Dr Luke Kennard BA Hons, MA, PhD

Dr Luke Kennard

Department of Film and Creative Writing
Reader in Creative Writing

Contact details

Arts Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I am an award-winning poet, critic and writer of fiction, publishing on prose poetry and Absurdism in contemporary poetry.


  • BA (Hons) English Literature
  • MA Creative Writing
  • PhD English and Creative Writing:  ‘The Expasne: Self-Consciousnes and The Transatlantic Tendencies of the Prose Poem’ (University of Exeter)


I hold an MA and PhD from the University of Exeter. I have taught at undergraduate and postgraduate level at Exeter and the University of Warwick. My poetry and criticism have appeared widely in journals and periodicals over the last three years. My second collection of poetry was shortlisted for The Forward Prize for Best Collection 2007.

I also write for the stage and radio and have taken numerous productions to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. I was co-judge of the Foyle Young Poets Prize in 2010 and have worked as an associated reader for the Kenyon Review. I review fiction for The National, the United Arab Emirate’s English language newspaper.



First year

  • Creative Writing Foundation
  • Contemporary Creative Writing

Second year

  • Poetry and Prose Writing
  • Drama and Media
  • Editing

Third year

  • Creative Writing Dissertation


  • Creative Writing Research Skills 1 & 2
  • Poem as Story – Story as Poem
  • Creative Writing Dissertation

Postgraduate supervision

I am currently supervising PhDs in the application of surrealist technique to contemporary poetry; the New York School; a feminist reading of absurdism in 21st-century poetry; Publishing and digital trends in contemporary poetry; Futurism and prize culture.

Find out more - our PhD Creative Writing  page has information about doctoral research at the University of Birmingham.


Luke Kennard on prose poetry, surrealism and invisibility

I write primarily on the prose poem, Absurdist and Surrealist technique in contemporary poetry, Transatlantic influence and publishing trends in contemporary British poetry.

Other activities

My second collection of poetry, The Harbour Beyond the Movie was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection in 2007, making me the youngest writer to be nominated in the history of the awards. In 2014 I was seleceted as one of the Poetry Book Society’s Next Generation Poets for their once-per-decade list.

I have worked as the pamphlet selector for the Poetry Book Society, 2013 to present. I am currently the Canal Laureate for the Poetry Society and the Canal and River Trust. In 2015 I was sent on a reading tour of Hong Kong and Taiwan through the British Council for Literature.


Poetry collections

  • Like Cain, Penned in the Margins, 2016
  • A Lost Expression, Salt Publishing, 2012
  • The Necropolis Boat, Holdfire Press, 2012
  • Planet-Shaped Horse, Nine Arches Press, 2011
  • The Migraine Hotel, Salt Publishing, 2009
  • The Harbour Beyond the Movie, Salt Publishing, 2007
  • The Solex Brothers, Stride Books, 2005

Short fiction

  • ‘Other Boys’, Short:Fiction, Unviersity of Plymouth Press, 2015
  • Holophin, Penned in the Margins, 2012
  • ‘The Freaks of Nature’, Riptide, Vol. 7, University of Exeter Press, 2012
  • ‘A Discouraging Word’, Fatboy Review, Issue 1, 2010
  • 'My Giant Tongue', Riptide, Vol. 3, University of Exeter Press, 2008 
  • 'How I Lost My Job', Short:Fiction, University of Plymouth Press, 2008 
  • 'I'm Reviewing a Play at the Albany', Riptide, Vol. 2, University of Exeter Press, 2007 
  • 'Chickens' Riptide, Vol. 1, University of Exeter Press, 2007 


  • ‘In The Dream Village: Mapping Kelvin Corcoran’s Prose Poems’, The Writing Occurs as Song: A Kelvin Corcoran Reader, Shearsman Press, 2014
  • Stress Fractures: Essays on Modern Poetry, Penned in the Margins Press, 2010
  • 'Strange Fruit: The Prose Poetry of Francis Ponge', Poetry London, Spring 2009, No. 62'
  • Appropriating Form: Redmond, Romer, Black', Poetry London, Winter 2008, No. 61 

View all publications in research portal