Dr Patrick Errington



Dr Patrick James Errington is a Canadian-born poet, critic, translator, and academic. His poems appear regularly in magazines, journals, and anthologies such as The Poetry Review, The Cincinnati Review, Narrative, Boston Review, The Iowa Review, Best New Poets, Best New British and Irish Poets, Poets.org, Oxford Poetry, Copper Nickel, West Branch, and others. His work has also won or been commended for a number of international prizes, including The National Poetry Competition, the Wigtown Poetry Competition, The London Magazine Poetry Competition, the McLellan Poetry Prize, the Plough Prize, and the Poetry International Prize. Patrick was the recipient of the 2020 Callan Gordon Award from the Scottish Book Trust and the 2022 winner of the prestigious RBC Bronwen Wallace Award from the Writers' Trust of Canada.  Patrick is the author of three collections of poems, Glean (ignitionpress, 2018), Field Studies (Clutag Press, 2019), and The Swailing (McGill-Queens University Press, 2023). Meanwhile his French translation of PJ Harvey and Seamus Murphey’s The Hollow of the Hand was released by Éditions l’Âge d’Homme in 2017. Further translations, of French-Romanian poet Hamid Tibouchi and the French philosopher E. M. Cioran's Notebooks 1957–1972 are forthcoming from Broken Sleep Books and New York Review Books respectively. In addition, Patrick has worked in an editorial capacity for several publications, including The New Yorker, The Columbia Journal, and The Scores, and his critical writing appears in magazines like Poetry London and The Compass.

Patrick's current academic research is distinctly interdisciplinary and collaborative, blending literary theory, cognitive psychology, phenomenological, ecological, and linguistic philosophy, translation theory, and creative writing to explore other-than-critical modes of literary response, their effects on the reading process, and their potential to expand humanities study and impact mental health.

A graduate of the University of Alberta (BA, 2011), where he studied under Nobel laureate Derek Walcott, Patrick also holds an MFA (Master of Fine Arts) in writing and literary translation from Columbia University (2015) and a PhD for his research in literary theory and enactive cognition under Profs John Burnside and Don Paterson at the University of St Andrews (2018). He has taught literature, literary theory, and creative writing at Columbia University and at numerous universities around Scotland, including Edinburgh Napier, the University of Dundee, the University of St Andrews, and the University of Edinburgh. 

(Photo credit: Laura Meek)


PhD, Poetic Theory, University of St Andrews

MFA, Creative Writing and Literary Translation, Columbia University

BA, English Literature, University of Alberta

Undergraduate teaching

Creative Writing (prose and poetry); English and Scottish literatures and literary studies.

Postgraduate teaching

MSc Creative Writing; MSc Literature and Modernity; MSc Translation Studies

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

I am open to discussing supervision of creative writing, literary studies, and interdisciplinary doctoral research relating to any of my current research areas.

Current PhD students supervised

Liam-Lucille Wright

Research summary

My current projects look to theorise, evaluate, and put into practice other-than-analytic modes of knowledge production and readerly engagement with modern/contemporary literary texts based on a transdisciplinary and collaborative research programme that blends literary theory, cognitive psychology, linguistics, mental health psychology phenomenological, ecological, and linguistic philosophies, creative writing, and translation theory, as well as through my own creative practices.

Current research interests

Enactive/embodied cognition; Other-than-critical knowledge-making; Literary metaphor comprehension; Affect theory and narrative; Gestalt theory; Postcritique; Mental health psychology; Ecological theory; Fragmentary narrative forms; Contemporary ecological poetry; Confessional poetry; Erasure, blackout, centos and other forms of responsive writing; Translation

Project activity

I am currently PI on a a series of research project using fNIRS (functional near-infrared spectroscopy) and behavioural methods to examine the effect of post-reading tasks (including literary critical analysis, performance, or creative response) on the experience of reading figurative language and full poems. I am also a co-I on a Wellcome Trust Mental Health Data Prize project examining the effects of reading on adolescent mental health and developing a tool to aid this analysis, as well as PI on related Wellcome Trust iTPA grants seeking to develop and test a digital reading/writing tool to support adolescent mental wellbeing and literacy.

Meanwhile, I am currently working on a translation of philosopher E.M. Cioran's nonfiction Notebooks for New York Review Books, a translation of French-Algerian artist and poet Hamid Tibouchi's poetry, as well as a new poetry manuscript and a research monograph on the role of other-than-critical knowledge-making practices for understanding literature.

Current project grants

Wellcome Trust Institutional Translation Partnership Award Accelerator Award: 'Methods, materials, and prototype development of Re:Writer poetry app to support young peoples' literacy and mental wellbeing'
PI: Patrick Errington; Co-Is: Dan Mirman, Sarah McGeown; RA: Simon Boyle

Carnegie Trust Research Incentive Grant: 'A multidisciplinary examination of the effect of reading tasks on poetic language processing'
PI: Patrick Errington; Co-I: Dan Mirman; RA: Nicola Burns

Wellcome Trust Mental Health Data Prize, Sustainability Phase: 'Developing a counterfactual analysis digital tool to illuminate active ingredients in mental health’
PI Aja Murray; Co-Is Patrick Errington, Dan Mirman, Josiah King, Ingrid Obsuth, Marie Allitt

Past project grants

Wellcome Trust iTPA Translation Innovation Competition: ‘Engaging users in the development of a creative ‘re-reading’ intervention for adolescents with anxiety and depression’
PI: Patrick Errington; Co-Is: Aja Murray, Dan Mirman, Marie Allitt, Ingrid Obsuth.

Wellcome Trust Mental Health Data Prize, Prototyping Phase: 'Developing a counterfactual analysis digital tool to illuminate active ingredients in mental health’
PI Aja Murray; Co-Is Patrick Errington, Dan Mirman, Josiah King, Ingrid Obsuth, Marie Allitt

CAHSS Challenge Investment Fund: 'Difficulty and Pleasure in the Comprehension of Variously Novel, Verb-Based Metaphors Using fNIRS'
PI: Patrick Errington; Co-I: Dan Mirman; RA: Melissa Thye

Wellcome Trust Mental Health Data Prize, Discovery Phase: 'Developing a counterfactual tool to illuminate the role of reading for pleasure in mental health'
PI: Aja Murray; Co-Is: Patrick Errington, Marie Allitt, Ingrid Obsuth, Dan Mirman; RAs: Helen Wright, Yi Yang, Zhuoni Xiao, Xinxin Zhu.

CAHSS Research Adaptation Fund: 'Difficult Language: Assessing Difficulty and Pleasure in the Comprehension of Literary Metaphors'
Co-I: Dan Mirman; RA: Melissa Thye
Papers: Errington PJ, Thye M, Mirman D (2022) Difficulty and pleasure in the comprehension of verb-based metaphor sentences: A behavioral study. PLoS ONE 17(2): e0263781. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0263781

Conference details



Papers delivered

'The Sweet Spot: The "Optimal" Defamiliarisation of Verb-Based Metaphors' | Annual British Society of Literature and Science Conference, University of Manchester | April 2022

'Useless Literature: Responding-To and Responding-With' | Uses of Literature Conference, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark / Online | November 2021

'Beyond Critical: A Cognitive Case for Responding with Poetry’ | Cognitive Futures in the Humanities, University of Kent, Canterbury | July 2018

‘In Kind: How a Co-Creative Response Encourages an Enactive Reading of Poetry’ | Educational Role of Language III, University of Educational Sciences, Vilnius | June 2018

‘The Art of Translation’ | 24th International Conference for Europeanists: Sustainability & Transformation, Council for European Studies and University of Glasgow, Glasgow | July 2017

‘Immersive Poetics: Creative Response Writing as an Enactive Approach to Poetry’ | English Shared Futures, University of Newcastle, Newcastle | July 2017

‘Body in Mind: Poetry and the Re-Embodiment of Abstract Thought’ | Contemporary Poetry: Thinking & Feeling, University of Plymouth | May 2016

In the press



University of Edinburgh, School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures: 'Lifting the Veil on Poetry': An Interview with Patrick James Errington

Columbia University School of the Arts: Interview with Patrick James Errington, RBC Bronwen Wallace Finalist, Winner

CBC 'Patrick James Errington and Teya Hollier win $10K RBC Bronwen Wallace Award'

Quill & Quire 'Patrick James Errington, Teya Hollier win 2022 Bronwen Wallace Award


Upcoming Public Readings:



Selected Past Readings:

  • Lovecrumbs Reading Series, with Nasim Rebecca Asl, Agata Maslowska, and Lindsay MacGregor | Lovecrumbs Cafe, Edinburgh | August 2022
  • Interpret Magazine Launch, with Tim Tim Cheng, Medha Singh, and others | Golden Hare Books, Edinburgh | July 2022
  • What We Read Now, with Jill Abram, Samatar Elmi, and Katie Griffiths | Zoom, September 2022.
  • Shore Poets, with Janette Ayachi | Zoom, August 2021.
  • CultFusion, Leith Festival, with Marjorie Lotfi Gill and Gerda Stevenson | Persevere Bar, 398 Easter Rd, Edinburgh, June 2019.
  • Junor Gallery Afternoon of Poetry, with Alan Riach, Bashabi Fraser, Douglas Dunn | Junor Gallery, 43 South Street, St Andrews, March 2019.
  • Latvian Literature Reading and Reception, with Roseanne Watt, Samuel Tongue, Tessa Berring, Elvīra Bloma, Raimonds Ķirķis, Ausma Perons, & Lauris Veips | The London Latvian Center, 72 Queensborough Terrace, London W2 3SH, March 2019.
  • Ignition Press Showcase, with Lily Blacksell & Belinda Zhawi | StAnza Poetry Festival, The Town Hall, Queens Gardens – Council Chamber, St Andrews, March 2019.
  • Latvian Literature Poetry Exchange Reading, with Roseanne Watt, Samuel Tongue, Tessa Berring, Elvīra Bloma, Raimonds Ķirķis, Ausma Perons, & Lauris Veips | NicePlace TELPA, K. Barona Street 21A, Riga, Latvia, November 2018.
  • Vespers Poetry Series, with Matthew Caley and Kathrine Sowerby | Scottish Poetry Library, 5 Crichton's Cl, Edinburgh EH8 8DT, October 2018.
  • St Mungo's Mirrorball, with Oli Hazzard, Sophie Collins, Elizabeth Rimmer, & Jane Hartshorn | CCA Clubroom, 350 Sauchiehall St, Glasgow G2 3JD, May 2018.
  • ignitionpress Chapbook Reading, with Mary Jean Chan and Lily Blacksell | Lighthouse Bookshop, 43-45 West Nicholson Street, Edinburgh EH8 9DB, April 2018.
  • ignitionpress Chapbook Reading, with Mary Jean Chan and Lily Blacksell | Garden Seminar Room, Kennedy Hall, University of St Andrews KY16 9AL, April 2018.
  • Oxford Literary Festival Reading, with Mary Jean Chan and Lily Blacksell | Oxford Literary Festival, St Cross College, Oxford, March 2018.
  • ignitionpress Chapbook Launch, with Mary Jean Chan and Lily Blacksell | Society Café, St Michael's Street, Oxford, OX1 2DU, March 2018.
  • ignitionpress Chapbook Launch, with Mary Jean Chan and Lily Blacksell | The Poetry Cafe, 22 Betterton Street, London WC2H 9BX, March 2018.
  • Launch of 50GS Journal, Issue Two | Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43-45 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1SR, February 2018