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Dr Scott McKendry B.A., M.A., Ph.D. (QUB) Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow


Research and Teaching Interests

Before beginning a Government of Ireland Fellowship at Trinity, Scott McKendry completed a doctoral project at Queen’s University Belfast funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council. Drawing together archival and practice-based research, his current IRC-funded project, titled ‘Outside the Imaginative Estate: Language, Identity and Taste in Northern Irish Poetry’, comprises a book-length study and a series of community workshops. Incorporating the epistemic methods of French philosopher Jacques Rancière, this critical study looks at lesser-known northern poetry – both recently-published work and that of critically neglected twentieth-century figures – exploring aesthetic discourse, literary networking and factionalism, canon-building, and the politics of cultural exclusivity within the northern tradition. Following his PhD thesis, which was awarded the Miss Margaret Cuthbert Frazer Research Bursary, this IRC project continues McKendry’s research into uncelebrated northern writing and his interest in literary historiography and linguistic approaches to criticism. His chapter on nineteenth-century song, ‘Diamonds that on Rocks do Grow: Revision, Language and Memory in the Ballad “Belfast Mountains” (c. 1813–1820)’, is forthcoming in The Oxford Handbook of Irish Song, 1100–1850 (OUP, 2021).

As well as his academic work, McKendry writes poems and personal essays. He has published widely in journals on both sides of the Atlantic and was the recipient of the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award 2019. His pamphlet, Curfuffle (The Lifeboat), was selected by the Poetry Book Society for their Autumn Choice in 2019.

At Queen’s University, McKendry worked as a teaching assistant and occasional lecturer at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. He has led seminars on modules in Irish poetry, Irish working-class writing and contemporary fiction, and recently convened a creative writing module at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry. Guided by the principle of transmitting knowledge into communities and conveying local experience into the academy, he has been involved in a number of initiatives by local community organisations. From May to August 2021, he ran an online creative writing workshop (Find Your Voice @ Scríbhneoirí an tSléibhe) at Glór na Móna in West Belfast and edited an anthology of work by participants.

Recent and Forthcoming Publications

  • ‘Diamonds that on Rocks do Grow: Revision, Language and Memory in the Ballad “Belfast Mountains” (c. 1813–1820)’, in Moyra Haslett, Conor Caldwell and Lillis Ó Laoire (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Irish Song, 1100–1850 (Oxford University Press, 2021).

  • ‘Geese in the Hammer’, Irish Journal of Anthropology 22.1 (2019).

  • ‘“Algebra of the Soul”: Adrian Rice’s The Strange Estate: New & Selected Poems (2018) and Jean Bleakney’s No Remedy (2017)’, Poetry Ireland Review Issue 127 (spring 2019).

  • ‘“Straight from America’s barbwired heart”: Tyehimba Jess’s Olio (Wave, 2016)’, The Tangerine Issue 3 (autumn 2017).


Dr Scott Mckendry
IRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow
School of English
Trinity College Dublin
Dublin 2


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