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Dr Joanne Baker

Formerly at Lancaster University

Joanne Baker

PhD supervision

The novel, short story collections, screenplays, adaptations.

Current Teaching

Undergraduate: Convenor of Part One Creative Writing, and lecture on that course. At part two I teach general Creative Writing Workshops, as well as aspecialist 3rd Year half unit inLong Fiction.

Postgraduate: MA in Creative Writing. Two PhD students working in the area of postcolonial long fiction, one working on the experience of the Italian diaspora.


Jo Baker's first novel, Offcomer, was published by William Heinemann in 2001. The title is a Lancashire dialect word, used to signify a newcomer, an outsider. Described as 'compelling and intense' (The Times) and an 'arresting debut' (The Independent). Offcomer charts the experience of a young woman who feels that she does not belong anywhere, even in her own skin.

Her second book, The Mermaid's Child (Wm. Heinemann, 2004) has been translated for publication in Germany. With influences ranging from the Odyssey and the medieval 'travels' of Sir John Mandeville, to local tradition and myth from the Lancashire village where the author grew up, The Mermaid's Child has, at its core, a faith in the redemptive possibilities of story.

Her third novel, The Telling, was published by Portobello in June 2008. She has written for BBC Radio 4, and her short stories have been included in a number of anthologies. She is the recipient of three Arts Council of Northern Ireland Awards, and was recently Writer in Residence at the St James Cavalier Centre for Creativity in Valetta, Malta. There, she began writing poems, a number of which have since been published and broadcast.

She is currently at work on her fourth novel, developing a radio play for the BBC and working on an adaptation for television of Charlotte Bronte's novel, Shirley. The project is in development with Green Park Films.

Additional Information

Publications and Broadcasts

To Date:

The Telling Portobello, 2008.

Die Glucksucherin. German translation of The Mermaid's Child (BTB, July 06)

Contribution, The Living Air (BBC Northern Ireland)

Broadcast, 'From Valetta' (poem, BBC NI Arts Extra, March 05)

'The Beheading of St John the Baptist (Carvaggio, 1609)' and 'From Valetta' (poems, Fortnight, January 05)

The Mermaid's Child (hardback: William Heinemann, 2004, paperback: Arrow 2005)

Contribution, New Soundings (Blackstaff, 2003)

'Accommodation' (short story broadcast, BBC Radio 4, November 2002)

Offcomer (Novel) Hardback: Williams Heinemann, 2001, paperback, Vintage, 2002)

'Fabrication' (short story broadcast, BBC Radio 4, February 2001) .

'The Rain Machine' (short story, The Hauling Songs, Queens University of Belfast, 2000)

'A Small Cut' (short story, Shenanigans, Fresh Irish Fiction 1999)

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