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A Celebration of Students, Alumni and Staff

This International Women’s Day, the Cultural Institute celebrates the inspiring works of Students, Alumni and Staff nominated across the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Photo of Karen Armitage

Karen Armitage has been a carer for three smaller siblings since she was nine, whilst coping with chronic illness and difficulties in school. Since March 2022, she completed foundation year and made a strong start as a first-year student, despite further challenges. She uses her experience to support fellow students.

Photo of Fflur Dafydd

Fflur Dafydd is an award-winning novelist, screenwriter and musician, who writes in Welsh and English. She has published six novels, one short story collection and has created around 50 hours of prime-time drama for S4C and the BBC iPlayer. She also wrote and co-produced the feature film Y Llyfrgell/The Library Suicides, (BBC Films) based on her own novel, which won numerous awards at the BAFTA Cymru awards and the Edinburgh International Film Festival. From 2006-2016 she was a creative writing lecturer at Swansea University. 

Photo of Jasmine Donahaye

Professor of English Literature at Swansea University, Jasmine Donahaye’s work has appeared in the New York Times and The Guardian, and her documentary, Statue No 1, was broadcast on BBC Radio 4. Her books include the memoir, Losing Israel (2015), winner of the nonfiction category in the Wales Book of the Year award; a biography of author Lily Tobias, The Greatest Need (2015), the basis for O Ystalyfera i Israel, broadcast by S4C; the cultural study Whose People? Wales, Israel, Palestine (2012), and two collections of poetry: Misappropriations (2006) and Self-Portrait as Ruth (2009). Jasmine won the New Welsh Writing Awards in 2021 with an extract from Birdsplaining, published by New Welsh Review in January of this year.

Photo of Rachel Farebrother

Dr Rachel Farebrother is a Senior Lecturer in American Studies at Swansea University. She is the author of The Collage Aesthetic in the Harlem Renaissance (Ashgate, 2009). Her essays have appeared in Comparative American Studies, Journal of American Studies, MELUS, Modernism/modernity, and various edited collections. With Miriam Thaggert (SUNY-Buffalo), she has co-edited The History of the Harlem Renaissance (CUP, 2021) and African American Literature in Transition, 1920-1930 (CUP, 2022).

Photo of Lizzie Fincham

Swansea University alumna Lizzie Fincham’s poems are published in Cinnamon anthologies, Envoi, New Welsh Review, The North, Poetry Wales, Poems on Hoardings (National Museum of Scotland). She has been shortlisted three times for the Bridport Poetry Prize and Highly Commended twice for Poetry on the Lake. Lizzie’s pamphlet with Cinnamon is Contained in Ice and her poetry collection is Green Figs & Blue Jazz.

Photo of Jane Fraser

Swansea University alumna Jane Fraser was a finalist for the Manchester Fiction Prize and in 2018 was a prize-winner for the Fish Memoir Prize and selected as a Hay Festival Writer at Work. Her first collection of short fiction, The South Westerlies was published by UK indie, SALT, in 2019. In 2022, she was commissioned by BBC Radio 4 for the first time to write a short story which was broadcast as part of its Short Works series. In 2022, she was also awarded The Paul Torday Memorial Prize for her debut novel, Advent, published by Welsh women’s press, HONNO, in 2021. Her second collection of short stories, Connective Tissue, was published by SALT in 2022.

Photo of Renee Godfrey

Swansea University alumna Renee Godfrey is a champion surfer, presenter and filmmaker, who has worked on incredible programmes like Human Planet, Tribe, Wales In Four Seasons, Hostile Planet and Surviving Paradise: A Family Tale.

Photo of Carole Hailey

Swansea University alumna Carole Hailey was selected by the London Library as a 2020/21 Emerging Writer. Her debut novel The Silence Project was chosen for the Radio 2 Book Club hosted by Zoe Ball on her Breakfast Show and on BBC Sounds. It was published in February 2023 by Corvus, an imprint of Atlantic Books, and is their 2023 Lead Debut. The Silence Project was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize First Novel Award.


Photo of Ana-Maria Herman

Dr Ana-Maria Herman has created the +Archive: Gwen John app as part of a series of apps that feature and promote the work of historically underrepresented women artists. Dr Herman’s research responds to gender-related imbalances by bringing attention to both issues of representation and the longstanding contributions of women's art. 

Photo of Gemma June Howell

Dr Gemma June Howell is a grass-roots activist, writer, poet, tutor, academic, Associate Editor for Culture Matters and Desk Editor at Honno, Welsh Women's Press. Gemma has recently completed her PhD at Swansea University: an emancipatory project exploring collective trauma, and transcendence. Entitled Concrete Diamonds, it’s a hybrid novel, featuring an interwoven, eco-feminist mythopoeic tale, punctuated with graffiti, punk-style concrete poetry.

Photo of Elaine Canning

Dr Elaine Canning is Head of Special Projects at Swansea University, which includes the Rhys Davies National Short Story Competition, as well as Executive Officer of the Dylan Thomas Prize. She has authored a monograph and papers on Spanish Golden-Age drama and her short stories have appeared in Nation.Cymru and The Lonely Crowd. Editor of Take a Bite: The Rhys Davies Short Story Award Anthology (Parthian, 2021) and New World, New Beginnings: Resilience and Connectivity through Poetry (Parthian 2021), she is also editor of Maggie O’Farrell: Contemporary Critical Perspectives (forthcoming, Bloomsbury). Her debut novel, Sandstone City, was published by Aderyn Press in 2022.

Photo of Rebecca F. John

Swansea University alumna Rebecca F. John’s short story The Glove Maker's Numbers was shortlisted for the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award. She is the winner of the PEN International New Voices Award 2015. Her first short story collection, Clown's Shoes, was published through Parthian in 2015. Her first novel, The Haunting of Henry Twist, was published through Serpent's Tail in July 2017. It was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award. She has recently published two more books for adults - The Empty Greatcoat (Aderyn Press) and Fannie (Honno Press). The Shadow Order (Firefly Press, 2022) is her first children’s book.

Photo of Anne Lauppe-Dunbar

Dr Anne Lauppe-Dunbar is a senior lecturer and director of the MA in Creative Writing and editor of the Swansea Review. Her debut novel Dark Mermaids was shortlisted for the Impress Prize, the Cinnamon Prize and the Cross Sports Book Awards, and was published with Seren. Anne is currently editing The Shape of Her a historical thriller based on diamonds hidden by Hitler’s right man Bormann, whose location is concealed in the notes of a song: Marsch Impromptu. The novel will be published in 2023.

Photo of Carolyn Lewis

Born in Cardiff, Carolyn Lewis’ work has appeared in previous Honno anthologies. Her first novel, Missing Nancy was published by Accent Press in 2008. Her stories have won national and local prizes and have appeared in The New Welsh Review, Mslexia and Route Magazine amongst others. She’s worked as a creative writing tutor for many years and two text books have been published based on her teaching methods. Her short story collection, Some Sort of Twilight, was published by Watermark Press in 2022.

Photo of Lella Nouri

Dr Lella Nouri has been a leader in championing race equality and community cohesion across Wales. Most recently, she has been appointed as an Anti-Racist Wales Research Expert for the Welsh Government Anti-Racist Wales Action Plan and become Co-Chair of the University’s Race Equality Network (SIREN). Lella has also secured a grant of over £120,000 to combat visual representations of hate across Wales.

Photo of Ellie Rees

Swansea University alumna Ellie Rees’ poems have been published in such places as The New Welsh Review, Poetry Wales, The Lonely Crowd, Black Bough Poems, The Cabinet of Heed, Trestle Ties and The Broken Spine. She has been shortlisted in several prestigious competitions and in 2020 won the Selected or Neglected Competition run by The Hedgehog Press. Ellie’s first poetry collection titled Ticking was published in 2022 by The Hedgehog Press.

Photo of Emily Vanderploeg

Swansea University alumna Emily Vanderploeg teaches creative writing to children and adults. Her pamphlet, Loose Jewels, won the Cinnamon Press Pamphlet Competition and was published in 2020. Strange Animals was published by Parthian in 2022 and charts the author’s journey from childhood home to settling across an ocean, moving through the vagaries of modern love as she travels to new cities and a newfound maturity.