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Professor Philip Coleman

Professor in (English)

I came to Trinity in 1995, having read for a BA in English and Philosophy in University College Cork. After completing an MPhil in Anglo-Irish Literature in TCD in 1996, I wrote a PhD thesis on the poetry of John Berryman, which I completed in 2001. My first academic appointments were in UCD as a Postdoctoral Fellow (2002) and in UCC as a Temporary Lecturer (2002-03). I was appointed to a Lectureship in English (Broad Curriculum) in Trinity in 2003. In 2006 I was appointed to a permanent lectureship in English Studies (Literature of the Americas), and in 2006-07 I was first Director of the MPhil in Literatures of the Americas program. In 2008 and 2012 I was Visiting Associate Professor in the Department of English at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, and in 2009 I was Visiting Professor in the English Department at the Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary. In 2015, I was made a Fellow of Trinity College Dublin. I am currently serving as Junior Dean and Registrar of Chambers in College. Research My research to date has focused mainly on US American poetry and contemporary short fiction but I have had a special interest in the poetry of John Berryman since the 1990s. The culmination of my research on Berryman to date is The Selected Letters of John Berryman, co-edited with Calista McRae and published by Harvard University Press in 2020. In addition to several essays and articles on Berryman, I have also published the following books: John Berryman's Public Vision: re-locating 'the scene of disorder' (2014), Berryman's Fate: A Centenary Celebration in Verse (2014), John Berryman: Centenary Essays (co-edited with Peter Campion, 2017) and 'After thirty Falls': New Essays on John Berryman (co-edited with Philip McGowan, 2007). Other recent publications include: Robert Lowell and Irish Poetry (co-edited with Eve Cobain, 2020), George Saunders: Critical Essays (co-edited with Steve Gronert Ellerhoff, 2017), BLAST at 100: A Modernist Magazine Reconsidered (co-edited with Kathryn Milligan and Nathan O'Donnell, 2017), and Critical Insights: David Foster Wallace (2015). I have also published essays in the last few years on topics including the short story and the city, the poetry of Peter Gizzi, Flannery O'Connor and contemporary Irish fiction, Dylan Thomas and US American poetry, the poetry of Maurice Scully, teaching David Foster Wallace's short fiction and David Foster Wallace's engagements with poetry. I have been commissioned to write an essay on Robert Lowell and John Berryman for a volume on Robert Lowell in Context (Cambridge University Press), as well as essays for the Cambridge History of the American Essay and the Cambridge History of the English Essay. Current book projects include a study of David Foster Wallace's "short things" and a book on the ways that philosophers read poems. I am also committed to writing a life of the Irish poet Pearse Hutchinson, which I intend to publish in the poet's centenary year in 2027.
  American literature   American Poetry   Anglo-Irish literature, poetry   Contemporary poetry in English   Modernism   Short Fiction
 John Berryman: Selected Literary Correspondence

Details Date
European Network for Short Fiction Research 2013-present
Board of Directors, Ireland Literature Exchange 2011-2016
Committee for the Study of Literatures in English, Royal Irish Academy 2011-13
Language Skill Reading Skill Writing Skill Speaking
English Fluent Fluent Fluent
French Medium Basic Basic
Hungarian Basic Basic Basic
Irish Medium Basic Basic
Details Date From Date To
Irish Association for American Studies 1996 present
Irish Fulbright Alumni Association 1998 present
International Society for the Study of the Short Story 2004 present
European Association for American Studies 1996 present
Modern Language Association 1999 present
John Berryman in, editor(s)Thomas Austenfeld and Grzegorz Kosc , Robert Lowell in Context, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2024, pp140 - 148, [Philip Coleman], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
Old World Shadows in the New: Europe and the Nineteenth-Century American Essay in, editor(s)Christy Wampole and Jason Childs , The Cambridge History of the American Essay, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2024, pp96 - 113, [Philip Coleman], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
Transatlantic Essayism in, editor(s)Denise Gigante and Jason Childs , The Cambridge History of the British Essay, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2024, pp570 - 586, [Philip Coleman], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
David Foster Wallace and Poetry in, editor(s)Clare Hayes-Brady , David Foster Wallace in Context, Cambridge, UK, Cambridge University Press, 2023, pp67 - 76, [Philip Coleman], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
"High Company": W.S. Merwin, John Berryman, and the Art of Poetry in, editor(s)Cheri Colby Langdell , Reading W.S. Merwin in a New Century, London and New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2023, pp27 - 42, [Philip Coleman], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
Philip Coleman, "the ghosts who don't know what year it is": Tracy Smith's The Best American Poetry (2021), Word and Text: A Journal of Literary Studies and Linguistics, 12, (1), 2023, p161 - 167, Review Article, PUBLISHED
George Saunders in, editor(s)Erik Redling and Oliver Scheiding , Handbook of the American Short Story, Berlin and Boston, De Gruyter, 2022, pp613 - 626, [Philip Coleman], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
Philip Coleman, "Awing All", Review of Paula Meehan, As If By Magic and Sinéad Morrissey, Found Architecture, by Philip Coleman , Poetry Ireland Review, 133, 2021, p94-98 , Review, PUBLISHED
Philip Coleman and Calista McRae, The Selected Letters of John Berryman, 1, Cambridge MA and London, Harvard University Press, 2020, 1 - 656pp, Book, PUBLISHED  URL
Eve Cobain and Philip Coleman, Robert Lowell and Irish Poetry, 1, Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, New York, Wien, Peter Lang, 2020, i - 270pp, Book, PUBLISHED

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'Between the "Canon" and "Oblivion": Looking in the Books of Maurice Scully' in, editor(s)Kenneth Keating , A Line of Tiny Zeros in the Fabric: Essays on the Poetry of Maurice Scully, Swindon, UK, Shearsman Books, 2020, pp176 - 196, [Philip Coleman], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
Claire Cunningham, 'The Lyric Feature: A Cradle Song', Ireland, RTE Lyric FM, 2020, -, Broadcast, PUBLISHED


Award Date
Elmer L. Andersen Research Scholarship, University of Minnesota (2017-18) 2017
Fellowship of Trinity College Dublin 2015
Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences Scholarship 1999-2000
Trinity College Postgraduate Award 1996-1999
Ireland-United States Commission for Educational Exchange / Fulbright Scholarship 1998
My research focuses on (i) modern and contemporary American poetry, and (ii) modern and contemporary American short fiction. I have also made significant contributions in the areas of Irish poetry and modernist studies. My edition of the letters of John Berryman published by Harvard University Press (2020) represents a major contribution to the field of American literary studies, and has been described by Mark Ford (University College London) as "a book that will reconfigure forever our understanding of mid-century American poetry". Following the publication of my earlier books and essays, this work affirms my presence as the leading global authority on Berryman. My research on other key poets, including Muriel Rukeyser, Robert Lowell, Dylan Thomas, and Peter Gizzi, has been published in collections by leading presses including Edinburgh and Wesleyan UP. My second research strand on modern and contemporary American short fiction includes significant essays on writers ranging from Edgar Allan Poe and Chuck Palahniuk to Alice Munro, Sandra Cisneros, and George Saunders. I have edited and contributed to definitive works on David Foster Wallace, including a volume published by the prestigious Modern Language Association. I am currently preparing a book proposal on Wallace's stories and essays for Bloomsbury's Wallace Studies series. Beyond these major research strands, I have published on the modernist journal BLAST and the Irish poet Pearse Hutchinson, building on international research collaborations. I am currently engaged in collaborative research on the contemporary essay with colleagues in Germany, Australia, the UK and the US. This will be my major focus in the next three years, leading to a several research outputs including a book-length study. To date, I have been invited to write essays for the Cambridge History of the American Essay and the Cambridge History of the English Essay, both due in 2021.