My British Academy-funded postdoctoral project is entitled Dual Forms: Modernist poetry and the poetics of sculpture. Spanning 1880-1940, I consider the poetical and critical engagement with public monuments, abstract sculpture, medal and coin designs, museum artefacts, decorative sculpture and a variety of objets d’art. To understand the relationship between modern poetry and sculpture my work necessarily crosses disciplines and periods, contributing to our understanding of the verbal and visual arts, and the intersecting fields of Victorian and Modernist studies in Britain and Ireland. From Edmund Gosse and the Victorian New Sculpture movement, to collaborating poets and sculptors of the Celtic Revival; from Algernon Charles Swinburne’s translations of Michelangelo, to Ezra Pound’s inter-arts Vorticist manifestos, and H.D.’s fascination with classical statuary, modern poetry is profoundly shaped by the art of sculpture, and vice versa.
During my BA fellowship I will survey archive collections at the Cadbury Research Library in Birmingham, the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds, the New York Public Library, as well as several museums and libraries in London, Dublin and Belfast. The aim of this research in specific collections will be recovery of discourses on the plastic arts in British and Irish periodicals, unpublished papers, letters and lectures.
My PhD and previous postdoctoral research focussed on W.B. Yeats’s lifelong engagement with the art of sculpture, and is being prepared for monograph publication. In addition, I have published articles emerging from my research on Yeats, Irish poetry and modernist sculpture in International Yeats Studies, Irish Studies Review, and Modernist Cultures.