Dr Gareth Farmer

Senior Lecturer in English

Gareth Farmer

My research focuses on modern and contemporary poetry, poetics and experimental literature from across the world and is informed by literary and critical theory, stylistics and philosophy.

Drawing on the pioneering work of Raymond Williams, I am particularly interested in researching and writing about the intellectual, cultural and material development of literary forms and styles as well as the legacies of modernist aesthetic practices in contemporary writing.

I am also a poet and have published a number of chapbooks to date and have given readings all over the UK.

I joined the University in September 2012 and I lecture on units at all levels, including ‘Studying Modern Literature’, ‘Creative Writing’, ‘Poetry and Poetics’ and Modern and Postmodern British and American Literature.

I am the course coordinator for the BA English Language and Literature and the MA English Literature, taking the units, ‘Research Methods’ and ‘Literature and Modernity in the Long Twentieth Century’ on the MA.

I welcome applicants to the MA as well as PhD candidates in any area of modern and contemporary poetry, poetics and experimental literature.

Before joining the University of Bedfordshire, I worked as a visiting lecturer at the Universities of Sussex and Brighton and for an e-learning company.

Other references


  • Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice, University of Bedfordshire, 2013
  • PhD English Literature – 'Veronica Forrest-Thomson, Poetic Artifice and the Struggle with Forms', University of Sussex, 2012
  • MA Modern and Contemporary Poetry, University of Bristol, 2002
  • BA (Hons) English Literature, Goldsmiths, University of London, 2001

Teaching and research expertise

  • 19th, 20th and 21st century poetry and poetics
  • Modernism
  • Postmodernism
  • Stylistics
  • Literary and critical theory

External roles

  • Joint editor of the Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry poetry.openlibhums.org 
  • Senior Academic Consultant to the Veronica Forrest-Thomson Archive, Girton College, Cambridge
  • Literary Executor of the Estate of Veronica Forrest-Thomson
  • External Examiner for MA English Literature at the University of Plymouth (2020 - )

Past and present memberships

  • The International Anthony Burgess Association
  • Modern Language Association of America
  • British Association of Modernist Studies
  • Poetics and Linguistics Association
  • Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment


Scholarly Monographs

  • Veronica Forrest-Thomson: Poet on the Periphery. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017

Edited Books

  • (Ed.) Veronica Forrest-Thomson, Poetic Artifice: A Theory of Twentieth-Century Poetry. Bristol: Shearsman, 2016
  • I am currently compiling a manuscript of Veronica Forrest-Thomson’s collected and uncollected writing for Alabama University Press (to be reviewed).

Selected essays and articles

  • ‘Ode: Veronica Forrest-Thomson and the Artifice of Resuscitation’, in Edward Allen (ed.) Lyric Species. Liverpool: University of Liverpool Press, (forthcoming, 2021)
  • ‘The Genres of Contemporary British and Irish Poetry’, in Wolfgang Gortschacher and David Malcolm (eds.) The Companion to Contemporary British and Irish Poetry 1960-2010. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, (forthcoming, 2021)
  • ‘An Alternative Afterlife: Plath’s Experimental Poetics’, in Tracy Brain (ed.), Sylvia Plath in Context. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 329-39
  • ‘Languishing in ‘rent-a-Marx/Margaret rhetoric’: The phono-politics of Douglas Oliver’s The Infant and the Pearl’, Textual Practice (2019:<https://doi.org/10.1080/0950236X.2019.1627403>)
  • ‘The Intaglio Element in Prince’s Verse’, in Will May (ed.) Reading F. T. Prince. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2017, pp. 27-50
  • ‘Repeated Act of Intimacy and Harm in Andrea Brady’s Mutability’, in Eirini Kartsaki (ed.) On Repetition: Writing, Performance and Art. Bristol: Intellect, 2016, pp. 149-65
  • ‘Obstinate Isles and Rhetorical Sincerity: Veronica Forrest-Thomson on Ezra Pound’ in Richard Parker (ed.) News from Afar: Ezra Pound and Some Contemporary British Poetries. Bristol: Shearsman, 2014, pp. 161-83
  • ‘Proto Pseudo-Elizabethan literary achievement’: Style, Form, Life and the Space of Literature (with glimpses at Shakespeare, glances at Enderby, gapes at reviews and glares at Burgess)’ in Graham Woodruffe (ed.) Marlowe – Shakespeare – Burgess: AB and his Elizabethan Affiliations. Angers: Presses de l’Université d’Angers, 2012, pp. 65-76
  • ‘Selection Restrictions, Individuals, Acorns and Oaks: Veronica Forrest-Thomson and Analytical Linguistics’, Kenyon Review Online (December, 2009) n.p.
  • ‘Veronica Forrest-Thomson's ‘Cordelia’, Tradition and the Triumph of Artifice’, Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry, 1.1 (September, 2009) pp. 55-78
  • ‘Language, Dialect and the Affect of Violence in A Clockwork Orange’ in Emmanuel Vernadakis and Graham Woodruffe (eds.) Portraits of the Artist in A Clockwork Orange. Angers: Presses de l’Université d’Angers, 2003, pp. 51-68

Selected reviews

  • Ross Hair, Avant-Folk: Small Press Poetry Networks from 1950 to the Present (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2016), English Studies Vol. 99.6 (2018) pp. 715-17
  • Robert Sheppard, The Meaning of Form: Forms and Forming in Contemporary Innovative Poetry (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry 10.1 (2018), doi: https://doi.org/10.16995/biip.73
  • Peter Barry Poetry Wars. Cambridge: Salt, 2006; Tony Lopez Meaning Performance. Cambridge: Salt, 2006; and John Wilkinson The Lyric Touch. Cambridge: Salt, 2007, in Textual Practice 23.1 (2009) pp. 170-176


  • Strategic Forms. Bedford: ABBA Press, 2020
  • Diurnal Sweigh. Newton-le-Willows: The Knives Forks and Spoons Press, 2017
  • Pomes. Newton-le-Willows: The Knives Forks and Spoons Press, 2014
  • Dawn’s Resolve and Dusk Falls. Newton-le-Willows: The Knives Forks and Spoons Press, 2010
  • Mock Into the Brazen Day. London: yt communication, 2010
  • Apply Brakes, privately published, 2006
  • Webs, privately printed, 2005

Individual poems published in Vile Products, Dusie, Quid, Shearsman, Axolotl, Crater, The Paper Nautilus and Great Works magazines.

Contact details

T: +44 (0)1234 400 400
E: gareth.farmer@beds.ac.uk


School of Education and English Language
University of Bedfordshire
Bedford campus
Polhill Avenue
MK41 9EA


School of Education and English Language

Bedfordshire English

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