Anthony.

(Don’t miss today’s Finger Puppet Show!)

(Also, here’s my latest article for Avoid Drowning it’s about Conker’s appearance in Project Spark.)

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