I am a member of the Southampton Institute for Arts and Humanites (SIAH) and 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.
I was AHRC Leadership Fellow on Invisible Mentors (2020-22), a collaborative project with ArtfulScribe and Winchester Poetry Festival exploring the role of mentoring in the creative industries. As part of the project, I set up a a new poetry mentoring scheme, Poetry Ambassadors.
I was also CI for Towns and the Cultural Economies of Recovery, a collaborative AHRC scoping project with the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre and Historic England.
- modern and contemporary literature
- mentoring and creative practice
- literary communities in modern culture
- poetry networks
- creative culture and social policy
I am the editor of Stevie Smith’s Collected Poems and Drawings, and am currently researching mentoring practice in postwar and contemporary British poetry. I am have also explored the role that mentoring can have in the cultural and economic recovery of UK towns, and recently published a co-authored policy report on literature and regional recovery.
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 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.
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 contribute to our 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 Joanna Nissel, an SWWDTP-funded student exploring the ecology of mentoring in contemporary UK poetry, and Karen Jane Cannon, whose work explores contemporary eco-poetry.
I completed my doctoral thesis at Balliol College, Oxford, and went on to lecture at Bath Spa University and St Anne's College, Oxford before joining Southampton in 2008. During my time at Southampton, I have held posts including Research Fellow in Humanities (2009-10), Lecturer in Modern Literature (2010-2013), Senior Lecturer in English (2013-2016), and Head of English (2017-2019).
- CCUE Book Prize (2011)