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CLASS OF 2023: Local writer accepts Honorary Award for putting the region on the map


A Black Country writer has been awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters at the University of Wolverhampton for putting the region and its literature on the map. 

Liz Berry is an award-winning poet and author of the critically acclaimed collections Black Country (Chatto, 2014); The Republic of Motherhood (Chatto, 2018); The Dereliction (Hercules Editions, 2021), a collaboration with artist Tom Hicks; and most recently The Home Child (Chatto, 2023), a novel in verse.  

Honorary awards are presented by the University of Wolverhampton to people who have made a significant contribution to their field of expertise. 

Liz’s work, described as “a sooty soaring hymn to her native West Midlands” (The Guardian), celebrates the landscape, history and dialect of the Black Country.  

Landscape image of Honorary Graduate Liz Berry with her award

She has received the Somerset Maugham Award, Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize and Forward Prizes. Her poem ‘Homing’, a love poem for the language of the Black Country, is now part of the GCSE English syllabus. 

Liz said: “I’m absolutely honoured to have been awarded a Doctor of Letters by the University of Wolverhampton. 

“I was born and brought up in the Black Country and the region and its language have been a great inspiration for my work. The world often tells us that Black Country voices are unlovely and ineloquent, nothing to be proud of, but so many people I love have spoken with this voice and I’m very proud of it, proud of the area, and everything it’s taught me. 

“I’d love my poems to remind people how beautiful their voices are, and that there is a place in literature for all our languages and stories.” 

The University’s graduation ceremonies take place at the Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton, from Thursday 14 September to Friday 22 September 2023. 

Graduates are encouraged to keep in touch with the Alumni team and take advantage of a range of benefits and support on offer to them including a discount for Postgraduate study and opportunities to benefit from mentoring, volunteering and career advice.   

For information about courses to study at the University visit the website. 



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