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Professor Paul Batchelor


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Professor in the Department of English StudiesRoom A70, Elvet Riverside 


I completed my PhD on Barry MacSweeney's poetry at Newcastle University in 2009. After that I worked for several years as a freelance writer, reviewing poetry and biography for various newspapers (selected reviews are listed below), and as a tutor for the Arvon Foundation and the Poetry School. I am currently Director of Creative Writing at Durham University. My research interests lie primarily in twentieth- and twenty-first century poetry from the U.K., Ireland, and the U.S. My current research is concerned with the film and TV work of David Lynch.

My first pamphlet of poetry was To Photograph a Snow Crystal (Smith/Doorstop, 2005), and my first full-length book was The Sinking Road (Bloodaxe, 2008). I have also published a chapbook of poems, The Love Darg (Clutag, 2014). My poems and translations have appeared in several anthologies and in newspapers and magazines such as The Guardian, The London Review of BooksPoetry, Poetry Review, The RialtoThe Times and The Times Literary Supplement. I can be heard reading my poems on the Poetry Archive. I edited a volume of essays, Reading Barry MacSweeney (Bloodaxe, 2013).

Esteem Indicators

  • 2018: Editors’ Prize for Reviewing: from the Poetry Foundation of America
  • 2016: Judge for the Michael Marks Poetry Pamphlet Awards:
  • 2016: Judge for the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry Prize:
  • 2015: External Examiner for Creative Writing BA and MA programmes: University of Aberdeen.
  • 2014: External Examiner for Creative Writing BA and MA programmes: University of Manchester.
  • 2011: Arthur Welton Award: from the Arthur Welton Foundation and the Authors’ Foundation.
  • 2010: Arts Council Bursary:
  • 2009: Edwin Morgan International Poetry Competition:
  • 2009: Judge for the Basil Bunting Poetry Competition:
  • 2009: The Times Stephen Spender Prize for Translation:
  • 2009: Writer of the Year: Journal Culture Awards.
  • 2008: Glen Dimplex Best First Collection Prize: shortlist.
  • 2008: Jerwood-Aldeburgh Best First Collection Prize: shortlist.
  • 2005: Poetry Business Prize: judged by Simon Armitage.
  • 2004: AHRC Doctoral Award (3 years): Newcastle University
  • 2004: Andrew Waterhouse Award: from New Writing North.
  • 2003: Eric Gregory Award: from the Society of Authors.


Authored book

  • Batchelor, Paul (2014). The Love Darg. Thame Clutag Press.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2008). The Sinking Road. Bloodaxe.

Chapter in book

Edited book

  • Batchelor, Paul (2013). Reading Barry MacSweeney. Bloodaxe Books.

Newspaper/Magazine Article

  • Batchelor, Paul (2019). On Barry MacSweeney’s Unselected Poems. The Times Literary Supplement (6071): 12-13.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2019). Modern Poetry's Sentimentality Problem (on Niall Campbell and Frederick Seidel). The New Statesman 51.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2018). Forms and functions (on Danez Smith and Hannah Sullivan). The New Statesman (October 19): 51.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2018). Loaded with Ore (on Leontia Flynn and Ishion Hutchinson). The New Statesman (April 27): 52.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2018). Heidegger's Hammer (on Nuar Alsadir and Ahren Warner). The New Statesman (January 19): 49.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2018). Weight of the Word, Weight of the World (on Geoffrey Hill). Poetry July/August.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2017). Raising a Cain (on Emily Berry, Luke Kennard, and Jacob Polley). The New Statesman (April 21): 46-47.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2017). Burden of Proof (on Tara Bergin, Nick Makoha, and Stephen Romer). The New Statesman (October 20): 43.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2017). Where It Hurts (on Colette Bryce, Adam O'Riordan, Ocean Vuong). The New Statesman (July 14): 46.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2016). Safe from Devaluation (on Jay Bernard, Polly Clark, John Greening, Fiona Moore, Jocelyn Page, Camille Ralphs, Peter Riley, Richard Scott, Lizzi Thistlethwayte, Gregory Woods). The Times Literary Supplement (No. 5932).
  • Batchelor, Paul (2016). Echoes and Answers (on Basil Bunting). Poetry Review 106(3).
  • Batchelor, Paul (2015). Hide and Seek (on Liz Berry, Vona Groarke, and Rowan Williams). The New Statesman (January 23): 42-43.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2015). Praise Songs (on Louise Gluck and Peter Fallon). Poetry Ireland Review (117): 76-79.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2014). Follow the Clue (on Richard Burton and Basil Bunting). The Times Literary Supplement (June 18): 3-4.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2014). Robin Robertson, Sailing the Forest: Selected Poems. Tower Poetry Reviews 2004-2014 278-286.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2014). How Perilous Is It To Choose? (on Seamus Heaney). Poetry Ireland Review (113): 50-53.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2014). Style Over Substance (on Ruth Padel, David Harsent, and Michael Longley). The New Statesman (September 5): 39.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2013). Spelling It Out (on Billy Collins and August Kleinzahler). The New Statesman (December 19): 53.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2012). Geoffrey Hill's Measured Words. The Times Literary Supplement 12-13.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2012). The Alien at the Window (on Jamie McKendrick). Guardian (October 26): 14.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2012). Voice from Tiananmen (on Liu Xiaobo). Guardian (August 17): 14.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2012). In the Swim of Life (on Christy Ducker, Emily Hasler, A.B. Jackson, Jane McKie, Tony Williams, Matthew Welton). Guardian (March 16): 14.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2012). Monument to Posterity (on William Wordsworth). Guardian (May 5): 14.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2012). The Glass Overflows (on Peter Redgrove). Guardian (February 10): 14.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2012). Pain and Labour (on F.T. Prince). Guardian (October 12): 14.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2012). Greetings to the Solitary (on Robert Fraser and David Gascoyne). The Times Literary Supplement (No. 5697): 7-8.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2012). Boxing and Buns (on T.S. Eliot). Guardian (July 13): 8.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2011). Root and Branch (on Tomas Transtromer). Guardian (June 18): 14.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2011). Where the World Ships Landed Poverty (on Les Murray). Guardian (January 22): 14.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2011). Red House (on Sasha Dugdale). Guardian (August 26): 12.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2011). Peter Reading's Last Collection. The Times Literary Supplement (No. 5669): 22.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2011). Farmers Cross (on Bernard O'Donoghue). Guardian (July 23): 14.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2011). Lobe Scarps & Finials (on Geraldine Monk). Guardian (July 16): 14.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2011). Not Even a Couch (on C.K. Williams). The Times Literary Supplement 24.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2011). Moments Outside History (on Sean O'Brien). Guardian (May 7): 14.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2011). Sweet Home (on John Burnside). The Times Literary Supplement (No. 5670): 26.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2011). Songs of Love and Politics (on Sorley MacLean). Guardian (December 30): 12.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2010). Old Times, New Realities (on Seamus Heaney). The Times (September 4): 11.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2010). Cities of Struggle (on Jo Shapcott and Elaine Feinstein). The Times (June 26): 11.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2010). How Snow Falls (on Craig Raine). The Times (December 11): 11.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2010). On the Trains (on Patrick McGuinness). The Times Literary Supplement 26.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2010). A Cure for Woodness (on Michael Haslam). Guardian (October 9): 14.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2010). Private Communication (on Roy Fisher). Guardian (June 26): 14.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2010). This Must Be Happiness (on Edwin Morgan). Guardian (November 20): 14.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2010). Whale Under Canvas (on Simon Armitage). Guardian (June 5): 14.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2010). Master of Trivia (on Derek Mahon). Guardian (May 8): 14.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2010). A Thunder of Blood (on Sinéad Morrissey). Guardian (March 13): 9.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2009). Scotland’s Best-Loved Poet (interview with Edwin Morgan). The Times (September 19): 8.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2009). On David Constantine, Jane Draycott, Pauline Stainer, Carrie Etter. The Times (August 22): 11.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2009). On Rainer Maria Rilke's The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge. The Times (August 22): 10.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2009). On Edmund White's biography of Rimbaud. The Times (July 22): 10.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2009). How to Hum Along with the Greats (interview with Seamus Heaney). The Times (November 7): 11.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2009). The Right to 'Speak Proper' (on Tom Leonard). Guardian (October 17): 14.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2009). Return of the Native (on Basil Bunting). Guardian (July 4): 14.
  • Batchelor, Paul (2008). On Patience Agbabi, Mick Imlah, Jorie Graham. The Times (June 20).
  • Batchelor, Paul (2007). On Martin Espada, Durs Grunbein, Mervyn Morris, Togara Muzanenhamo. Poetry Review 97(1).
  • Batchelor, Paul (2006). On Lorna Goodison, Philip Levine, Dunya Mikhail. Poetry Review 96(4).
  • Batchelor, Paul (2006). On Penelope Shuttle. Poetry Review 96(3).
  • Batchelor, Paul (2004). Inside from the Start (on Ken Smith). Poetry Review 94(3).
  • Batchelor, Paul (2003). On Barry MacSweeney. Poetry Review 93(3).
  • Batchelor, Paul (2003). On Barry MacSweeney and Guillaume Apollinaire. Modern Poetry in Translation 3(3): 131-136.

Supervision students