James Byrne

Reader in Contemporary Literature

Department of English, History & Creative Writing


I am a poet, editor, visual artist and translator. I was appointed at Edge Hill University in 2014 having previously taught at New York University and London Metropolitan University. I was ‘Poet in Residence’ at Clare Hall, University of Cambridge, in 2012 and received a Stein Fellowship (‘Extraordinary International Scholar’) from New York University, where I completed a Masters in Creative Writing then a PhD at Edge Hill.

I have previously taught on postmodern British and American poetry and fiction. At Edge Hill I am the MA Programme Leader and lead several modules on this course. I also teach undergraduate poetry modules and regularly supervise PhD students. My specialities as a lecturer and a supervisor include modern and post-modern poetries, innovative poetry and poetics, international poetry and poetry in translation.

I am co-Director of Edge Hill University Press and between 2002 and 2017 was Editor of The Wolf magazine, an influential and internationally-respected publication that published poetry from across the world. I am also the International Editor for Arc Publications and my translational work includes two book-length projects working with poets in Myanmar and in the Rohingya refugee camps (Bones Will Crow: 15 Contemporary Burmese Poets and I am a Rohingya: Poetry from the Refugee Camps and Beyond).

Of my own poetry, I have published several poetry collections, including The Caprices (a creative response to the painter, Goya, published in 20919), Everything Broken Up Dances (Tupelo Press, USA, 2015) and White Coins (Arc, 2015) and Blood/Sugar (Arc, 2009). I have also published Soapboxes, a pamphlet of poems that received a recommendation from the Poetry Book Society. My poems have been translated into various languages, including Burmese, Chinese and Serbian. My Selected Poems in Spanish was published in Buenos Aires in 2019. I have participated at conferences and festivals around the world, including in Myanmar, Libya and Syria in recent years, often at the invitation of the British Council.

A developed researcher on transatlantic poetry, I recently co-edited Atlantic Drift, an anthology of poetry and poetics from Britain and North America. At present, I am writing a series of essays on international poetries, fiction and a new poetry collection.

If anyone is interested in taking the MA course, I am able to respond to course enquiries. I am also open to new proposals at PhD level.


  • WRI1010 – Introduction to Poetry
  • WRI2010 – The Art of Poetry ‘ Land and Landscape’
  • WRI3016 – The Writer’s Workshop
  • WRI3010 – Poetry and Innovative Form

I contribute to the Creative Writing MA and also supervise PhD students (do email if you have a proposal for poetry-related postgraduate research).


Atlantic Drift: An Anthology of Poetry & Poetics (Arc Publications / Edge Hill University Press, 2017)

White Coins, Arc Publications, 2015 (UK)

Everything that is Broken Up Dances, forthcoming with Tupelo Press, 2015 (USA)

Myth of the Savage Tribes, Myth of Civilised Nations (co-authored with Sandeep Parmar), Oystercatcher Press, August 2014 (UK)

Soapboxes, Knives, Forks and Spoons Press, 2014 (UK).

Bones Will Crow: 15 Contemporary Burmese Poets, from Arc Publications (UK), July 2012, also published internationally, including a US edition from the University of Northern Illinois Press in 2013 (co-editor and co-translator)

The Wolf: A Decade (Poems from 2002-2012) anthology, Wolf Editions, 2012

Blood/Sugar, Arc Publications (UK) 2009 (hardback and paperback editions)

The Vanishing House, Selected Poems, Treci Trg publishing, Belgrade, (Serbia) 2009 (bilingual edition)

Voice Recognition: 21 Poets for the 21st Century, Bloodaxe 2009 (co-editor).

Passages of Time, Flipped Eye (UK), 2003


Essays on modern and contemporary poetry (including chapters on new British poetry and translation). (In progress)


(Selected UK/US)

Poetry Review, Ambit, Modern Poetry in Translation, Rialto, Poetry Wales, Salt Magazine, International Literary Quarterly, Times Online, PN Review, The Wolf (all UK), Jacket, Fulcrum, Guernica, Manhattan Review, Drunken Boat, Cimarron Review, World Literature Today, Kenyon Review, The Poetry Foundation, Prairie Schooner (all US)

Critical Prose


 from ‘Burmese Days’, Axon 5 (http://www.axonjournal.com.au/issue-5/burmese-diaries), University of Canberra, Australia, October 2013.

‘The Lucid Dreamer: Peter Redgrove’, The Dark Horse, issue 28, March 2012.

World Literature Today, Poetry Review, Poetry International, Asymptote (on Burmese poetry) 2012.

Various reviews and Centrefold, Poetry Review (UK), including ‘Letter from Manhattan’, 2010.

 The Poetry Writer’s Yearbook – Essay on How to Publish in Poetry Magazines, 2007.

Interviews with 17 poets, including John Kinsella, Saadi Youssef, Penelope Shuttle and Charles Simic (all published in The Wolf since 2004, along with various critical prose, reviews and editorials).

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