Dr Reena Sastri (PhD, PGDE, MPhil, BA)

Teaching Fellow, Short Courses and International Foundation Programme, Centre for Open Learning


I grew up near Boston, Massachusetts, in the US and first came to the UK for a study abroad semester as an undergraduate. After completing my PhD, I held academic positions at the University of Oxford and the University of York before coming to Edinburgh. 


PGDE (Secondary English), University of Edinburgh

PhD, Boston University 

MPhil, University of Oxford

BA summa cum laude, Amherst College

Research summary

My independent research focuses on 20th and 21st century poetry (mainly American). I've published articles on poets including Louise Glück, Anne Carson, Robert Lowell, and James Merrill; a chapter on the 'Psychoanalytic Poetics' of Sylvia Plath,  Louise Glück, and Frank Bidart in the Cambridge History of American Poetry; and a book, James Merrill: Knowing Innocence. 

I regularly present at academic conferences including the meetings of the International Network for the Study of Lyric (INSL), most recently in Oslo (2023) and Lausanne (2019).

I teach a variety of Short Courses in Literature at the Centre for Open Learning, including:

  • Understanding Poetry
  • The Contemporary American Novel 
  • Writing Unreason
  • 20th-century American Poetry
  • Modernist Fiction

I also teach Cultural Studies on the International Foundation Programme and lecture in the Moving On programme.