Skip to content
Rory Waterman

Rory Waterman

Associate Professor

School of Arts & Humanities

Staff Group(s)
English, Culture and Media


Dr Waterman is a Senior Lecturer in English and Creative Writing, and has been with NTU since 2012. He lectures on the BA English, BA Creative Writing, the MA Creative Writing, and the MRes English Literary Research, 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 extensively on modern and contemporary literature, with a focus primarily on poetry. Much of his recent research has centred on belonging and estrangement in 20th Century British poetry, travel and conflict, and reconsiderations of canonicity. His monograph Belonging and Estrangement in the Poetry of Philip Larkin, R. S. Thomas and Charles Causley (Routledge, 2014) is important for its considerations of these poets in conjunction with the societal and cultural mores of their times, and also for being the first book to focus at length on Causley. His most recent critical monograph is Poets of the Second World War (Northcote House/Writers and Their Work, 2016), which reconsiders the cry of the 1940s, ‘Where are the war poets?’. He also edited W. H. Davies, The True Traveller: A Reader (Fyfield Books, 2015), which was Paperback of the week in the Guardian. Dr Waterman also recently edited an anthology of contemporary poetry about Lincolnshire for Five Leaves Publications. His current research is on W. H. Davies and his legacy, and British women’s poetry in the late twentieth century. He writes regularly for the Times Literary Supplement, and occasionally for many other publications such as Essays in Criticism and PN Review.

In addition to his work in literary criticism, Dr Waterman is a poet. His debut collection, Tonight the Summer’s Over (Carcanet, 2013) was a PBS Recommendation and was shortlisted for a Seamus Heaney Prize, among other accolades. This was followed by his pamphlet Brexit Day on the Balmoral Estate (Rack Press, 2017) and his second full-length collection Sarajevo Roses (Carcanet, 2017). He co-edits New Walk Editions, which publishes poetry pamphlets by major and new poets, and which developed from New Walk magazine, an international arts publication, which he founded with Nicholas Everett at the University of Leicester in 2010. He convenes the Nottingham Creative Writing Hub at NTU, which brings together and promotes writing activities at the university for students and staff.

Dr Waterman welcomes research proposals from prospective students in any of the following areas:

  • contemporary poetry
  • 20th and 21st-century literature
  • travel literature (especially poetry)
  • war literature (especially poetry)
  • travel and conflict in literature
  • regionalisms in literature

or any of his other research specialisms.

Doctoral projects supervised since 2017:

  • 2018 – ongoing: Paul Adey, ‘“I gave you power”: The weaponization of Literary Intertextuality in Hip-hop Lyricism’ (funded by AHRC/Midlands3Cities bursary)
  • 2018 – ongoing: Panya Banjoko, ‘The Politics of Poetry in Nottingham and the Role of African-Caribbean Writers and Networks in the 1970s and 1980s’ (funded by AHRC/Midlands3Cities bursary)
  • 2018 – ongoing: Tuesday Shannon Goacher, ‘Poetics of the Spatial Turn: Contemporary Poetry, Economic Instability, and Place Attachment’
  • 2016 – ongoing: Alyson Stoneman, ‘Contemporary Poetry, Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding’ (funded by AHRC/Midlands3Cities bursary)
  • 2014 – 18: Joanne Dixon, ‘Archaeology of the Moment’: A Creative-Critical Exploration of Epiphany in Contemporary Poetry (funded by AHRC/Midlands3Cities bursary)
  • 2014 – 18: Rebecca Cullen, Mastering Time: Time and Temporality in Contemporary Poetry (funded by AHRC/Midlands3Cities bursary)

External activity

  • External Examiner, MA Contemporary Literature and MA Creative Writing, Leeds Beckett University (2018-22)
  • External examiner for PhDs (University of Edinburgh, 2018; Newcastle University, 2019, Durham University, 2019; University of Kent, 2019)
  • External Examiner, BA English/Creative Writing, University of Northampton (2014-18)
  • External Examiner, MA Creative Writing, Plymouth University (2013-18)
  • Judge for literary awards including the Michael Murphy Award (2013), the Michael Marks Award (2015), the Bedford Poetry Competition (2019)
  • Event/programme organiser and chair for numerous events, including Literary Leicester (2010-17), Totally Wired Poetry international reading series (2015-present, as co-organiser), Nottingham Festival of Words (2014).
  • Robby Steel Writer in Residence, Collegiate School, New York (2012)
  • Hawthornden Fellow (2012)
  • Editor, New Walk and New Walk Editions (2010-present)
  • Peer reviewer for various academic journals, 2013-present

In addition to his regular work as a critic for the Times Literary Supplement, Poetry Review, PN Review, Poetry London, Essays in Criticism and other places, Dr Waterman's poetry has recently been published in the New StatesmanGuardianFinancial TimesTLSPoetry ReviewPN ReviewDark HorsePoetryHudson Review, and many other publications in the UK and elsewhere. He has given many readings and talks on poetry throughout Britain and in the USA, Croatia, France, Ireland, and elsewhere. Visit Rory's author website.



Chapters and articles:

In addition, Dr Waterman has written hundreds of reviews and review-essays on contemporary literature, for the TLS, Essays in Criticism, Poetry Review, PN Review, Poetry London, and many other press publications.

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 and essay-writing services, politics and censorship in literature, W. H. Davies, Philip Larkin, poetry reviewing, or about his own writing or research.