Professor Lucy Newlyn

Emeritus Fellow

Lucy Newlyn was appointed as a Lecturer at St Edmund Hall in 1984. In 1986, she became the A.C. Cooper Fellow and Tutor in English and a CUF Lecturer in the English Faculty at Oxford University. She gained the title Professor of English Language and Literature in 2005.

She is an Honorary Professor at Aberystwyth University, an Advisory Editor of the journal Romanticism, a Fellow of the English Association, and a Patron of the Wordsworth Trust. Following in Bernard O’Donoghue’s footsteps, she has been literary editor of the Oxford Magazine since 2011 – a post which continues indefinitely. She is also co-founder and host of the Hall Writers’ Forum, which was launched in 2013. She retired in 2016, and is now an Emeritus Fellow still actively pursuing her research interests and other writing.

English Romantic poetry and prose. Influence, allusion and intertextuality in English literature. Reader-response and reception theory. The theory and practice of hermeneutics. Inter-subjectivity as a literary phenomenon. Elective affinities, literary collaborations and creative communities. Bipolarity and creative process.

During the tenure of her post in the English Faculty, Lucy supervised DPhil theses on a wide range of topics in English Romanticism. She is an authority on Wordsworth and Coleridge, and has published extensively in the field of English Romantic literature, including four books with Oxford University Press and the Cambridge Companion to Coleridge. Her book Reading, Writing, and Romanticism: The Anxiety of Reception won the British Academy’s Rose Mary Crawshay prize in 2001: “a signal contribution to British Romantic studies and literary theory.” Her most recent book, William and Dorothy Wordsworth: All in Each Other (2013) brings together many of her longstanding and recent research interests, and was selected as a TLS ‘Book of the Year’.

Since 2003, Lucy has also been working on the prose of Edward Thomas. Her edition of his book Oxford came out in 2005. This was followed by several articles on Thomas, as well as Branch-Lines: Edward Thomas and Contemporary Poetry, co-edited with Guy Cuthbertson. She is general co-editor of Edward Thomas, Selected Prose Writings, a six-volume edition for Oxford University Press. Together, she and Cuthbertson have edited England and Wales; and they are currently co-editing another volume, Pilgrimages.

A Chatter of Choughs, an anthology compiled by Lucy Newlyn

In 2001, Lucy compiled and edited Chatter of Choughs, a St Edmund Hall Anthology of poetry and prose about the Cornish Chough – the bird which features on the Hall’s heraldic crest. Working to solicit work from College members and poet-friends deepened her interest in creative communities. In making a second edition of the anthology in 2005, which was published in association with Hypatia Trust, she tapped into a different community. This entailed connecting with a number of Cornish writers and holding a competition in Cornish schools for the best chough poem.

As well as an academic, Lucy is a published poet and anthologist. She and Jenny Lewis were awarded a grant from Oxford University’s Institute for the Advancement of University Learning in 2002 to conduct a collaborative research/teaching project, based on workshops at St Edmund Hall. Their findings (together with the students’ writing) were published in Synergies: Creative Writing in Academic Practice (2003; 2004). Her collection Ginnel came out with Oxford Poets/Carcanet in 2005, and a second collection, Earth’s Almanac, was published by Enitharmon Press in 2015 and selected as a TLS ‘Book of the Year’.

Lucy was Poet in Residence for The Guardian in November 2005. She ran University Workshops on ‘The Craft of Writing’ with Christopher Ricks during his tenure as Professor of Poetry; and continued to run workshops in St Edmund Hall while in post. She set up the Hall Writers’ Directory in 2012, as a resource designed to draw attention to the Hall’s long tradition for creative writing.  As host of the Hall Writers’ Forum (HWF), she regularly posts and comments on writers’ work. She has participated in a series of HWF collaborative books and pamphlets, self-published online and in hard-copy as ‘Chough Publications’.  In 2015, she led the campaign to elect Professor Wole Soyinka as Oxford’s Professor of Poetry, using the Hall Writers’ Forum as campaign headquarters. In her work for the Oxford Magazine she enjoys reading and soliciting a range of submissions, as well as overseeing their publication.

You can read many of Lucy’s poems, published and unpublished, on her website: lucynewlyn.com.

In 2018, Lucy Newlyn published Diary of a Bipolar Explorer, her fifteen-year memoir about bipolarity with Signal Books. It has been described by her former student, the comedian Stewart Lee, as follows: “Lucy Newlyn’s account of her bipolar disorder isn’t a ‘misery memoir’, ready to clog railway station bookshop shelves with easy answers and monetisably manipulative content. Instead, her narrative hard-cuts reliable reportage into hallucinatory sections of paranoid delusion, pin sharp diary entries, hard won poetry, and sober reflective analysis. Newlyn doesn’t flinch as she explores the relationship between bipolar disorder and exactly the kind of mindset that has made her a poet and a writer.”

Lucy’s collection The Vital Stream, a sequence of 127 sonnets about the Wordsworth Circle in 1802, is complete – and will be published by Carcanet in association with the Wordsworth Trust in 2020, timed to coincide with the Trust’s celebrations of the 250th anniversary of Wordsworth’s birth. Lucy has also completed another collection of poems, Crossing the Beck: A Poetic Primer, for which she is seeking publication.

Newlyn, Lucy; Gravil, Richard; Roe, Nicholas, eds. (1985). Coleridge’s Imagination: Essays in Memory of Pete Laver. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521033992.

Newlyn, Lucy (1986). Coleridge, Wordsworth, and the Language of Allusion (2001 paperback ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199242597.

Newlyn, Lucy (1993). “Paradise Lost” and the Romantic Reader (2001 paperback ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199242580.

Newlyn, Lucy (2000). Reading, Writing, and Romanticism: The Anxiety of Reception. Winner of the British Academy’s Rose Mary Crawshay prize, 2001 (2003 paperback ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198187110.

Newlyn, Lucy, ed. (2002). The Cambridge Companion to Coleridge. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521659093.

Newlyn, Lucy; Lewis, Jenny, eds. (2002). Synergies: Creative Writing in Academic Practice. 1. Oxford: Holywell Press. ISBN 9780954508401.

Newlyn, Lucy; Lewis, Jenny, eds. (2004). Synergies: Creative Writing in Academic Practice. 2. Oxford: Holywell Press. ISBN 9780954508401.

Newlyn, Lucy (2005). Ginnel. Oxford Poets. Carcanet. ISBN 9781903039748.

Newlyn, Lucy, ed. (2005). Chatter of Choughs: An Anthology Celebrating the Return of Cornwall’s Legendary Bird. Penzance: Hypatia Trust. ISBN 9781872229492.

Newlyn, Lucy, ed. (2005). Edward Thomas: Oxford. Signal Books. ISBN 1902669851.

Newlyn, Lucy; Cuthbertson, Guy, eds. (2007). Branch-Lines: Edward Thomas and Contemporary Poetry. Enitharmon. ISBN 9781904634355.

Newlyn, Lucy; Cuthbertson, Guy, eds. (2011). Edward Thomas: Prose Writings: A Selected Edition, England and Wales. 2. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199558261.

Newlyn, Lucy (2013). William and Dorothy Wordsworth: ‘All in Each Other’. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199696390.

Newlyn, Lucy (2015). Earth’s Almanac. Enitharmon. ISBN 9781910392102.

Newlyn, Lucy (9 July 2015). “Selecting Oxford’s professor of poetry should not be trial by media”. Times Higher Education.

Newlyn, Lucy, ed. (2016). Dorothy Wordsworth: The Grasmere Journal. The Folio Society.

Newlyn, Lucy; Agyeman-Duah, Ivor, eds. (2016). May Their Shadows Never Shrink: Wole Soyinka and the Oxford Professorship of Poetry. Banbury: Ayebia Clarke. ISBN 9780992843670.

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