Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
EnglishPart of Humanities
(023) 8059 6707

Dr Will May 

Associate Professor

Dr Will May's photo

Dr Will May is an Associate Professor in English at the University of Southampton.

I completed my doctoral thesis at Balliol College, Oxford in 2007 and went on to lecture at Bath Spa University and St Anne's College, Oxford before joining Southampton as a teaching fellow in 2008. I was made a research fellow in 2009, a lecturer in 2010, and a senior lecturer in 2013.

I am a member of the Centre for Modern and Contemporary Writing (CMCW), and am committed to projects that use writing to bring different communities together. I helped set up the F.T. Prince Memorial Lecture, an annual English lecture which celebrates the work of the poet F.T. Prince, a former Professor of English at Southampton, and was part of the Leverhulme-funded project Story Places. This year I will be helping run Peripeteia, a website to support A-Level English students, and working on arts initiatives across the city. I also run the Department's Visit Days.

I am on the executive of University English where I represent the UK to the European Society for the Study of English.

Research interests

I am the editor of Stevie Smith’s Collected Poems and Drawings, and am currently researching mentoring practice in British poetry. I enjoy thinking about poets that trouble critics and modes that trouble poets, and have written a number of articles on poetry and whimsy. I also have research interests in contemporary British fiction, and music and modern literature. I would be interested in supervising students working in any of these areas.

I have recently edited a book of essays on the poet F.T. Prince; other publications include Stevie Smith and Authorship (Oxford University Press, 2010), which won the CCUE 2011 book prize, and Postwar Literature: 1950-1990 (Longman, 2010).

I guest edited special issues on text-setting and libretti for Contemporary Music Review (Routledge), and international espionage fiction with Phyllis Lassner. I have also written articles on Emily Dickinson, Edward Lear, Elizabeth Taylor, and the pianist Harriet Cohen.

Sort via:TypeorYear



Book Chapters

Creative Media and Artefacts

  • May, W. (Composer), Williams, L. (Other), & Frowde, R. (Performer). (Accepted/In press). The Night Dances. Performance


I convene a number of modules which make connections between our discipline and the wider world, and between creative and critical practice: these include Creative Writing in Schools, a final-year module with schools placements, Animals Forms, which considers poetic form in relation to the human and the non-human, and Literary Industries and New Media.

I also convene the MA in Global Literary Industries Management, a one-year specialist postgraduate programme which prepares students for work in the creative industries.

I have supervised 11 doctoral students to completion on a variety of critical and creative projects. I currently supervise Joan McGavin, who is completing a poetry collection inspired by phrenology, and Karen Jane Cannon, whose work explores contemporary eco-poetry.

Dr Will May
Faculty of Arts and Humanities University of Southampton Avenue Campus Highfield Southampton SO17 1BF United Kingdom

Room Number: 65/2027

Share this profile Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo
Privacy Settings