Mariana set up the CIC in 2019 to deliver a range of initiatives and projects to make books, reading and all forms of creative writing more accessible to all. Having started reading comic books from an early age, she firmly believes if someone can find a style of writing, a character or a storyline that is relatable, or that they can identify with, it can potentially open up thousands of worlds and adventures for any new reader to explore. It could even encourage new writers or illustrators, whether for professional reasons or just for love..
Mariana’s favourite books stem from a childhood filled with science fiction and fantasy; the Belgariad and Mallorean by David Eddings.anything Drizzt Do’Urden related by R.A. Salvatore, Fank Herberts Dune series and the Magic Kindom of Landover series by Terry Brooks. Add in a bit of Tom Holt, James Herbert, Douglas Adams… you get the idea.
Co-director of Luton Literature
Lee was invited to get involved pretty early on and was delighted to be asked. He has run workshops and writing groups of all sorts over the last 20 years as well as being one of the founders of the UTTER! Spoken Word organisation that helped to get Spoken-Word established as a distinct strand at the PBH Edinburgh FreeFringe. Lee runs the regular UTTER! Lutonia spoken-word events in Luton and writes himself for performance and for reading. Reading has been the sustenance and formation of his character and his capability to exist in the world. Once they taught him how and let him loose in the library there was nothing that could stop him. Books empower and equip, books feed and shape, books set the reader free and Lee wants for others what he was gifted.
His favourite books shift with mood but some endure: The Passion of New Eve, Jitterbug Perfume, The Dukes of Hazzard – Gone Racin’ – so long as liberation’s found and the honest people win in the end . . .
Co-director of Luton Literature
Phoebe was super excited to be asked to work with Luton Literature. She has always strived to contribute positively to her local community and is passionate about making books widely accessible to all. Having graduated from the University of Leeds with a degree in Liberal Arts and an Msc degree from the University of Edinburgh in Modern and Contemporary Art: Curation, Criticism and Art History, Phoebe knows the power of books in educating and inspiring both knowledge and growth.
In Luton, Phoebe is helping to run Lugus Ceramics, which is committed to facilitating learning through ceramic creativity and fostering community connections. For her day job at Pelham Communications, she works across a wide array of clients including the likes of The Arts Club, The Helsinki Biennial and the Gwangju Biennale as an Account Executive.
Phoebe will facilitate ‘blackout’ poetry workshops at the local Luton Literature bookshop and will be committed to helping Mariana and Lee in their important initiatives and projects.
Phoebe’s favourite books are those that are Art History related, such as The Story of Art without Men by Katy Hessel, Bodies of Water by Astrida Neimanis and anything Roland Barthes.
Previous director of Luton Literature
Tim is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Bedfordshire and Course Coordinator of the Creative Writing BA at the university. Ever since reading ghost stories by writers such as Algernon Blackwood and Arthur Conan Doyle as a child, he has been obsessed with supernatural fiction, and now writes his own eerie tales. His favourite writers are authors of subtle strange fiction, from Blackwood and his contemporary Arthur Machen, to innovators of the form, like Shirley Jackson and Robert Aickman, to contemporary masters, such as Caitlín R. Kiernan, Mariana Enríquez, and M. John Harrison. He is a believer in the transformative power of fiction, and its ability to offer new and profound ways of seeing the world.