Carol Ann Duffy: Poet for our Times, my latest monograph, was published in June 2016

'‘if you want a book on Duffy, Jane Dowson is the person to write it.’ (Peer-reviewer of the proposal)


See my article, 'What is the true standing of Oxford poet Elizabeth Jennings?’, in Oxford Today online, 23 October, 2016:





  • ‘”What country do we come from? This one?” Poetry and (Post) national identities’, University of Burdwan: 19 January, 2018. 
  • ‘”What country do we come from? This one?” Poetry and (Post) national identities’, Presidency College, 26 January, 2018. 
  • Co-organiser (with Professor Emma Mason), Elizabeth Jennings Symposium, St Anne’s College, University of Oxford 29 October 2016. 
  • In Search of Jennings’, Plenary lecture, One Day Symposium and Poetry Reading, St Anne’s College, Oxford, Saturday 29 October, 2016
  • ‘Poetry and a Public Voice: do we still need the poets?’, Invited for the annual memorial lecture, University of Cyprus, 22 September, 2016.
  • ‘And to be delivered entirely from humanity/This is prettiest of all, it is very pretty.’ (‘Pretty’) Stevie Smith’s humanity in a posthuman age.
  • Invited paper as a conference on Stevie Smith: ‘We All Have These Thoughts Sometimes’, 11 March 2016, Jesus College, University of Oxford.
  • ‘Poetry and the Medical Humanities’, Presidency College, Kolkata, 2 March, 2016.
  • ‘One hundred Years of British Women’s Poetry’, St Xavier’s College,  Kolkata, 2 March 2016
  • ‘Carol Ann Duffy: Poet for our Times’, Invited research seminar, University of Bedfordshire, 25 November, 2015.
  • ‘Carol Ann Duffy and the democratisation of poetry’, New Generation to Next Generation 2014: Three Decades of British and Irish Poetry, 13-14 March 2015, Institute of English Studies, London
  •  ‘Carol Ann Duffy and the democratisation of poetry’, New Generation to Next Generation 2014: Three Decades of British and Irish Poetry, 13-14 March 2015, Institute of English Studies, London
  • Paper on contemporary poets and medicine, ‘Women Writing Across Cultures: Past, Present And Future’, An international symposium at St Hilda’s College, University of Oxford 26 -28 September 2014.
  • Convened an open panel, ‘States and disruptions of dream by avant-garde women poets’ and gave a paper, ‘“I was like one dead, like a small ghost”:  Edith Sitwell’s “shy dreams”.’at The fourth international conference of European Avant Garde Modernism : ‘UTOPIA’, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland 29.-31, August, 2014
  • ‘Reading T.S. Eliot’s poetry in a post-secular age’, Religion, Myth and Philosophy in the Poetry of T.S. Eliot, University of Leicester, September, 2013.
  • ‘Sylvia Plath and a New Confessionalism’, invited speaker at Sylvia Plath: 50 Years On. Department of Continuing Education, University of Oxford, 1 June 2013
  • ‘The power of the periodical: The Freewoman, Time and Tide, The Bermondsey Book’, Feminism: Activism: Modernism, University of Cork, September, 2012.
  • ‘My main job is to translate / pain into tales they can tolerate // in another language.’ (Gwyneth Lewis, ‘Consultant’, 2003), Poetry and Medicine Symposium, Wellcome Institute, London, Saturday 12th May, 2012
  • ‘“Every disease is a work of art/if you play it rightly.” Reading Women’s So-Called Confessional Poetry’, University of Hull Research seminar, October, 2011
  • ‘ “ ‘Women’s Poetry’ is simply awful”: Edith Sitwell and the female affiliation complex’, Sitwelliana, a symposium on the Sitwells, University of Birmingham, September, 2011.
  •  ‘From fragmentation to fixity: written to electronic archives. Elizabeth Jennings-a case study’, Reclamation and representation: the boundaries of the literary archive, University of Exeter, 2-3rd October 2010
  • Convened a panel Panel: In and Out of Gender, and gave a paper, ‘“Every disease is a work of art”: Towards a New Confessionalism’ at: Contemporary British and Irish Contemporary Poetry Conference, Queen’s University, Belfast, 15-17 September 2010
  • Gave invited lecture to postgraduates in the English Department, University of Kolkata, 7 September, 2010. ‘The cracks / that grow between borders’: reading gender in literature in the 21st Century.
  • Panel Convenor: new approaches in women's poetry including a paper, ‘Towards a New Confessionalism’, at Contemporary Women's Writing: New Texts, Approaches, and Technologies, San Diego State University, 7-9 July 2010.
  • Invited to speak on using archives at Middlebrow Cultures, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow
 14th –15th July 2009.
  • ‘Reading the “confessional” in lyric poetry’, Poetry and Belief, University of Central Lancashire, 23-5 April, 2009.
  •  ‘Time and Tide (1920-76) and The Bermondsey Book (1923-30): Interventions in the public sphere’, Modernist Magazines and Politics, 1900-1939. Université du Maine (Le Mans, France), 6-8 June 2008.
  • ‘The Bermondsey Book’, Modernist Magazines Conference: ‘The Modernist Atlantic’, De Montfort University 12-14 July 2007.
  • Invitation to speak at seminar series on Modern and Contemporary Poetry, a collaboration between the University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes, 15 February, 2007.
  • Invitation to speak at a research seminar series on Modern Literature, University of Leicester, Spring, 2007.
  • ‘The Poetry of Sylvia Townsend Warner’, invited paper for Sylvia Townsend Warner: a Colloquium, Anglia Ruskin University, 23 Sept. 2006.
  • ‘“I fear the Word, to speak or write it down”: women, poetry and the twentieth-century lyric’, Women and Poetry in the 21st Century: Kicking Daffodils 3, UWE 6/7 Sept. 2006.
  • “Grigson, The BBC And The Arts”, invited paper for Geoffrey Grigson Centenary Symposium, St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford, 5 March 2005.
  • ‘Reviving dramatic verse by Charlotte Mew, May Sinclair and Anna Wickham’, part of and also organiser of panel ‘”Out of Key with [Her] Time”: women and poetry in the new sense’, Modernist Studies Association Conference ‘Modernist Cultures’, Birmingham, 26-29 September 2003.
  • ‘Modernist Women Poets’, plenary talk at Oxford University Continuing Education Day School on Women and Modernism, 27 September, 2003.
  • ‘“My poems move from feelings not yet known”: Female spirituality in the poetry of Elizabeth Jennings and Stevie Smith’, Radical Soul, Loughborough University 19 October 2002
  •  ‘“In those blissful days, her ruling passion was for poetry, not politics”’? Invited paper at Nancy Cunard Conference, APU 10 November, 2001.

  •  ‘“There is a sweetness in willing self-surrender”? Loss of Self in the poetry of Elizabeth Jennings, Kathleen Raine and Stevie Smith’, After the Deluge: Women’s Writing 1945-1960. De Montfort University, 7 July, 2001
  • Participant at colloquium on modern and contemporary poetry: ‘The Politics of Presence: Re-reading the writing subject in “Live” and Electronic Performance, Theatre and Film Poetry.’ Oxford Brookes University: 2-3 April 2001.
  •  ‘Poetry and The Listener: the myth of the “Middlebrow”. Invited paper for The Literature of the 1930s: The Text in History. 18 November 2000. APU.
  • ‘“I can ask questions too/You know”: the dialogic in contemporary women’s poetry’. Invited paper for conference Contemporary British Writers: 1960-Present Day. University of Leicester, 1 July 2000.
  • ‘“A change in times is this”: Women and Anglo-American Modernist Poetry’. Anglo-American Textual Relations, University of the West of England 5-7 July 1999.
  • Lecture on Twentieth Century Women’s Poetry to staff/student research seminar at the University of Glamorgan, 9 December 1998.
  • Participant at colloquium on modern and contemporary poetry, Oxford Brookes University, 31 March-1 April 1998 and 13-15 April 1999.
  • ‘Women’s Poetry and the Audenesque’. Also a Plenary Speaker, at The Literature of the 1930s: Visions and Revisions, Anglia Polytechnic University, 29 November 1997.
  • ‘The Future of Women’s Poetry’. Kicking Daffodils 2, Oxford Brookes University, 12-14 September 1997.
  • ‘Is there a Modernist Women’s Poetry?’ Invited plenary speaker at Gender and Modernism, University of Plymouth, 8 April 1997.
  • ‘Modernism for the Millennium: The Politics of Form in Modernist Women’s Poetry’. English for the Millennium, CCUE Conference, Loughborough University, September 1996.
  • ‘Politics and Women’s Poetry between the wars’. Women’s history Network Conference, Nene college, Northampton, 9 March 1996.
  • ‘Women’s poetry of the 1930s’. Main speaker at the first meeting of the Northern Seminar for twentieth Century Literature—Selected, Rejected, Neglected: Teaching/Reading the twentieth century—Sheffield Hallam University, 17 February 1996.
  •  ‘Textual Politics in Women’s Poetry Between the Wars’. Conference Paper at: Rethinking Women’s Poetry 1770 —1930, Birkbeck College, International Conference, University of London, July 1995.

Media/Public Events

  • Co-organised One Day Symposium and Poetry Reading, St Anne’s College, Oxford, Saturday 29 October, 2016.
  • In Conversation with Benjamin Zephaniah, Cultural Exchanges, De Montfort University, 24 February, 2014
  • In conversation with Meera Syal, Cultural Exchanges, De Montfort University, 4 March, 2011
  •  ‘Teaching and Reading Contemporary Women's Poetry’, Liverpool John Moores University, January 18, 2014, for postgraduates: 'Communicating More Effectively Within and Beyond the Classroom'. This event was one in a series of an AHRC-funded Collaborative Skills Development Programme, initiated by the Contemporary Women’s Writing Association
  • Initiator, lecture and discussion leader for ‘What Every Woman Should Carry: 100 years of women’s poetry anthologies’, The Saisons Poetry Library, Royal Festival Hall, London, 1 September 2010.
  • Kaleidoscope, December 1995. (Review of Women’s Poetry of the 1930s).
  • Interview (March 2010) with Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze, published on the accompanying DVD to her recent Selected Poems, Bloodaxe Books Leicester,. British Council Lecture tour of 3 universities in Bosnia & Herzogovinia, March 2008.


  • British Academy Small Grant £752 towards permission fees for Women, Modernism and British Poetry 1910-39: Resisting Femininity.
  • AHRB Grant for £13,153 for research leave Oct 03-Jan 04
  • British Academy Small Grant £4,020 to work on A History of Twentieth-Century British Women’s Poetry, co-authored with Alice Entwistle. Commissioned by Cambridge University Press. 2004.
  • British Academy Small Grant for £4272 to work on the Elizabeth Jennings archives, 2006-8.
  • British Academy Small Grant for symposium on Elizabeth Jennings, University of Oxford. Co-applicant with Professor Emma Mason, 2016.




  • External Examiner for MA in English Studies, Oxford Brookes University, 2007-10.
  • Invited on to the conference committee, New Generation to Next Generation 2014: Three Decades of British and Irish Poetry, University of London: Institute of English Studies, 13-14 March 2015.
  • Editorial board of Contemporary Women’s Writing.
  • Reviewer/Reader for Cambridge University Press, Palgrave, Routledge. Ashgate, Poetry Review, Feminist Review,


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