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Born in Cork in the Republic of Ireland, I studied at Cambridge and Oxford Universities before joining the staff at York.
My main interests lie in twentieth-century Irish literature, modern poetry and poetics in the UK, US and Ireland; psychoanalysis and literature; and the literature of nonsense. I have recently written an introduction to one of the New Penguin Freud volumes on The Uncanny, edited an anthology of Poetry of the Second World War and completed a book-length study of the contemporary Irish poet Derek Mahon. I am also interested in autobiography and life-writing: John Clare and Romantic poetry; US poetry and fiction; and issues around poetry, cultural exchange and translation.
I am currently completing Irish Crossings, a collection of critical essays on Irish literature and cultural translation, beginning a study of modern poets and their letters, and co-editing (with Valerie Eliot) The Letters of T.S. Eliot.
I have supervised or am supervising PhDs on English romanticism (Wordsworth and Heaney, Byron and Romanticism, John Clare and Folklore, John Clare's Child Harold); Irish literature (on Joyce, Elizabeth Bowen, Samuel Beckett, Seamus Heaney, Michael Longley and John Banville, among others); modern poetry (on Yeats, Ezra Pound, Robert Graves, Thom Gunn, Modern British and Irish Poetry including Basil Bunting, Geoffrey Hill, Donald Davie, Hugh McDiarmid, W.S. Graham, C.H. Sisson); contemporary US literature (on Contemporary American Realist Fiction, including Raymond Carver and Tom Wolfe, and on Fiction and Paranoia in the 1960s, including William Burroughs, Thomas Pynchon, Don deLillo); and on poetry and reverie in the 19C.
I would welcome applications in the area of modern poetry and poetics, in particular Irish, British and American poetry; modern verse translation; T.S. Eliot and modernism; modern Irish literature and culture; Samuel Beckett and his Irish and international contexts; autobiography and life-writing, in particular the poetics of the letter and the letters of poets; war poetry; Lewis Carroll and the literature of nonsense; psychoanalysis, literature and aesthetics.