Dr Patrick Errington

Early Career Teaching and Research Fellow


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, and he was the recipient of the 2020 Callan Gordon Award from the Scottish Book Trust.  Patrick is the author of two collections of poems, Glean (ignitionpress, 2018) and Field Studies (Clutag Press, 2019), 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 and his translation, with Richard Howard, of the French philosopher Émil Cioran's Notebooks 1957–1972 is forthcoming from New York Review Books. 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.

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: Rob McDougall)


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) and English literatures.

Postgraduate teaching

MSc Creative Writing

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


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 neuroscience, phenomenological, ecological, and linguistic philosophies, creative writing, and translation theory, as well as through my own creative practices.

Current research interests

Enactive/embodied cognition; Literary metaphor comprehension; Affect theory and narrative; Gestalt theory; Postcritique; 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 joint LLC and PPLS research project using fNIRS (functional near-infrared spectroscopy) to examine the relationship between difficulty and aesthetic experience in reading verb-based metaphors of varying degrees of 'literariness'. I am also working on a translation, with Richard Howard, of Émil Cioran's Notebooks for New York Review Books, as well as a new poetry manuscript and a research paper entitled ‘The Forest or the Trees? On the (Im)Possibility of an Ecological Criticism’.

Current project grants

CAHSS Challenge Investment Fund: 'Difficulty and Pleasure in the Comprehension of Variously Novel, Verb-Based Metaphors Using fNIRS'

Past project grants

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


Upcoming Public Readings:



Selected Past Readings:

What We Read Now, with Jill Abram, Samatar Elmi, and Katie Griffiths | Zoom, September 2021.

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