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Dr Philip Coleman B.A. (NUI), M.A. (Dub), M.Phil. (Dub), Ph.D. (Dub), F.T.C.D
Associate Professor

I came to Trinity in 1995, having read for a BA in English and Philosophy in University College Cork. After completing an MPhil in Anglo-Irish Literature in TCD in 1996, I wrote a PhD thesis on the poetry of John Berryman, which I completed in 2001. My first academic appointments were in UCD as a Postdoctoral Fellow (2002) and in UCC as a Temporary Lecturer (2002-03). I was appointed to a Lectureship in English (Broad Curriculum) in Trinity in 2003. In 2006 I was appointed to a permanent lectureship in English Studies (Literature of the Americas), and in 2006-07 I was first Director of the MPhil in Literatures of the Americas program. In 2008 and 2012 I was Visiting Associate Professor in the Department of English at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, and in 2009 I was Visiting Professor in the English Department at the Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary.

In 2015, I was made a Fellow of Trinity College Dublin. I am currently serving as Junior Dean and Registrar of Chambers in College.


My research to date has focused mainly on US American poetry and contemporary short fiction but I have had a special interest in the poetry of John Berryman since the 1990s. The culmination of my research on Berryman to date is The Selected Letters of John Berryman, co-edited with Calista McRae and published by Harvard University Press in 2020.

In addition to several essays and articles on Berryman, I have also published the following books: John Berryman’s Public Vision: re-locating ‘the scene of disorder’ (2014), Berryman’s Fate: A Centenary Celebration in Verse (2014), John Berryman: Centenary Essays (co-edited with Peter Campion, 2017) and ‘After thirty Falls’: New Essays on John Berryman (co-edited with Philip McGowan, 2007).

Other recent publications include: Robert Lowell and Irish Poetry (co-edited with Eve Cobain, 2020), George Saunders: Critical Essays (co-edited with Steve Gronert Ellerhoff, 2017), BLAST at 100: A Modernist Magazine Reconsidered (co-edited with Kathryn Milligan and Nathan O’Donnell, 2017), and Critical Insights: David Foster Wallace (2015). I have also published essays in the last few years on topics including the short story and the city, the poetry of Peter Gizzi, Flannery O’Connor and contemporary Irish fiction, Dylan Thomas and US American poetry, the poetry of Maurice Scully, teaching David Foster Wallace’s short fiction and David Foster Wallace’s engagements with poetry. I have been commissioned to write an essay on Robert Lowell and John Berryman for a volume on Robert Lowell in Context (Cambridge University Press), as well as essays for the Cambridge History of the American Essay and the Cambridge History of the English Essay. Current book projects include a study of David Foster Wallace’s “short things” and a book on the ways that philosophers read poems. I am also committed to writing a life of the Irish poet Pearse Hutchinson, which I intend to publish in the poet’s centenary year in 2027.


I contribute lectures and seminars to a number of undergraduate and postgraduate modules offered by the School of English. I am not teaching in Michaelmas Term 2020, but in Hilary Term 2021 I will teach a Sophister option on the US American essay. I will also coordinate the Senior Fresh module ‘Modernisms: Making it New’.

I welcome the opportunity to supervise postgraduate research projects across the fields of modern and contemporary Anglophone poetry and fiction. Students working under my supervision have completed PhDs on a variety of topics, including the Black Mountain poets, David Foster Wallace, Raymond Carver, Roberto Bolaño, Delmore Schwartz, representations of animality in American poetry, Ted Hughes’ engagements with American literature, the short fiction of Ray Bradbury and Kurt Vonnegut, the poetics of e.e. cummings and Mina Loy, Asian-American poetry and Canadian short fiction. I am also currently supervising a doctoral project on poetry and the neurohumanities. I welcome inquiries from students interested in doing doctoral research in these and related fields, but I am especially interested in hearing from students who wish to do research on the following topics: John Berryman; David Foster Wallace; George Saunders; US American essays.


Dr Philip Coleman
Room 4020
Arts Building
Trinity College
Dublin 2
Telephone: +353-1-896 1907



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