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Dr Ed Luker

PhD in English Literature

Ed Luker Profile

Aside from J.H. Prynne I have a catholic array of research interests across twentieth and twenty first century Anglophone literature. I am particularly interested in contemporary discussions around Lyric Poetry and identity, and the opposition between autonomous and social readings of the lyric. I am also interested in re-thinking the history of American modernism (pre- and post-war) through lyric’s relation to the idiom, vernacular and the ‘folk’, as way of re-historicising modernism’s relation to the racial politics of the United States. At Northumbria, I have taught on the modules 'Modern American Poetry' and 'Modernism and Modernity'. Outside of academia, I have several years’ experience as a teacher of English as a Foreign Language. I am also a poet and the author of three chapbooks Peak Return (Shit Valley, 2014), Headlost (RIVET., 2014) and The Sea Together (Materials, 2016). In 2016 a long prose-poem entitled Universal Attainment Centre was short-listed for the Bookworks’ Semina Series. I frequently publish in small press magazines and online. I have read in London, Brighton, Cambridge, Berlin, Hamburg, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Michigan. The work on this project is continuing. I run the semi-regular RIVET. reading series and occasionally publish small chapbooks and magazines. Hear me read from my work here.


Dr Melanie Waters

Research Themes & Scholarly Interests

Contemporary poetry and poetics, Modernism and Modernity, English Romanticism, The Frankfurt School, historical materialism, Lyric studies, Critical Theory, poetry and identity.

  • MA Critical Theory (University of Sussex)
  • BA English Literature and Philosophy (University of Sussex)

I am undertaking my PhD research on post-war literary modernism, examining the work of Ezra Pound, Charles Olson and J. H. Prynne. The focus of this project is to look at how Prynne’s poetry responds to the challenges of the work of Pound and Olson. The aim is to better contextualize what specifically it is that certain arguments within Prynne’s poetry and research are responding to. This is done through a mixture of comparative and distinctive close reading combined with archival research (focussing on Prynne’s letters) as well as providing historical context. My contention is that each of Pound, Olson and Prynne’s poetry provides the reader with a specific argument about what it means to pay attention to both the poem and also the external world. These poetic arguments about attention relate very closely to each poet’s political beliefs: Pound’s fascism, Olson’s democratic renewal and Prynne’s Maoism. Furthermore, my research is an attempt to move away from recent philological or exegetical readings on Prynne by utilising a broader looking method of contextualisation through comparison.

'"Her twilight sparkle": Reflections In and On Connie Scozzaro’s "Women, Swum Through The Cracks"', Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry 7.2 (forthcoming).

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