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Matthew Campbell



Matthew Campbell has been Professor of Modern Literature at York since 2011. Current projects include a History of Irish Poetry from Charlotte Brooke to Seamus Heaney, and research developed out of published and forthcoming essays on rhyme in contemporary poetry, traditional music and verse, and the poetry of Mangan, Joyce and Yeats. His first book, Rhythm and Will in Victorian Poetry (CUP 1999) was about action and intent as heard in the rhythms of Victorian and early twentieth-century poetry, and he continues to work on English Victorian poetry, particularly with relation to the synthetic forms of a ‘British’ literature written within the four nations of the Atlantic Archipelago. He has written Irish Poetry under the Union (2013) and edited Irish Literature in Transition, 1830-1880 (2020). He was Director of the Yeats International Summer School from 2014 to 2019, and with Lauren Arrington he is editing theThe Oxford Handbook of Yeats,  which will be published in 2022. Matthew is a regular reviewer of contemporary poetry, and has also published on Romantic poetry, Celticism, elegy, and war writing. Authors to which his criticism returns include Wordsworth, Moore, Tennyson, Browning, Mangan, Hopkins, Yeats, Sigerson, Joyce, Heaney and Muldoon. He studied at Trinity College Dublin and Cambridge University and taught at the University of Sheffield before coming to York.



Matthew Campbell’s Irish Poetry Under the Union, 1801-1924 was published in 2013 and is a book about Irish poetry written during the period between the Act of Union and Irish independence. It offers readings of the ‘synthetic forms’ of poetry by Thomas Moore, Samuel Ferguson, Thomas Davis, Francis Sylvester Mahony, James Clarence Mangan and Yeats, while also featuring the work of English poets writing about and in Ireland, including Tennyson, Arnold and, most notably, Gerard Manley Hopkins. In 2006 he contributed the chapter on poetry from 1830-1890 in the Cambridge History of Irish Literature, and chapters on ‘Davis, Mangan, Ferguson’ in the first volume of the Blackwell Companion to Irish Literature and ‘Poetry 1845-1891’ in A History of Modern Irish Women’s Literature.

An interest in Irish music is reflected in an essay on Moore in the co-edited volume The Voice of the People: the European Folk Revival, 1765-1914, a book with an international cast of contributors. As part of his ongoing work on a ‘four-nations’ British poetry inflected with Celticism, Matthew gave the 2008 Warton Lecture on English Poetry to the British Academy, on ‘Wordsworth and the Druids’. ‘Recovering Ancient Ireland’ has appeared in the Oxford Handbook of Irish Poetry.

Rhythm and Will in Victorian Poetry, a study of prosody and agency in Tennyson, Browning, Hopkins and Hardy, was published in 1999, and Matthew was the editor of the Tennyson Research Bulletin from 1999 to 2004. A chapter on the Victorian sonnet was published in 2011 in The Cambridge Companion to the Sonnet, and the chapter on ‘Rhyme’ is in the recently-published Oxford Handbook to Victorian Poetry.

Matthew also writes on modern and contemporary poetry, and an edited collection, The Cambridge Companion to Contemporary Irish Poetry was published in 2003. He has written articles and reviews on contemporary Irish poetry, most notably on Paul Muldoon and Seamus Heaney, but also on war poetry and metaphor in the modern Irish poem. His chapter, ‘The Irish Longing for Rhyme’, was published in Post Ireland? Essays in Contemporary Irish Poetry in 2017. His next major project has been commissioned by Cambridge University Press and is a History of Irish Poetry from 1789 to the present day. An edited volume Irish Literature in Transition, 1830-1880 was published in 2020 and The Oxford Handbook of Yeats is forthcoming. 


Matthew Campbell has supervised PhD projects on Victorian poetry, contemporary Irish and Indian women’s poetry, poetry and disability, contemporary Elegy, Irish women’s poetry, Derek Mahon and Paul Muldoon, Yeats and Eliot, Yeats and Tagore, War writing, James Joyce, David Jones and Nick Cave.  He welcomes applications in the fields of Victorian poetry and Irish poetry since 1800.



Matthew Campbell teaches across the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, from Romantic through Victorian to Modern literature. He contributes to options on Victorian and modern literature, and a third year module on ‘Modern Irish Poetry’.


He has convened the 19th Century, Victorian and Poetry MAs and offers an MA module on ‘Four Nations of British Poetry: 1848 to 1939’ to the 19th Century and Modern and Contemporary MAs.

Contact details

Professor Matthew Campbell
Department of English and Related Literature
University of York
YO10 5DD

Tel: +44 (0)1904 323360