Catherine Davidson

Lecturer, Creative Writing

Professional Biography

Catherine Davidson is a novelist, poet and essayist. Her novel, The Priest Fainted, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and her poetry has won numerous prizes in the US and the UK, including most recently a commendation in the Troubadour International Poetry Prize, 2016. Her short novel, The Orchard, is out with Gemma Press in 2017. She blogs for the Coffeelicious on Medium. She works with writers in a variety of settings, including as a coach for Amnesty International. She is on the board of Exiled Writers Ink, an organisation that supports refugee writers.


  • Master of Professional Writing, University of Southern California, 1992
  • Bachelor of Arts, Harvard University, 1985.

Relevant Past Employment

  • 1998-2004, Principles of Writing Program Head, Senior Lecturer and Writing Across the Curriculum Coordinator, Richmond American International University, London
  • 1992-1998, Lecturer, Academic and Creative Writing, Richmond American International University, London



  • (1998). The Priest Fainted, 1999 Henry Holt, New York. 1998, 2000 The Women's Press, London. Translated: O Padre Desmaiou by Difel, Portugal, 2001.

Poetry and other writing:

  • (1996). Inheriting the Ocean, Slow Dancer Press, United Kingdom.

Academic Work:

  • Mitchell, S. and Andrews, R. Eds (2000). “Teaching Writing Theory as Liberatory Practice: Helping Students Chart the Dangerous Waters of Academic Discourse Across the Disciplines in Higher Education.” Learning to Argue in Higher Education; Boynton/Cook, London.
  • Jones, C. Ed (2000). “Inventing Academic Literacy: An American Perspective” co-written with Alice Tomic. Student Writing in the University: Cultural and Epistemological issues, Benjamin's, London.

Other Outputs

  • Other publications include: The Southern California Anthology; Yemassee, Staple, Envoi, Illuminations, Puerto Del Sol, Plainsongs, Kalliope, Cipher.
  • Short pieces and reviews published in The Times, The San Francisco Chronicle and Fiction Writer Magazine.
  • Seminars: Creative Writing for PhD students at Birkbeck and Queen Mary and Westfield, History, English and Drama departments, 2008-2011.
  • Poetry Café workshops on American and Greek poets, 2006-2008
  • Creative Writing Workshop: The Writer's Journey given for the Word Hoard, Huddersfield, and in Newcastle.
  • Free Verse Commendation, 2016; Troubadour International Poetry Prize Commendation, 2016; "Borders" published in Litro, September 2016; 2016 readings at the Troubadour, the Free Verse Festival, Etz Hayyim Synagogue in Hania
  • Catherine has read from her own work at numerous venues in the UK and the US, including Warwick University, The Poetry Café, and the Lancaster Literature Festival.

Conference Papers Given

  • “Composing Creative Writing; Creative Composition: Myths, Stories, Ideas and an Argument about the relationship between Composition and Creative Writing.” Paper given at Teaching Writing in Higher Education: An International Symposium, hosted by the Warwick Writing Programme, 26-27 March, 2001, Warwick University.
  • “Using First Class to Enhance Critical Thinking in an Academic Environment': Paper presented with Susi Peacock at the 10th Annual Computers and Writing Conference, Cambridge, April, 1999.
  • 'Outlaw Cultures, Hybrid Identities, and Joyful Designs: Links between Creative Writing and Composition': Paper presented at the 2nd Creative Writing Conference, Sheffield Hallam University, March, 1999.
  • Presentation entitled: “Cross-border links in the land of Academic Literacy: 
    The way forward for EAP/WAC in the international university.” Given at the Richmond Conference on The International University: Local and Global Roles, London, March, 1998.
  • ‘Teaching Writing Theory as Liberatory Practice.' Invited Presenter:  Teaching and Learning Argument: 2nd International Conference at Middlesex University,
  • ‘Converging and Diverging Paths: A Comparison of US/UK Writing Pedagogy.' Presenter  Ninth European Conference on Writing and Computers, Barcelona, 1996.

Research Interests

Catherine has published academic articles on the history of writing teaching in the university, the creative and academic writing process, and the use of technology to teach writing.

She has also been a member of a research group at the University of London, focusing on the use of argument in academic writing.

Currently, outside of teaching she is most interested in developing her creative writing, and is working on a new novel.

Professional Affiliation(s)/Accreditation

  • Member of the National Association of Writers in Education.

Teaching & Course Development



  • Catherine acted as an external examiner in the English Department of the former University of North London (now London Metropolitan University).