Alba Arikha has published fiction and non-fiction and her work has been translated into four languages. Her memoir, Major/Minor was shortlisted for the 2012 Spear’s Awards, and was selected among the best books of 2012 in the New Yorker. Her narrative poem, ‘Soon’, was set to opera and performed at the Riverside Studios, in London. She has completed an MFA in creative writing at Columbia University, is a translator from French to English, and has written for various magazines including Tatler and The Journal of Art. She is a regular contributor to Spear’s magazine.
For the past few years, she has taught creative writing at the West London Free School, Persephone Books, The Royal Academy of Art, Columbia University and Guardian Masterclasses, with whom she continues to collaborate. She is a member of the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain and the Society of Authors, and was a 2013 fellow at the Santa Maddalena Foundation. In addition, Alba is a pianist and singer/songwriter. Her album, Dans Les Rues de Paris, was released in March 2011. She has performed in London, where she lives, and in Paris, where she grew up.
Stories in Paintings proved to be a fascinating way from which to approach writing. Using paintings as our prompts, Alba was able to use her passion for art to guide us to thinking more about the depth in our writing. From exploring the complexities of our characters, to the visualisation of their environments. Alba showed us how using our pens instead of brushes we could make our characters and places come alive in the minds of our readers, giving them a physical presence on the page. Alba was a very inspiring and thoughtful course leader. Her feedback on our writing was insightful and I would recommend this course to anyone looking to add real depth to their writing.
Jude, Stories in Paintings student