David Pease wins Benson
David Pease, former Director of Arvon, has been awarded the prestigious Benson Medal by the Royal Society of Literature.
The Benson Medal honours those who have done conspicuous service to literature. Past recipients include E.M.Forster, J.R.R.Tolkein, Wole Soyinka and Nadine Gordimer. The award celebrates his achievement as Director of Arvon between 1973 and 2000, when he grew the organisation from a small charity with one centre, to a national literature organisation with four centres and an international reputation. Arvon’s pioneering work championing the process of creative writing has led, at least in part, to the spread of creative writing courses and Chairs in institutions and universities all over the country.
David Pease was previously Deputy Director of North West Arts Association. He has also chaired the House of Illustration, the world's first dedicated home for the art of illustration, and has worked with Andrew Motion on the successful Poetry Archive.
Anne Chisholm, Chairman of The Royal Society of Literature: "The RSL is delighted that David Pease has accepted its Benson Medal for a lifetime's service to literature. The medal recognises not only the selfless commitment with which David served the Arvon Foundation for most of his working life, but also the invaluable work of Arvon itself. We applaud them both."
Robin Chichester-Clark, President of Arvon: “Arvon would not have survived the daunting financial and organisational difficulties of its infancy to become, as it is today, one of the greatest literary institutions – not without David Pease.”
Ruth Borthwick, Chief Executive of Arvon: “David Pease is a legend. His vision, energy and commitment to Arvon has left a nourishing legacy that the charity still feeds on today. Thousands of writers began writing because of David’s achievement.”