Currently an English Literature academic at Edge Hill University, I have taught at the universities of York, Manchester, Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores, and, most recently, at the University of Salford, where I lectured in Contemporary British Poetry.
I gained my BA in English Literature, my MA (with Distinction) from Bristol University, and was awarded my PhD by the University of York.
The main focus of my academic research/publications is on gender and sexuality. Originally a medievalist by training, my published work now focuses equally on contemporary British Literature and I have particular research interests in the poetic work of Carol Ann Duffy and Lee Harwood and in the fictions of Susan Hill, Hilary Mantel and Sarah Waters.
I was appointed to the Peer Review College for the Arts and Humanities Research Council in 2016 and am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. My books include a study of medieval anchoritic ideology from c.1080 to c.1500 (University of Wales Press, 2012) and the first full-length monograph on the complete poetic works of the Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy (forthcoming for Manchester University Press), a project for which I was awarded a British Academy Grant.
I also won the British Academy Conference Scheme in 2019, and convened the first ever conference on the first female Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy at the British Academy in London: https://www.thebritishacademy.ac.uk/events/carol-ann-duffy-legacy-laureateship
I have also written for the national press, including the Guardian, the Times Higher Education Supplement, The Conversation and The Poetry Review. My media appearances include work for Channel 4 and I have hosted two television series: ‘About Books’ and ‘52%’ for Bay TV and have lectured for Waterstones.
At Edge Hill I supervise doctoral and master’s level work on gender, sexuality and contemporary British literature. I am also the chair of GenSex, an international Gender and Sexuality Research Group. I lead artdoesnotgetyouajob: an arts resilience network, launched at The Poetry Society, Covent Garden, in 2019. It supports those looking to establish and sustain viable careers in the wider arts. My undergraduate teaching is primarily focused on Contemporary English Literature and on the literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
- Contemporary British literature and culture, especially poetry.
- Medieval/Renaissance literature and culture, especially anchoritism.
- Critical & cultural theory, including gender, sexuality & feminisms.
- Sexuality, same-sex desire, suffering, space.
- Women’s writing and the development of female authorship.