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Peter Robinson

photograph of john robinson
  • Founder of the English Literature with Creative Writing pathway degree
  • Lead researcher in the Poetry & Poetics strand of the Modern Studies Centre.

Areas of interest

I am founder of the English Literature with Creative Writing pathway degree and have convened modules in modern and contemporary poetry and creative writing at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. I have also contributed lectures and seminar teaching to a variety of modules for all three years of our degree programme.

Visit my website: Peter Robinson Poet

Postgraduate supervision

The first creative writing PhD in the department, Tom Phillips' travel narrative and study of writing about Albania, was awarded in September 2013. I am currently supervising a part-time creative writing PhD on self discovery in travel writing, with texts ranging from the Caribbean to the Middle East, and a further creative writing PhD focusing on the subject of lyric poetry, with particular reference to Michael Donaghy, Roy Fisher and Geoffrey Hill.

I am also supervising an AHRC-funded PhD on the writing, publication and reception of Japanese poetry in English translation during the 1970s, and a study of Muriel Rukeyser's poetry. I oversee British Academy funded post-doctoral research undertaken by Dr Natalie Pollard, entitled Lyric Economies, which focuses on the relationships between styles of address and publishing policy in twentieth-century and contemporary poetry, and Matthew Sperling's Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship researching on the publishing of British and Irish poetry since 1960.

The department regularly sponsors applications to funding bodies for postgraduate and postdoctoral research and I would be delighted to receive proposals within my own and departmental specialist areas.

Research projects

My primary research interest is the writing, publishing, and reception of twentieth-century and contemporary poetry, and poetry in translation. I have also developed a research interest in those areas I teach, particularly modernist poetry.

My recent publishing projects include editing The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary British and Irish Poetry (2013), The Sound Sense of Poetry, completed for publication in 2014, the first monograph on The Poetry of Roy Fisher, and a book on the philosophy and psychology of poetic revision. I have recently published Foreigners, Drunks and Babies a collection of short stories, Like the Living End, a chapbook of new poetry (both 2013) and a new collection of poems for publication in early 2015.

I continue to have a strong interest in poetry from the entire canon of literature in English, reflected in the subjects of my critical writings, and am happy to direct postgraduate and postdoctoral research in the field of my research interests. I am also open to strong and interesting proposals in creative writing and various interdisciplinary areas connected with poetry.

Poets and Poetics

The Poetry & Poetics strand is located in the Department between Literature & Science and The History of the Book, as a research cluster in its own right, and contributing to both of its neighbours' areas. Drawn together around my research, editing, translating, and writing, it includes the study of book and publishing history for poetry, Romantic and Victorian poetry and poetic theory, contemporary poetry and cultural theory, creative writing, as well as poetry and translation.

Poetry & Poetics has generic affinities with some of the early modern research based in EMRC, and plans collaborative research activity relating to the history of anthologizing. It also has links with Philosophy, and with Italian, links which it will develop and extend in coming years. The research strand will showcase its interconnected themes and concerns at the first Reading Poetry Festival, organized by the group, from 5-9 June 2013.

Poetry & Poetics is co-funder of the postgraduate and ECR conference, 'Shifting Territories: modern and contemporary poetics of place', was held at the Institute of English Studies on 22 and 23 May, 2013.

Two Rivers Press

In 2010, I was invited to become the Poetry Editor of the Two Rivers Press, a Reading based publishing house dedicated to local history and poetry publishing with a special emphasis on creative design. Since taking on the role, I have edited Reading Poetry: An Anthology (2011) and A Mutual Friend: Poems for Charles Dickens (2012).

We began a programme of four poetry books per year, at least two of which were in our First Collection series. During 2012, we published poetry books by Susan Utting, Lesley Saunders, Kate Behrens, and Tom Phillips. In 2013, we published books by A.F. Harrold, Jean Watkins, and Claire Dyer.

Further plans include a collection of poems by Ian House, one by Terry Cree, The Arts of Peace: A Centenary Anthology scheduled for publication 1 August 2014, and Ruth Speirs' translations of Rainer Maria Rilke.