What is a Great Writer? An academic panel discusses the question.

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In this panel discussion from the Great Writers Inspire Engage Event workshop, Dr Seamus Perry, Dr Margaret Kean, Professor Peter McDonald and Dr Ankhi Mukherjee discuss what we mean when we talk about greatness in writing.

Seamus Perry chooses Samuel Taylor Coleridge, inspired as he is by the 'Rime of the Ancient Mariner' and its myriad possible interpretations. Margaret Kean chooses John Milton, who used his Paradise Lost to position himself in the canon of great writers during his lifetime. Peter McDonald talks about who decides who is considered to be a great writer, suggesting literary agents, prize judges, editors, reviewers, critics, librarians, and ordinary readers. Finally, Ankhi Mukherjee discusses the greatness of V S Naipul, who was critical of the existing literary canon and so set out to create his own kind of great literature.