I write verse, academic criticism, and literary journalism, in the hope that complex ideas can be communicated in a variety of lively forms: ranging from the Long Eighteenth Century to the present day, I’ve a strong interest in the formal qualities of both verse and prose, and how they relate to historical fact and creative cognition. One of my next monographs concerns ‘spontaneity and form’ in nineteenth and twentieth-century English, US and Indian prose; the other, provisionally titled Poetry and Other People, considers issues of race, class, nationality and gender, through close readings beginning, in each case, with the actual verbal texture of a particular poem. My own second book of verse, The Million-Petalled Flower of Being Here, is out from Bloodaxe in June.
With Sarah Howe and Dai George, I co-edit the online magazine Prac Crit, which combines interviews with close readings; alongside Sandeep Parmar, I have worked (I’ve been on hiatus) as a selector for the Poetry Book Society. Here's ‘Ginnel’, which I wrote and performed on behalf of Radio Leeds for National Poetry Day; my verse can also be read on the Guardian website, in The Nation, and in Poetry.
I am particularly interested in talking outside my own socio-political ‘bubble’, with multiple communities (I also review fiction for The Telegraph), and have worked with the Prince’s Trust, the British Council, and New Writing North, as well as schools in West Yorkshire, the North-East, and now the Birmingham area. If you’d like to plan a poetry or creative-writing masterclass at your school, please get in touch!
As Equality and Diversity lead for EDACS, I arrange a series of events, and am happy to speak with students and staff with any concerns; more information can be found on the intranet page. I teach primarily on the first-year Poetry module, and am always happy to hear from prospective PhD students in my field.