BA, MPhil, PhD (Cambridge); Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
I came to Christ Church in 2023 having previously held the Katherine Jex-Blake Research Fellowship at Girton College, Cambridge (2019–23).
I teach on poetry and poetics, with a particular focus on 19th- and 20th-century verse-writing. At Christ Church, I teach for Papers 3 (1830–1910) and 4 (1910–present day).
I work at the intersection of poetry and philosophy. My work takes its cue from Coleridge’s insight that poetry has ‘a logic of its own’ that throws it into competition with philosophy as a means of coming to know the world. I am especially interested in the ways in which poetry might enable us to apprehend those things that lie beyond the usual sphere of knowledge and experience. As such, my work often has a theological as well as a philosophical edge. Put simply, my work tries to answer the question, ‘What do we know when we read poetry?’
I am currently completely a book about the English poet and Jesuit, Gerard Manley Hopkins, SJ, entitled Gerard Manley Hopkins and the Manifoldness of Knowledge (Bloomsbury). The book is a study of how Hopkins thought 'thinking' happened and why it seemed to happen best when his attention was divided. My next book project, provisionally titled Hopkins Among the Modernists, considers the explosive impact of the posthumous publication of Hopkins' Poems in 1918 and 1930 on the ambitions and practice of modernist verse-writing.
I maintain active research interests in the work of Alfred Tennyson, T. S. Eliot, and Thomas Hardy, and Kathleen Raine.
Books and edited collections
Walter de la Mare: Critical Appraisals (edited with Angela Leighton and Yui Kajita – Liverpool University Press, 2022).
Articles and book chapters
'Ancient Greek Philosophy', in Gerard Manley Hopkins in Context, ed. Martin Dubois (forthcoming with Cambridge University Press).
'Visible Swans: T. S. Eliot and Walter de la Mare', in Walter de la Mare: Critical Appraisals (Liverpool University Press, 2022).
'Tennyson and the Gleam', Victorian Poetry, vol. 59, iss. 2 (Summer 2021), pp. 223–41.
'T. S. Eliot and the Point of Intersection', Cambridge Quarterly, vol. 47, iss. 4 (December 2018), pp. 343–59.
'Hardy's Apprehensions', Essays in Criticism, vol. 67, iss. 3 (July 2017), pp. 272–89.
'"How you call to me, call to me": Hardy's Self-Remembering Syntax', Victorian Poetry, vol. 54, no. 1 (Spring 2016), pp. 1–17.
Review of The Fire that Breaks: Gerard Manley Hopkins's Poetic Legacies, ed. Daniel Westover and Thomas Alan Holmes, Review19, June 2020.
'Modernist Poetics and the Secular Imagination', Religion and Literature, vol. 50, iss. 1–2 (Spring–Summer 2018).
'Hopkins' “Mixed Insight”’, Cambridge Quarterly, vol. 47, iss. 3 (September 2018), pp. 295–99.
'Critical Exchange: On "The Philosophy of Poetry", ed. John Gibson', Philosophy and Literature, vol. 40, no. 1 (April 2016), pp. 309–14.