Martin J. Goodman

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Martin J. Goodman (born in Leicester in 1956) is an English journalist and writer.

Early life[edit]

He completed his PhD in Creative Writing at Lancaster University in 2007,[1] and now teaches at the University of Hull, where he was appointed Professor of Creative Writing and Director of the now defunct Philip Larkin Centre[2][3] for Poetry and Creative Writing in 2009.[4]


Martin Goodman once taught on the distance learning MA at Lancaster University, where he worked on the British Council Crossing Borders scheme as a mentor to writers in Kenya and Zimbabwe. He had homes in Bedfordshire, France, and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Goodman's novel On Bended Knees (Macmillan, 1992) was shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel Award (won by Jeff Torrington's Swing Hammer Swing).[5]

His next books published were all non-fiction, often on a spiritual theme and published at first in America. He wrote a biography of Mother Meera, In Search of the Divine Mother.[6]'His book I Was Carlos Castaneda[7] recounted his experiences with shamanism and the plant hallucinogen ayahuasca. On Sacred Mountains is a round-the-world travelogue and journey of spiritual awakening. The Guardian review stated: "Either an important spiritual document, or an admonitory example of the effects of oxygen deprivation."[8]

His next novels were Slippery When Wet, from Transita in Oxford; Look Who's Watching from Caffeine Nights, and Ectopia from Barbican Press. He started Barbican Press with the slogan "Writing from the Discomfort Zone", with a list of novels written as PhDs inspired by his being external examiner for D.D. Johnston at the University of Gloucestershire. The first novel published was Johnston's The Deconstruction of Professor Thrub.[9]

He was one of the AHRC / BBC New Generation Thinkers in 2012–13.[10] His two-part Radio 4 series show The New North aired in 2013[11] and he wrote about the buildings in the North of England in the BBC online news magazine.[12] He worked with his friend Greg Wise to adapt the poem of his predecessor at Hull, Christopher Reid, "The Song of Lunch", for television, credited as development consultant.[13][14][15] Martin Goodman gave a reading from his new novel on vampires at the Bram Stoker Birthday Conference in Whitby in November 2013.[16] As Director of the defunct Philip Larkin Centre he ran major public interview sessions in Hull with writers such as Hilary Mantel, Steven Saylor, Christopher Hampton, Emma Thompson, Irene Sabatini,[17] Kate Mosse, David Almond, Lachlan Mackinnon, Edna O'Brien. He started the Annual Children's Writing Event in Hull, working first of all with Emma Thompson[18] and the Hull Children's Flood Project[19] and then with David Almond of Eastfield Primary, Sidney Smith School[20] and the Migraine Trust.

In 2011 he joined the Man Booker Prize Foundation University Initiative,[21] bringing D.B.C. Pierre to Hull to speak about his novel Vernon God Little, after distributing a copy of the book to all first-year students at Hull[22] and on film at Scarborough.[23]


Martin Goodman has been awarded a Scottish Arts Council Writer's Bursary, and Travel Awards from the Scottish Arts Council and the Society of Authors.[citation needed] His first novel On Bended Knees was shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize.[24][citation needed] His biography of the Scottish scientist and serial self-experimenter John Scott Haldane, Suffer and Survive, won 1st Prize, Basis of Medicine[25] in the 2008 BMA Book Awards[26] He was awarded a British Academy Small Research Grant in 2010 for a biography of Taezan Maezumi Roshi.[27] His play Feeding the Roses won in Virtual Theatre's "Pen is a Mighty Sword" international playwriting competition in 2007, for "innovative plays that question the status quo and shed light on today's challenges".[28] A major two-year research grant, from the MacIntosh Foundation of Washington DC, USA, is funding a life writing project (2013–15), detailing how a group of public interest lawyers are working throughout Europe and West Africa to tackle urgent environmental issues such as loss of biodiversity and climate change.[29]


  1. ^ "What Some of Our Past Students Say About Studying for a PhD in Creative Writing – Martin Goodman, PhD 2007". Lancaster University, UK. 17 March 2006. Retrieved 10 February 2012. 
  2. ^ Philip Larkin Centre. University of Hull.
  3. ^ "Literary centre of excellence (interview)". This is Hull and East Riding. 1 February 2010. Retrieved 10 February 2012. 
  4. ^ "Appointments". Times Higher Education. TSL Education Ltd. 5 November 2009. Retrieved 10 February 2012. 
  5. ^ "Crossing Borders New Writing from Africa", British Council . Retrieved 25 November 2013.
  6. ^ Bostock, Cliff (December 1998 – January 1999). "Revisiting Mother Meera: A new book raises some questions". Writings. Retrieved 10 February 2012. 
  7. ^ Susan Salter Reynolds (29 April 2001). "Discoveries: (I Was Carlos Castaneda)". Los Angeles Times.
  8. ^ Steven Poole (12 April 2002). "Et cetera: April 13 | Books". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 10 February 2012. 
  9. ^ "D.D.Johnston event – the complete PhD creative writing experience", Great Writing Conference, Imperial College, 30 June 2013. Retrieved 25 November 2013.
  10. ^ "Radio 3 announces New Generation Thinkers 2012". Retrieved 25 November 2013.
  11. ^ "The New North",, 27 August 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
  12. ^ Goodman, Martin 26 May 2013 "Which is the North's best building?" Retrieved 25 November 2013.
  13. ^ Wise, Greg (7 October 2010). "The Song Of Lunch: Making a poem into a drama",
  14. ^ "Professor of Creative Writing adapts poem for BBC – University of Hull". 21 October 2010. Retrieved 10 February 2012. 
  15. ^ "Full cast and crew for The Song of Lunch". Retrieved 14 November 2012. 
  16. ^ "The Second Bram Stoker Birthday Lecture and Symposium", 20 August 2013. Retrieved 25 November 2013.
  17. ^ "Larkin Centre Events Irene Sabatini" (interview). Vimeo. 24 March 2011. University of Hull.
  18. ^ "Emma Thompson's Big Event for Hull". University of Hull News. 14 May 2010.
  19. ^ Walker, M., et al. (2010). "Final project report for ‘Children, Flood and Urban Resilience: Understanding children and young people’s experience and agency in the flood recovery process". Lancaster University, Lancaster UK.
  20. ^ "Award-winning author to host Children’s Writing Event". Hello Hull. 17 May 2011. Bondholdersscheme Ltd.
  21. ^ "Man Booker Prize Foundation University Initiative: 13,000 copies of Man Booker Prize shortlisted titles have been distributed to students beginning university this autumn". 24 October 2011. Archived from the original on 19 May 2012. Retrieved 4 November 2013. 
  22. ^ "Booker prize winning author shows novel approach in campus interviews". Yorkshire Post. 1 November 2011.
  23. ^ "DBC Pierre in Scarborough" (video).
  24. ^ Lancaster University "Some recent publications by past and present students of Creative Writing at Lancaster University" Retrieved 25 November 2013
  25. ^ "Soak up diving's centenary at super saturation". 22 October 2008. Retrieved 10 February 2012. 
  26. ^ 2008 BMA Book Awards. Archived 24 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  27. ^ "June 2010 News". University of Hull – Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences. Archived from the original on 8 October 2011. Retrieved 10 February 2012. 
  28. ^ "Staged readings of winning 'PEN' plays to be presented at Wake Forest", Wake Forest University. Retrieved 25 November 2013.
  29. ^ "Martin Goodman, B.A, PhD (Lancaster)", University of Hull. Retrieved 25 November 2013

External links[edit]