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Name: Kelsi Delaney

PhD: English Literature

Thesis Title (provisional): The cultural politics of form in 21st century anglophone Caribbean poetry

Thesis Description:

 In anglophone Caribbean poetry, form engages with multiple cultural heritages and poetic traditions, whose analysis is therefore crucial for furthering understanding of individual poetic works and for situating them within the diverse and rapidly evolving literary cultures that produce them. This thesis seeks to examine the politics of poetic form through exploration of a diverse range of poetic forms in the works of key contemporary practitioners. By examining cross-pollination between cultural influences in anglophone Caribbean poetry, the research also draws attention to the need for increased cultural diversity within poetry studies in order to better represent the innovative contributions to poetic form by Caribbean poets.

Poets feature in thesis include: Opal Palmer Adisa, John Agard, Raymond Antrobus, Adrian Augier, Andre Bagoo, Marion Bethel, Jacqueline Bishop, Malika Booker, Kamau Brathwaite, Christian Campbell, Vahni Capildeo, Kwame Dawes, Richard Georges, Lorna Goodison, Kendel Hippolyte, Keith Jarrett, Loretta Collins Klobah, John Lyons, Kei Miller, Jenifer Rahim, Shivanee Ramlochan, Claudia Rankine, Derek Walcott

Supervisors and Institution(s): 

Dr. Lucy Evans (University of Leicester)

Nicholas Everett (University of Leicester)

Dr. Dave Gunning (University of Birmingham)



  • Regional organiser for New Voices in Postcolonial Studies
  • Research Network Administrator for AHRC funded project: 'Dons, Yardies and Posses: Representations of Jamaican Organised Crime' (University of Leicester, 2016-19)
  • Research Network Administrator for BA funded project: 'Crime and its Representation in the Anglophone Caribbean, 1834-2018' (University of Leicester, 2016-19)




  • Caribbean Journeys, ed. by Sofia Aatkar and Kelsi Delaney (Leicester: Centre for New Writing, 2018)


Scholarly / Public Engagement Activities:


  • 'Sonnet form and the poetics of voicing postcolonial poetics', Society for Caribbean Studies (SCS), University of Essex (July 2017)
  • 'A New Form of Dialogue: Hybridity and ‘Multiple-Form’ Poetry
    ', Caribbean Studies Association (CSA), University of Havana, Cuba (June 2018)
  • 'Crossing The Line: Contemporary Caribbean Prose Poetry and Political Poetics', New Voices in Postcolonial Studies, University of Sheffield (October 2018)


  • Seminar Tutor on undergraduate module Reading English, EN1010 (University of Leicester, 2017)
  • Seminar Tutor on Reading English (University of Leicester, 2018)


  • 'Rhythm' for Reading English co-delivered with Dr. Lucy Evans (University of Leicester, November 2018)
  • 'Black History Month: Caribbean Journeys', public lecture with Q&A with Sofia Aatkar (Nottingham Trent University, October 2019)


Year: 2016 - 2017 

  • Presented research at Midlands3Cities Research Festival, University of Leicester (May, 2017)
  • Co-organised and co- hosted a conference 'Postcolonial Studies in Interdisciplinary Perspective' (May, 2017), University of Birmingham
  • Research trip to Kingston and Mona Campus, University of West Indies, Jamaica (June, 2017)

Year: 2017-2018

  • 'Caribbean Journeys' project through Journey to Justice and Midlands3Cities, with Sofia Aatkar. An article by J.H. Lewis (Nottingham Post) about the first workshop can be found here: The participants produced two collective poems, one about what home and the other about journeys, which can be found on the project YouTube channel:
  • Held a Caribbean travel writing workshop at Nottingham Central Library as part of Black History Month with Sofia Aatkar. Our session featured on Notts TV (October 2017)
  • Participated in panel discussion with Sofia Aatkar during October Dialogues at Nottingham Contemporary about our work with Journey to Justice and the National Caribbean Heritage Museum (October 2017)
  • Research trip to Bocas Lit Fest and St Augustine, University of West Indies, Trinidad (May, 2018)

Year: 2018-2019

  • 2 month placement with Renaissance One, facilitating the following:
    July 2018: 20 – 28 July: Events at the Bronte Parsonage and Museum and linked local venues that showcases a range of diverse artists each of whom is responding to the theme of ‘other’ and ‘otherness’ as part of the 200th birthday celebrations for Emily Bronte. 
    September 2018: a two-day festival of Caribbean literature at the British Library which responds creatively to the 70th anniversary of the Windrush. Headliners included Linton Kwesi Johnson, Kei Miller, John Agard and Valerie Bloom.
    September to November 2018: Organisation support for Shivanee Ramlochan’s Forward Prize book tour and launch at the Commonwealth Institute
  • Attended Royal Literary Fund True North Retreat (February, 2019)
  • Research Assistant for module re-development on Reading English. Co-led focus groups with students and staff about meaningfully diversifying teaching practise on the module as a part of decolonising the curriculum movement (University of Leicester, June-August 2019)
  • Research Assistant on the pilot project ‘Representing Gender-based Crime in the Anglophone Caribbean’ scoping representations of GBV in contemporary Caribbean literatures (University of Leicester, April-July, 2019)
  • Facilitator and student participator at the inaugural University of Leicester/University of West Indies Summer School (University of Leicester, June, 2019)

Other Research Interests:

  • Contemporary poetry
  • Theories of poetics
  • Philosophy of poetry
  • Aesthetics
  • Postcolonial theory
  • Transnational theory





University email address:

Twitter: @iambkelsi


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