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Name: Jeremy Over

PhD: Creative Writing

Thesis Title: 'Light as Air': A poetics of wonder in the work of Ron Padgett


Thesis Description:

My research will explore, through a poetry collection and an accompanying critical thesis, the centrality of a poetics of wonder to the work of two New York poets, Ron Padgett. It will investigate the playful and formally various approach taken by these poets to refresh the ‘New World’ tradition of poetry written in, and intended to bring about, a state of wonder. 

What is meant by a ‘poetics of wonder’ and how is it evidenced in the work of Padgett?  Which writing techniques are most relevant to this poetics?

Are there links between a poetics of wonder and the concept of Buddhist ‘awakening’? What can be learned by viewing this poet's work through a Buddhist lens? 

How significant is the nonsense tradition and the absurd to this poet and what is the relationship between this and wonder?

Supervisors and Institution(s):

Luke Kennard

Department of Film and Creative Writing

University of Birmingham

Matthew Welton

School of English

University of Nottingham

Rona Cran

Department of English, Drama and American and Canadian Studies

University of Birmigham


Publications (please include full details with page nos. or web links):

Poetry in anthologies

  • New Poetries II Carcanet Press (1999) 
  • Visiting Wallace: Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of Wallace Stevens University of Iowa Press (2009) 

Poetry collections

  • A Little Bit of Bread and No Cheese Carcanet Press (2001) 
  • Deceiving Wild Creatures Carcanet Press (2009)
  • Fur Coats in Tahiti Carcanet Press (due for publication July 2019)

Critical essays and reviews: 

  • review of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art’s retrospective of the Boyle Family’s work for Poetry Review (2003); 
  • review of the anthology The Enthusiast Field Guide to Poetry for NAWE’s Writing in Education magazine (2008); 
  • articles on the work of the Austrian poet Friederike Mayröcker for New Books in German (2008) and for the Carcanet blog (December 2014);  
  • survey of recent British prose poetry for John Hartley Williams' issue of the Berlin magazine Hard Times (2009); 
  • review of On the thirteenth Stroke of Midnight: Surrealist Poetry in Britain, Carcanet (2014) published in PN Review 218, Volume 40 Number 6, July-August 2014;  
  • review of Ian Seed, Makers of Empty Dreams (Shearsman Books) and Threadbare Fables (Like This Press) published in PN Review 223, Volume 41 Number 5, May-June 2015;
  • article in Writing in Education magazine on Ron Padgett's pedadgogy of creative reading/writing: 'It's alright, students, not to write'. NAWE Conference Collection 2016 (2);
  • review of Ian Seed's New York Hotel published in 'The Fortnightly Review' available at: 

Scholarly / Public Engagement Activities:

year: pre-2015

  • Various creative writing workshops for BA and MA students facilitated at Universities of Essex, Cumbria, Manchester Metropolitan, Warwick and Chester and at poetry festivals for the general public such as the Essex Book Festival and 'Words by the Water' at Keswick
  • Poetry readings given at venues including Bolton, Essex and Cumbria Universities, the Whitechapel Art Gallery, the Poetry Society in Covent Garden, The Troubadour Coffee House, British Council funded tour of Berlin and the Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere.

year: Feb 2015

  • Lead Creative Writing workshop at University of Chester for 2nd year students on BA in English and Creative Writing

year: 2016

  • Lead two Creative Writing workshops at University of Chester for 2nd and 3rd year students on BA in English and Creative Writing
  • Paper presented on 'Ron Padgett and Creative Misreading' at the National Association of Writers in Education annual conference in Stratford-upon-Avon.
  • Weekend residency at Yorkshire Sculpture Park for writing fieldwork

year 2017

  • Further Creative Writing Workshops at University of Chester
  • Taking part in the 'Poets and Critics' symposium on Ron Padgett in Paris, 7-8 July, at the Université Paris Est-Marne la Vallée
  • Paper presented at the Centre for Contemporary Poetry at Aberystwyth University on Mind-wandering in Ron Padgett's poetry

year 2018

  • Further Creative Writing Workshops at University of Chester
  • Paper presented at York University's 'Poetics of Faith' conference on Kenneth Koch and nonsense poetry
  • Paper presented at Bangor University's 'Poetry in Expanded Translation' conference on Padgett's and Koch's encounter with the French language
  • Paper presented at University of Birmingham/s 'New Work on New York' symposium on 'lurching' in Padgett's poetry

Other Research Interests:

  • Creative writing pedagogy 
  • Ekphrasis - writing about visual art
  • Collaboration between creative writers and artists




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