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I write literary criticism, theory, and poetry, and make artist books. After some time teaching music and working in science publishing, I graduated top of class with an MA in English Literature with a special option in writing poetry from Durham University, and remained there to work with Gareth Reeves, completing a PhD (fully funded by the AHRC) in modern and contemporary poetry and poetics in 2012. I subsequently worked across the arts and humanities; key projects included: helping to establish the W.A.L.K. research group (Sunderland, Art), the Memory Network (Roehampton and Durham, English), and working with Studio Alec Finlay and the National Trust on the Scottish Design Award winning project there were our own / there were the others. From 2015-17 I was Assistant Professor, then held a visiting research position (2018-19), in the Department of English Language and Literature at Bilkent University, Ankara.
I was appointed to my current role in English and Creative Writing in the School of Humanities at the University of Dundee in autumn 2017. I co-direct the Centre for Scotland’s Land Futures (a joint research centre with UHI and Stirling), and sit on the steering committees for the Centre for Poetic Innovation (a joint research centre with St Andrews), and Dundee’s Centre for Scottish Culture. I am occasionally a Visiting Lecturer in Writing at Manchester School of Art, and, in addition to this, am an editor of the journal Northern Scotland (Edinburgh University Press).
My work engages with Anglophone poetry and poetics, often taking a deep ecological perspective. I have strong comparative research interests in global literatures, global feminisms, music, and the plastic and performing arts. I am particularly interested in poetry’s (im)material status as a textual and verbal art form; creative and critical work in literature and the wider arts which sits at the intersection of forms, genres, media, languages, and disciplines; literature which works in productive dialogue with the natural sciences; and, across all of these interests, precarious and transitive states of existence.
Between 2011 and 2013 I edited two collections of essays on Art Walking. My first monograph, Spatial Engagement with Poetry was published in 2015 (paperback 2017), and I have recently edited a special issue of the journal New Global Studies on the idea of ‘thinking the global with literature’ (2019). Essays, predominantly concerned with liminal and [e/al]lusive literary states (often feminist in some way) and on interactions with the non-human, have appeared in various journals, edited collections, and artist book publications. A monograph on plastic, Kafka’s Kurzprosa, and the ways in which we read literary form (provisionally entitled Thinking Through Plastic with Kafka) is recently completed.Current research projects in poetry studies and literary theory involve a continued engagement with this idea of Literary Plasticity, and (in very early stages) a study of the American Sonnet. Current research projects in cultural history engage with two very slippery everyday phenomena: the Worm, and the Sky. My particular research interests in place-based thinking and ‘Land’, can be found on my Centre for Scotland’s Land Futures bio; more precise details of already published academic and creative-critical research can be found at the ‘Publications’ tab.
I do not publish poetry by conventional means, nor is the circulation of my artist books fully mappable. This renegade interaction with publication indices (particularly the critical interrogation of international book standardization and cataloguing mechanisms, and the close attention to the histories and natures of ephemeral and the precarious poetic matter) is an ethics, an activism, and an integral part of my practice as a poet and thinker. My solo and collaborative work has been exhibited and performed nationally and internationally. A permanent archive of my poetic output is held in the Scottish Poetry Library, Edinburgh, and the accession plan is ongoing. Elements of this archive have been brilliantly digitised by Dr. Eleanore Widger, but as much of the work is sequential, and stems from an interest in material, vocalic, and textual form(s) and their effects on our reading, memorized, lives, it is also worth a visit. Links through to the digitization project can be found via my SPL poet’s page (link above). Current solo creative projects include a series of scroll translation-imprints of Wang Wei and a sequence of artists books on the Caledonia Silva.
My teaching is predominantly in poetry and poetics (critical and creative), environmental/ecological thought, and theory. I teach on most levels of the MA in English and Creative Writing, supervise on the MA dissertation, as well as offering option modules and supervision on the MLitt in English and MFA Art and Humanities. The courses I convene are as follows:
EN11011 Introduction to Creative Writing
EN31029 Nature Writing [creative and critical] 2018-9
EN32036 Writing Poetry [creative] 2019-20
EN42028 Poetry in the World [creative and critical] 2018-9
EN41032 Current Feminist Literatures [critical] 2019-20
I teach special seminars on Genre Theory and World Literatures on the MLitt/MFA core module, and offer an option module in Environmental Writing on the MLitt and MFA Art and Humanities (EN52046, contact Prof. Andrew Roberts for more details).
I am happy to consider graduate special option critical and/or creative supervision in any of my areas of research interest; be in touch to discuss!