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Prof Philip Coleman B.A. (NUI), M.A. (Dub), M.Phil. in Anglo-Irish Literature (Dub), M.Phil. in Philosophy (Dub), Ph.D. (Dub), F.T.C.D
Professor in English

I came to Trinity in 1995, having read for a BA in English and Philosophy in University College Cork. I reflect on my academic journey to date here:

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 in College ( From 2018-2021 I was Registrar of Chambers.


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 Selected Letters of John Berryman, co-edited with Calista McRae, was 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 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); Critical Insights: David Foster Wallace (2015); and Reading Pearse Hutchinson (co-edited with Maria Johnston, 2011). I have also published several 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 am currently working on essays for three separate Cambridge University Press volumes: Robert Lowell in Context (eds Thomas Austenfeld and Grzegorz Kość); The Cambridge History of the American Essay (eds Jason Childs and Denise Gigante), and The Cambridge History of the English Essay (eds Jason Childs and Christy N. Wampole). Current book projects include a study of David Foster Wallace’s “short things” and a life of the Irish poet Pearse Hutchinson.


I contribute lectures and seminars, mainly on US American poetry and fiction, to a number of undergraduate and postgraduate modules offered by the School of English. In 2021-22, I will teach two Sophister seminars on US American essays and 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 wide 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. With Prof Mani Ramaswami, I am also currently co-supervising a doctoral project on poetry and the neurohumanities. I am particularly interested in hearing from students – and postdoctoral scholars – who would like to do research in the fields of modern and contemporary US American poetry and short fiction in the School of English at TCD.


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



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