University of Leeds

United Kingdom

Residential program

The School of English at the University of Leeds offers a BA (Hons) English Literature with Creative Writing, an MA Creative Writing and Critical Life, an MA by Research in Creative Writing, and a PhD in Creative Writing.

Yorkshire is one of the most important regions in the history of literature in English, and amongst our alumni and former staff are notable poets and writers, including Wole Soyinka, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Geoffrey Hill, J. R. R. Tolkien, and current Professor of Poetry Simon Armitage.

Leeds has fantastic facilities for Creative Writing students, and the School of English has a rich history of creative writing. We regularly host readings and talks by well-known and emerging contemporary writers, and you’ll have access to a vibrant community of researchers and creative practitioners. The highly respected literary magazine, Stand, is produced in the School, and publishes the best in new and established creative writing. We are also home to the University of Leeds Poetry Centre led by poet and critic Professor John Whale and the Douglas Caster Fellowship, held currently by Vahni Capildeo and previously by Helen Mort and Malika Booker. Poet Kimberly Campanello is Programme Leader for Creative Writing.

The world-class Brotherton Library has an array of archive, manuscript and early printed material in its Special Collections, including extensive archives of prominent contemporary poets including Simon Armitage and Tony Harrison. All of this will be valuable for your independent research, and the University Library offers training programmes to help you make the most of our resources.


Contact Information

School of English
University of Leeds
Leeds
United Kingdom
LS2 9JT
Phone: +44(0)113 343 4730
Email: k.a.campanello@leeds.ac.uk
https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/english



DEGREE PROGRAMS

Undergraduate Program Director

Kimberly Campanello
Dr
School of English
University of Leeds
Leeds
United Kingdom
LS2 9JT
Email: k.a.campanello@leeds.ac.uk
URL: https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/courses/i438/english-literature-with-creative-writing-ba

Graduate Program Director

Kimberly Campanello
Dr
School of English
University of Leeds
Leeds
United Kingdom
LS2 9JT
Email: k.a.campanello@leeds.ac.uk
URL: https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/english-research-degrees/doc/doctor-philosophy-phd-3
Type of Program: Research/Theory/Studio
Genres: Fiction, Literary Translation, Criticism & Theory, Writing for Children, Screenwriting, Playwriting, Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, Popular/Genre Fiction
Duration of Study: 4 years
Unit of Measure: Credits
Application Requirements: Transcripts, Writing Sample, Application Form, Letters of Recommendation

Graduate Program Director

Kimberly Campanello
Dr
School of English
University of Leeds
Leeds
United Kingdom
LS2 9JT
Email: k.a.campanello@leeds.ac.uk
URL: https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/english-research-degrees/doc/doctor-philosophy-phd-3
Type of Program: Research/Theory/Studio
Genres: Fiction, Literary Translation, Criticism & Theory, Creative Nonfiction, Poetry
Duration of Study: 1 year
Unit of Measure: Credits
Application Requirements: Transcripts, Application Form, Letters of Recommendation

Graduate Program Director

Kimberly Campanello
Dr
School of English
University of Leeds
Leeds
United Kingdom
LS2 9JT
Email: k.a.campanello@leeds.ac.uk
URL: https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/english-research-degrees/doc/doctor-philosophy-phd-3

Details of MA by Research in Creative Writing are here: https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/english-research-degrees/doc/ma-research-mar

Type of Program: Studio/Research
Genres: Fiction, Literary Translation, Criticism & Theory, Writing for Children, Playwriting, Creative Nonfiction, Poetry
Unit of Measure: Hours
Application Requirements: Transcripts, Writing Sample, Application Form, Letters of Recommendation




FACULTY

Simon Armitage

Simon Armitage was born in 1963 in the village of Marsden and lives in West Yorkshire. He is a graduate of Portsmouth University, where he studied Geography. As a post-graduate student at Manchester University, his MA thesis concerned the effects of television violence on young offenders. Until 1994 he worked as a Probation Officer in Greater Manchester.

Simon Armitage is Professor of Poetry at the University of Leeds and was elected to serve as Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford for 2015-2019. This Spring he is also Holmes Visiting Professor at Princeton University.

Previously, he taught at the University of Leeds, the University of Iowa's Writers' Workshop and Manchester Metropolitan University before his 2011 appointment as Professor of Poetry at the University of Sheffield and Visiting Professor at the University of Falmouth.

Armitage has received numerous awards for his poetry including the Sunday Times Young Author of the Year, one of the first Forward Prizes, an Eric Gregory Award, a major Lannan Award, a Cholmondeley Award, the Spoken Word Award (Gold), the Ivor Novello Award for song-writing, BBC Radio Best Speech Programme, Television Society Award for Documentary and Keats-Shelley Prize for Poetry. He won the 2017 PEN America Award for Poetry in Translation and was awarded The Queens Gold Medal for Poetry 2018.

In 1999 Armitage was named the Millennium Poet. In 2004 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Armitage was awarded the CBE for services to poetry in 2010 and presented with the Hay Medal for Poetry at the 25th Hay Festival in 2012.

As part of Britain's 2012 Cultural Olympiad and while Artist in Residence at London's Southbank, Armitage conceived and curated Poetry Parnassus, a gathering of world poets and poetry from every Olympic nation. This landmark event is generally recognised to be the biggest coming together of international poets in history.

https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/english/staff/557/simon-armitage


Kimberly Campanello

Kimberly Campanello was born in Elkhart, Indiana. Her poetry publications include Consent, Imagines and Strange Country (both on the sheela-na-gig stone carvings), and Hymn to Kali. MOTHERBABYHOME, a collection of 796 conceptual and visual poems on the St. Mary's Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, Co. Galway, is forthcoming from zimZalla Avant Objects in 2019. In 2017 a selection from MOTHERBABYHOME was published in Laudanum’s Chapbook Anthology Volume Two alongside work by Frances Lock and Abigail Parry.

Kimberly's poems have appeared in magazines in the USA, Canada, the UK, and Ireland, including 3:AM Magazine, Abridged, Banshee, Blackbox Manifold, The Cream City Review, filling Station, The Honest Ulsterman, Irish Left Review, MsLexia, nthposition, Penduline, Tears in the Fence, Poetry Ireland Review, The Penny Dreadful, The Stinging Fly, and Poetry Wales. She is featured in the Irish poetry section of Poetry International Web. Her work in anthologies includes publications by Laudanum Publishing, Bloodaxe, the Enemies Project, EBL-Ciel Abierto, and Eyewear Publishing.

Kimberly was selected for the Poetry Ireland Introduction Series in 2011 and has performed at Kaleidoscope (Dublin), Ó Bheal (Cork), the Palau Maricel (Spain), the National Concert Hall of Ireland, the Dublin Book Festival, Barrow River Arts Festival, Prague Microfestival, the Belfast Book Festival, London's Maintenant Camarade Poetry Festival, and the International Literature Festival Dublin. She has been awarded residencies at the Fundación Valparaíso, the Heinrich Böll Cottage, and The Studios of Key West.

She earned a BA summa cum laude in English and French from Butler University, an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Alabama, an MA in Gender Studies from the University of Cincinnati and a PhD in Creative Writing from Middlesex University.

Kimberly has held full-time lecturing posts at York St John University and Florida Gulf Coast University and has also taught at Maynooth University, Middlesex University, the University of East London, CityLit, the Irish Writers Centre, and Big Smoke Writing Factory. In 2018 she joined the School of English and the Poetry Centre at the University of Leeds as a Lecturer in Creative Writing and Programme Leader for Creative Writing.

https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/english/staff/2091/dr-kimberly-campanello


John Whale

My research has focused on the interface of literary aesthetics and politics in the Romantic period. British responses to the French Revolution have been a central concern and, like many other Romanticists, my work in the late 1980s and early nineties was considerably influenced by the bicentenary of the French Revolution. In my case, this meant reassessing the response of British writers to events across the Channel in France and in particular focusing on the role the creative faculty of the mind - the imagination - could play in political argument. I have also been concerned to widen the scope of critical activity in the period. In 1992, I co-edited Beyond Romanticism with Stephen Copley, a collection of essays by young British Romanticists at a significant turning-point in the study of Romanticism.

In my first book, Thomas De Quincey's Reluctant Autobiography, I considered Romantic writings in relationship to their magazine context. At that early stage of my career, I was interested in challenging the isolated purity of a Romantic aesthetic which often divorced writing from its social and political contexts. I was particularly interested in the correlation between reluctance or recalcitrance and Romantic vision i.e. how vision proceeds from difficulty or pressure.

William Hazlitt was the subject of my first sustained research after my work on De Quincey and provided me with my first insight into the complex way in which the aesthetic carried ideological baggage along with it. Hazlitt's admiration for Burke began a long-standing enquiry into the relationship between politics and aesthetics in Romantic prose. This culminated in the publication of Imagination Under Pressure: Politics, Aesthetics, and Utility 1789-1832 (CUP 2000) and in a collection of essays on Burke's Reflections for Manchester University Press's Texts in Culture series in the same year.

My more recent work has taken a new direction: Romantic masculinities. For example, my book on John Keats for Palgrave's Critical Issues series (2005) focuses on gender and sexuality. This strand of research grew from my interest in the autobiographical subject and the nature of male confession, but has now developed to include a historiography of boxing in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, a topic which has been a prominent feature of my conference presentations and guest lectures over the last five years.

At the moment, then, I am working on Romantic period pugilism in relation to masculinity and national identity and have also begun research into the literary culture of Romantic period Liverpool, my home town, where I have a particular interest in William Roscoe and his circle.

I was Co-Investigator (with Dr David Higgins as Principal Investigator) of an AHRC-funded Research Network entitled 'Creative Communities, 1750-1830', which nvolved three workshops and related activities between 2013 and 2014. This developed previous work with colleagues at Leeds on the Creativity Project, which aimed to find ways of moving beyond concepts of genius, inspiration, and originality, and towards thinking about literary creativity in terms of collaboration, connection, and development. It comprised an international conference, Contesting Creativity, 1740-1830, a series of research seminars, and a special issue of the Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies, which I co-edited with Dr Higgins.

I also have a long-standing interest in contemporary English poetry. I am a poet and I also co-edit Stand magazine. My first collection, Waterloo Teeth, was published by Carcanet in 2010 and was shortlisted for the Forward Best First Collection Prize in 2011; my second, Frieze, was published at the end of September 2013 by Carcanet.

https://www.carcanet.co.uk/cgi-bin/indexer?owner_id=929


Jay Prosser

As a self-titled 'Reader in Humanities,' I guess I aspire to be something of a polymath. My research interests are (probably compulsively) eclectic and expansive. What drives me is a nexus of the self and the real best summed up by this challenge: How do I live? My grounds for exploring the question have become less personal but all the more urgent.

My first book, Second Skins: The Body Narratives of Transsexuality (Columbia University Press, 1998), looked at transsexual autobiographies and showed how the figure of transgender was pivotal to the queer theory emerging at the time. Not only the first presentation of transsexuality's 'body narratives,' Second Skins also returned to canonical texts. This led to Palatable Poison: Critical Perspectives on The Well of Loneliness (Columbia University Press, 2002), a coedition, with Laura Doan, in which essays classic and new debated the kind of narrative Radclyffe Hall's novel is. My work on body narratives then took me in American literature to John Updike's textured writing and the matter of race. I have contemporary interests and have edited American Fiction of the 1990s (Routledge, 2008), whose essays treat American writing of the fin-de-millenium in light of New American Studies.

My interest in visuality, which began with transsexual representation, drew me particularly to photography: the still visual most often thought of as a slice of the real. My book on photography, Light in the Dark Room: Photography and Loss (Minnesota University Press, 2004), settled on moments when photography has allowed realisation into loss. I have also written essays on photographers who interweave the autobiographical, including Nan Goldin and Gillian Wearing. As part of a collective of which I was leader but above all student, I considered photography's implication in atrocity: relief or repetition? This British Academy-sponsored international collaboration -- between photographers, news editors, museum curators, artists, academics and NGOs -- resulted in the co-edited collection Picturing Atrocity: Photography in Crisis (Reaktion Books, 2012), published in support of the work of Amnesty International; talks webcast @ http://www.photographyandatrocity.leeds.ac.uk/.

I have travelled with my interests in autobiography also. My last big writing project, just completed, is a family memoir, which is also cultural history, centring on the Baghdadi Jewish diaspora, and their encounter (and intermarraige) with the Chinese, in Southeast Asia. I am hoping that Empire's Loving Strangers: Journeys Through an Asian-Jewish Camphowood Chest will be out within the next year. Relatedly, I also led an AHRC research network on Ottoman Cosmopolitanism, an extensive collaboration between academics, artists, musicians, gastronomists and writers which sought to intervene in contemporary tensions by looking at transcultural exchanges in the former Ottoman Empire. We are currently developing the research for a special issue, 'Transcultural Ottoman Memories,' for the journal Memory Studies. I have also been immersed in the Cecil Roth archive at the University of Leeds, working in particular on Roth's extrraordinary work in post-Holocaust Salonical; essays based on this research are again forthcoming. Together with Eva Frojmovic and located in the Centre for Jewish Studies, I will be helping to run a seminar series in 2019, 'The Archive after Cecil Roth: Jewish studies, cultural history and the Cecil Roth Collection.'

https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/english/staff/1076/dr-jay-prosser


Vahni Capildeo

I joined the University of Leeds as the Douglas Caster Cultural Fellow in Poetry in August 2016.

I obtained my BA, MSt and DPhil from the University of Oxford before taking up a Research Fellowship at the University of Cambridge. Since then I have worked as a lexicographer at the Oxford English Dictionary; in academia at the University of Glasgow, the University of Kingston-upon-Thames, the University of Sheffield, the University of Greenwich, and the University of Leeds (Teaching Fellow in Creative Writing); and in culture for development as Programme Officer and Senior Programme Officer for Commonwealth Writers, the cultural initiative of the Commonwealth Foundation. The Judith E. Wilson Fellowship in Poetry at the University of Cambridge saw me develop my interest in collaborations and embodied practice. A Harper-Wood Studentship from St John's College, Cambridge, enabled me to focus on travel and non-fiction writing. I mentor poets through organizations such as Poetry London and Inscribe (Peepal Tree Press), in addition to self-employment as a creative writing professional.

Research interests

My current academic and creative practice-based research interests are in multilingualism, memory, place (beyond ecopoetics and psychogeography), objects and writing from objects (ekphrasis and phenomenology), intersemiotic translation, and collaboration in embodied work such as experimental installation / performance art and traditional masquerade.

https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/english/staff/636/dr-vahni-capildeo


Lucie Brownlee

I am a writer, researcher and tutor based in the North East of England with my curly-haired daughter and even curlier-haired dog, Brucie.

My memoir, LIFE AFTER YOU, based on my award-winning blog Wife After Death, is published by Virgin Books. A Sunday Times bestseller, it was selected as a Richard and Judy Autumn Bookclub pick 2015, and was subsequently voted to be the Reader’s Choice out of all eight Bookclub titles. It was adapted for TV by Georgia Pritchett under its original title Wife After Death and was selected as one of the top twenty scripts by British writers (Brit List: TV 2018.)

My forthcoming novel THE SONG OF ANNIE CHAPMAN was a Northern Writers’ Award fiction winner for 2018/19 – see latest news for more information. I have recently completed an exciting writing commission with New Writing North for Durham Book Festival 2018. Supported by Arts Council England, the project explored women’s voices from the ‘World Above’ the pits across the Durham coalfield and was presented at a stunning event at the headquarters of Durham miners at Redhills. Click here to read the commission, and here to watch the event.

I am currently Teaching Fellow in Creative Writing at Leeds University, having previously taught on Newcastle University’s undergraduate course. My doctorate in Creative Writing was entitled “The Grey Space: Notions of Loss in Writing Real Lives and The Sculptress, a work of creative non-fiction.” It explored the writing of real lives and creative non-fiction, specifically notions of loss therein. The Sculptress is a creative reimagining of the life of American artist Mary Callery. My research interests include life-writing and writing as a therapeutic response to loss.

I am a member of the Society of Authors and joint founder of ‘Writing Through Grief’ with BACP counsellor Nicki Walker, a programme which uses writing as a therapeutic tool in bereavement.

https://luciebrownlee.com/


Karl O'Hanlon

I joined the School of English in 2017 as a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow. My project is provisionally entitled Official Voices: Poets and the Administration of the Irish State, focusing on Irish poets and the governmental, diplomatic and cultural institutions of the Irish state. My first chapter explores W.B. Yeats's role as senator and his attempts at 'designing the ultimate island'; the second chapter examines Desmond FitzGerald, the trajectory of his career from proto-Imagist in London's bohemia to "man of action" in the GPO in 1916, and later a reactionary figure in Irish politics; the third chapter is on the poet-diplomat Denis Devlin and the transnational embassy of Irish modernism; chapter four is on Blanaid Salkeld and the Women's Writers Club, and the final chapter looks at Thomas Kinsella in the Department of Finance and T.K. Whitaker's economic blueprints for a modern Ireland.

I am a former Fulbright scholar, completing my Master of Arts degree in English at Georgetown University, before undertaking doctoral studies on the theological poetics of Geoffrey Hill at the University of York.

My poetry has appeared in Agenda, Blackbox Manifold, PN Review, Poetry, and Stand. My debut pamphlet, And Now They Range, was published by Guillemot Press in 2017. I am working on my first full collection.

I am the contributor to the ‘Modern Irish Poetry’ section in The Year’s Work in English Studies, and a member of the University of Leeds Poetry Centre.

Research interests

My research interests lie within modern and contemporary Irish, British, and U.S. poetry. Although my general reading ranges widely, I am particularly interested in transnational literary networks of the twentieth century, poetry and theology/philosophy, and modern poetry's relationship to governmental and cultural institutions. I am also interested in poetry translation, particularly French poetry.

My current research project is provisionally entitled Official Voices: Poets and the Administration of the Irish State, and examines poet-politicians, diplomats, bureaucrats, and the cultural arms of the Irish state in the twentieth century in a transnational context.

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/karl-ohanlon


Rachel Bower

I am a poet and Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow. Currently I am working on my second academic monograph, Transnational Collaboration: Poets of Leeds and Nigeria Unite, 1950-1970. This book will look at the relations between poets in Leeds and Nigeria in the 1950's and 1960's. I am the author of Epistolarity and World Literature, 1980–2010 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017). I co-edited a Special Issue of English Studies with Jacob Blakesley entitled ‘Tony Harrison: International Man of Letters’ (January 2018). I also co-edited a Special Issue of the Journal of Commonwealth Literature on the Crafts of World Literature, with Jarad Zimbler and Ben Etherington (September 2014).

I am a member of the University of Leeds Poetry Centre. I am also the author of the poetry pamphlet, Moon Milk (Valley Press, 2018), and the editor of the Verse Matters anthology (with Helen Mort, Valley Press, 2017). My poems have featured in Stand Magazine, New Welsh Review, Frontier Poetry, The Interpreter’s House, And Other Poems, Popshot Magazine, Strix, The Flambard Prize Winners’ Anthology 2017, Ink, Sweat and Tears and many others. My work has been shortlisted for several prizes, including the Flambard Poetry Prize, The London Magazine Poetry Prize and the Mslexia Poetry Prize. I am currently working on a poetry collection on encounter.

https://www.valleypressuk.com/book/108/moon_milk


Ian Fairley

Ian Fairley is a translator of German. He teaches in the English Department at the University of Leeds.

https://www.carcanet.co.uk/cgi-bin/indexer?owner_id=212





COMMUNITY

Visiting Writers for 2018-2019 include:

Season Butler, novelist and playwright

Nora Chassler, novelist and short story writer

Clare Fisher, novelist and short story writer

Peter Robinson, crime writer

Lucie Brownlee, novelist and nonfiction writer

Zaffar Kunial, poet

Pascale Petit, poet

Denise Riley, poet

Sandeep Parmar, poet

Jacqueline Bishop, poet

Previous Visiting Writers include:

Stephanie Burt, poet

Sean O'Brien, poet

John Burnside, poet

Kwame Dawes, poet and writer

Clem Seecharan, writer and historian

Leone Ross, fiction writer

Leontia Flynn, poet

W.N. Herbert, poet

Nick Makoha, poet

Kei Miller, poet and writer

Kathleen Jamie, poet and writer

Sinead Morrissey

Leeds Poetry Centre Reading Series (https://poetry.leeds.ac.uk/)

School of English Events (https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/english)