Professor John Goodby
Personal Chair
English Literature & Creative Writing
Telephone: (01792) 604312

John Goodby is a critic, poet, translator and arts organiser. An expert on modern Irish poetry, he is also a world authority on Dylan Thomas, editor of the new annotated edition of the Collected Poems (2014) and author of The Poetry of Dylan Thomas: Under the Spelling Wall (2013). He is the Director of the Dylan Thomas Research Project within CREW, a Fellow of the English Association, and advises the British Council, BBC, AHRC, Literature Wales and other bodies marking the centenary of Dylan Thomas’s birth in 2014. His research focuses on late/modernist writing; he has pioneered critical recognition of its importance in Irish poetry, and argues that Dylan Thomas is a hybrid figure whose fusing of modernism and mainstream modes problematises the fault-line in post-Waste Land British poetry. From 2009-12 he was a co-organizer of the Hay and Alloa Poetry Jamborees, and in 2011 he founded the Boiled String series of poetry chapbooks, which has published titles by Childe Roland, Rhys Trimble and Ulrike Dräsner among others. Current projects include: a website and translation app based on Dylan Thomas’s poetry, a collection of essays on Irish poetry, a monograph on Welsh modernist and alternative poetry 1930-2010 and the anthology to go with it, and various poetry collections and translations. John welcomes Ph.D. applications on Irish poetry and fiction, English and Anglo-Welsh poetry, and innovative Creative Writing poetry projects.

Publications

  1. & (Eds.). The Edge of Necessary: Welsh Innovative Poetry 1966-2018. Swansea and Llangattock: Boiled String Press and Aquifer Press.
  2. The No Breath. New Mills, Derbyshire SK22 4BR: The Red Ceilings Press.
  3. Mine arch never marble. Argotist Online.
  4. Trevor Joyce and What’s In Store. In Niamh O’Mahony (Ed.), The Poetry of Trevor Joyce. Shearsman Books.
  5. The Poetry of Dylan Thomas: Under the Spelling Wall. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.

See more...

Teaching

  • EN-207 Revolution of the Word: Modernism

    An introduction to Modernist literature, focussing upon its origins in response to the crisis of modernity, its engagement with colonialism and the First World War, its formal experimentation, its depiction of city-life and its engagement with new ideas of gender and the unconscious.

  • EN-242 Contentious Shakespeare

    Shakespeare is often figured as a universal writer who tells us something essential about the human condition; he has been imagined as both a national poet and the world¿s dramatist. But can Shakespeare really be universal? This module invites students to rethink many of the standard assumptions about Shakespeare. The writer Ben Jonson described as the `sweet swan of Avon¿ was also responsible for plays of horrifying violence and his drama reflects, in unsettling ways, on issues of gender, race, and class. Students will explore five controversial Shakespeare plays: The Taming of the Shrew, Titus Andronicus, The Merchant of Venice, Othello, and The Tempest. Lectures and seminars introduce the plays in their disturbing complexity: Shakespeare emerges as a deeply equivocal presence in literary and theatrical history. Taking into account the important work of feminist and postcolonial criticism, this module addresses both the radical potential and the frequently conservative application of Shakespeare¿s plays.

  • EN-3031 Dissertation - English Literature

    The Dissertation is an optional, two-semester, 40-credit module designed to develop high-level academic skills and intellectual independence in the students. A first-semester skills-building programme will include: research skills, summary skills, bibliographic skills, ability to synthesise succinctly, planning and organisational skills, correct presentation of a thesis and bibliography, presentational skills and public speaking. Students conduct research on a subject of their choice, devised in consultation with a member of the English literature staff. The topic will be devised to fall within staff research and teaching specialisms, broadly defined. Students attend group sessions on research skills in Semesters 1 and 2, and have individual meetings with supervisors in Semester 2.

  • EN-319 Further Poetry Writing

    This module consists of ten two-hour weekly workshops, which will deepen knowledge of the craft of writing poetry, paying close attention to the specific language of the poem, and the relationship between form and content. This will occur against a background theme of the changing role of the poet in society and how it has affected poetic form, as well as an exploration of the position of poetry - whether performed or published - in the past and the present. the focus each week will be on writing and rewriting and weekly workshops will include discussion of published poetry and the students' own work.

  • EN-M40 Poetry 2

    This module follows on from and builds on the lessons learned in Writing Poetry 1, introducing students to a wide range of approaches to poetry, from the intricacies of strict traditional forms such as the sonnet and the villanelle to the experimental possibilities of concrete poetry. Many of the forms considered are non-English in origin and some of them, such as the Japanese haibun, are notably novel, in the West at least. Consideration of the operations of chance - in found poetry, for instance - will be balanced by exposure to the deliberate and complex calculations of, for instance, Welsh prosody. Students will be encouraged both to create in these forms and to adapt them to their own purposes. The module consists of a series of eleven weekly workshops which will comprise a fluid mingling of tutor-led discussion and workshop-based exercises; verse forms and techniques will be clarified by the reading and discussion of named works of poetry and by the dissemination of explicatory handouts. Short assignments will be set every week and brought to the workshop to be considered communally. The workshops will last for up to two and a half hours and will be supplemented by sessions of individual mentoring on a one-to-one basis with a tutor. The module will be evaluated by a portfolio of poetry together with a 1000-word reflective essay on the creative process involved in assembling the portfolio.

Supervision

  • The Fifth Notebook: A Facsimile Critical Edition (30,000 word equivalent)«br /»«br /»«br /» `A Beast, an Angel, and a Madman’: Dylan Thomas’s process poetry and prose 1933-39 (70,000 word thesis) (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Steven Vine
    Other supervisor: Prof John Goodby
  • Raining Old Wives and Walking Sticks: A poetry project exploring the cultural identity of modern Wales (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Tudur Hallam
    Other supervisor: Prof John Goodby
  • Ring Composition and Literary Alchemy: The Form and Function of J. K. Rowling’s Fiction (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof John Goodby
    Other supervisor: Prof Julian Preece
  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof John Goodby
    Other supervisor: Dr Richard Robinson
  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Alan Kellermann
    Other supervisor: Prof John Goodby