Alan Gillis

Professor of Modern Poetry


Alan Gillis was an undergraduate at Trinity College Dublin, then completed his MA and PhD at Queens University Belfast. He was Research Fellow at The Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at QUB, then Lecturer in Modern Irish Literature at The University of Ulster, before joining the English Department at Edinburgh in 2006.

Research summary

A poet and critic, Alan published his fifth book of poems The Readiness (2020)  with Picador, and in the USA with Wake Forest University Press. Previously, Wake Forest published Scapegoat and Other Poems (2016), which gathered work from four poetry books published by The Gallery Press: Scapegoat (2014), Here Comes the Night (2010), Hawks and Doves (2007) and Somebody, Somewhere (2004). Alan was selected as a ‘Next Generation Poet’ by the Poetry Book Society in the UK in 2014, has been shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot prize, and for the Irish Times Poetry Now Award, and was winner of the Strong Award for Best First Collection in Ireland. 

As a critic he is author of Irish Poetry of the 1930s (2005), and co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish Poetry (2012), both published by Oxford University Press. From 2010-2015 he was editor of Edinburgh Review. He has recently published essays and/or given conference papers on Ecopoetry, 'Colour in Modern Poetry', 'Satire in Modern Poetry', 'The Poetics of Place Names' and 'The Modern Irish Sonnet', as well as on the poets W. B. Yeats, Louis MacNeice, Patrick Kavanagh, Seamus Heaney, Michael Longley, Derek Mahon, Paul Durcan, Ciaran Carson, Paul Muldoon, Kathleen Jamie and Don Paterson. He is interested in poetics generally, especially concerning the modern and contemporary lyric.

He would welcome creative writing proposals, and research proposals in the area of modern and contemporary poetry.

View all 41 publications on Research Explorer