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Rory Waterman

Rory Waterman

Associate Professor

School of Arts & Humanities

Staff Group(s)
English, Culture and Media


Dr Waterman is Associate Professor of Modern and Contemporary Literature, and has been with NTU since 2012. He lectures on the BA English, BA Creative Writing, the MA Creative Writing, and supervises PhD students working in and on modern and contemporary literature and/or creative writing. Since 2013, he has also led the highly successful MA in Creative Writing.

Career overview

  • Associate Lecturer in English, University of Leicester, (2010-12)
  • PhD Modern Literature (University of Leicester)
  • MA English Studies (Durham University)
  • BA English (University of Leicester)

Research areas

Dr Waterman has published three monographs on modern and contemporary poetry, a volume of essays on the life and work of the 'tramp-poet' W. H. Davies (1871-1940), and several other edited volumes, in addition to three full-length poetry collections: Tonight the Summer's Over (Carcanet, 2013), Sarajevo Roses (Carcanet, 2017) and Sweet Nothings (Carcanet, 2020). His first was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and was shortlisted for a Seamus Heaney Award, and his second was shortlisted for the Ledbury Forte Prize for Second Collections. He recently co-led the AHRC-funded project 'Poets Respond to Covid-19', establishing partnerships with numerous arts organisations and UNESCO Cities of Literature. He is currently working on the origins and legacies of regionally-specific English folk tales, a volume of interviews with prominent poet-editors, and his fourth full-length poetry collection. He also co-edits the publisher New Walk Editions.

Dr Waterman welcomes research proposals from prospective PhD students working in any of the following areas (among others):

  • creative writing, especially poetry
  • contemporary poetry
  • 20th and 21st-century literature
  • class and modern/contemporary literature
  • writing and war/conflict
  • writing and censorship
  • poetic form
  • poetry and travel
  • literature about Lincolnshire/regionality

Some of the recent PhD projects supervised by Dr Waterman, several of which are critical and creative, have focused on: post-industrial Northern landscapes and their impact on contemporary poetry; a contextualisation of Basil Bunting's 'The Spoils'; the poetry of sea level change; archiving Nottingham's black heritage with a focus on poetry; 'mystery-box' fiction; hope and fear in contemporary women's writing; literary intertextuality and allusion in hip hop lyricism; epiphany in contemporary women's poetry; poetry and time; travel writing in Bhutan.

External activity

External examining appointments (programmes):

Oxford Brookes University, MA Creative Writing, 2022-26
University of Surrey, MA English/MA Creative Writing, 2020-24
Leeds Beckett University, MA Creative Writing, 2018-22
University of Northampton, BA Creative Writing, 2014-18
University of Plymouth, MA Creative Writing, 2013-17

Dr Waterman has examined PhDs on a wide range of topics at: University of Edinburgh; Durham University; Newcastle University (twice); Goldsmith's, University of London; University of Kent; Plymouth University, etc.

Publisher, New Walk magazine and New Walk Editions (2010-present)
Writer in Residence, Bucheon, Republic of Korea (autumn 2020)
Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature Collaborative Board (2017-present)

Dr Waterman regularly gives readings, talks, lectures and workshops nationally and internationally, and writes for many publications. A more detailed list is available on his external author website:



  • Essays on W. H. Davies. Waterman R (ed.), Anthem Press, 2021
  • Wendy Cope. Waterman R, Liverpool University Press, 2021
  • Poetry and Covid-19: An Anthology of Contemporary International and Collaborative Poetry, Waterman R and Caleshu A (Shearsman Press, 2021)
  • Sweet Nothings. Waterman R, Carcanet, 2020
  • Sarajevo Roses. Waterman R, Carcanet, 2017 (Shortlisted for the Ledbury Forte Prize, 2019)
  • A.W.H Davies Reader. Waterman R (ed.), Carcanet, 2016
  • Poets of the Second World War. Waterman R, Northcote House/ Writers and Their Work, 2016
  • Something Happens, Sometimes Here: Contemporary Lincolnshire Poetry. Waterman R (ed.), Five Leaves, 2015
  • Belonging and Estrangement in the Poetry of Philip Larkin, R. S. Thomas and Charles Causley , Ashgate, 2014
  • Tonight the Summer's Over. Waterman R, Carcanet, 2013 (Poetry Book Society Recommendation. Shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Prize 2014)

Chapters and articles (select list):

  • 'Walter de la Mare, W. H. Davies, and Georgian Poetry'. Waterman R. Reading Walter de la Mare. LUP 2022
  • 'Getting Up-fucked: Charting Philip Larkin’s Legacy in Parodies and Para-poems'. Waterman R. Yearbook of English Studies 51, 2021.
  • '"The nation rejoices or mourns": Literary and Cultural Ambivalences in Wendy Cope's Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis'. Waterman R, English: The Journal of the English Association 262, 2019
  • '"Oh so Loinerly": Geographical Transitions and the Struggle to Belong in Tony Harrison's The Loiners'. Waterman R. British Literature in Transition 1960-1980, CUP, 2019
  • Donald Allen's The New American Poetry 1945-1960. Waterman R. New Casebook on American Poetry Since 1945, Palgrave 2018
  • “Over Our Heads”: Charles Causley's "Loss of an Oil Tanker"'. Waterman R, 2013, The Explicator, 71.4
  • Becoming warm: matrimony and reticence in the poetry of R. S. Thomas. Waterman R, 2012. Bristol Journal of English Studies 1.

See all of Rory Waterman's publications...

Press expertise

Dr Waterman has spoken about modern literature, publishing and poetry at various events and in the media (radio, print journalism, podcasts, etc). He would be especially happy to talk to the press about modern and contemporary poetry, academic integrity, politics and censorship in literature and the arts, poetry reviewing, poetry/literary publishing, or about his own writing/creative practice or critical research.