Sleep Stories

Commission for Durham Book Festival 2021

We worked with three leading British writers on this three-part podcast series inspired by the theme of sleep.

As part of her Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowship, Dr Diletta De Cristofaro collaborated with Durham Book Festival to commission exclusive short stories from poet and author Salena Godden, whose debut novel, Mrs Death Misses Death was shortlisted for the 2021 Gordon Burn Prize, acclaimed novelist Jenn Ashworth, whose latest novel is Ghosted, and award-winning poet Andrew McMillan, whose latest collection is pandemonium.

Listen to the three-part podcast series below. Each podcast is introduced by Dr Diletta De Cristofaro, Professor Jason Ellis and Dr Erik Hoel, who explore the science and culture of sleep.

Episode One: “Daffodilly Dreams” by Salena Godden, introduced by neuroscientist and writer Dr Erik Hoel
Episode Two: “The Night Watch” by Jenn Ashworth, introduced by literary and cultural studies scholar Dr Diletta De Cristofaro
Episode Three: “Encroach” by Andrew McMillan, introduced by Professor of Sleep Science Jason Ellis

Read the transcript of “Daffodilly Dreams” here; the transcript of “The Night Watch” here; the transcript of “Encroach” here.

To launch Sleep Stories, a roundtable discussion took place on 9th October. The roundtable delved into the science and culture of sleep. Dr Diletta De Cristofaro was joined by Salena Godden, Prof Jason Ellis, and Dr Erik Hoel. Below you can watch a video collecting highlights of the conversation.

From left to right: Andrew McMillan, Salena Godden, and Jenn Ashworth

“Sleep Stories” received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement 892459. The Agency is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information the “Sleep Stories” commission contains.