Edinburgh Research Explorer

Dr Alan Gillis

Senior Lecturer in English Literature

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Willingness to take PhD students: Yes


Alan Gillis was an undergraduate at Trinity College Dublin, then completed his MA and PhD at Queens University Belfast. He was Research Fellow at The Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at QUB, then Lecturer in Modern Irish Literature at The University of Ulster, before joining the English Department at Edinburgh in 2006.

Research Interests

A poet and critic, Alan published a Selected Poems in the USA with Wake Forest University Press in 2016:  Scapegoat and Other Poems. This gathered work from four poetry books published by The Gallery Press: Scapegoat (2014), Here Comes the Night (2010), Hawks and Doves (2007) and Somebody, Somewhere (2004), which won the Strong Award for Best First Collection in Ireland. Alan has also been shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot prize, and for the Irish Times Poetry Now Award. He was selected as a ‘Next Generation Poet’ by the Poetry Book Society in the UK in 2014.

As a critic he is author of Irish Poetry of the 1930s (2005), and co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish Poetry (2012), both published by Oxford University Press. From 2010-2015 he was editor of Edinburgh Review. He has recently published essays and given conference papers on 'Colour in Modern Poetry', 'Satire in Modern Poetry', 'The Poetics of Place Names' and 'The Modern Irish Sonnet', as well as on the poets Louis MacNeice, Patrick Kavanagh, Seamus Heaney, Robert Graves, Don Paterson, Michael Longley, Derek Mahon and Paul Durcan. He is interested in poetics generally, especially concerning the modern lyric.

He would welcome creative writing proposals, and research proposals in the area of modern and contemporary poetry.

Research outputs

  1. Late Negotiations - Ecopoetry and Kathleen Jamie

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. The Readiness

    Research output: Book/ReportBook

  3. Two poems

    Research output: Other contribution

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Research activities & awards

  1. University of York: Poetry Reading

    Activity: Academic talk or presentation typesInvited talk

  2. A Tribute to Ciaran Carson The Belfast Poet

    Activity: Academic talk or presentation typesInvited talk

  3. Ilkley Literature Festival

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesPublic Engagement – Festival/Exhibition

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Latest prizes

  1. Poetry Book Society Recommendation

    Prize: Other distinctions

  2. Shortlist: T. S. Eliot prize

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

  3. Shortlist: Irish Times Poetry Now Award

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

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