My professional interest in twentieth century poetry was lit in my third year of university, in Helen Vendler’s course on Seamus Heaney. This led to a senior thesis on Heaney’s “poetic theory,” an idea I came back to when I returned to academia after a short stint working for an internet start-up in London, England. I completed a research MPhil on Heaney and T. S. Eliot at the University of St. Andrews, on the North Sea coast of Scotland, and then moved on to Balliol College, Oxford to write a doctoral thesis on poetry and ethics in the twentieth century, centering on the verse and prose works of Heaney, the Russian and (latterly) American poet Joseph Brodsky, and the English poet Geoffrey Hill, who was recently elected Oxford Professor of Poetry. After a short time at the University of York (England), I came back to Oxford on a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship, this time to Hertford College, a pretty little place with a serene quad and a venetianesque bridge, situated just across from Radcliffe Square and the Bodleian Library. I came home to Canada in 2010 to teach modern and contemporary literature of the British Isles.
My current research is on contemporary British and Irish poetry, etymology, dictionary studies (primarily the Oxford English Dictionary), and the Digital Humanities. I regularly post about work in progress on my research blog.