Who am I?
I am the Professor of Modern Literature at MMU.
I have taught English and creative writing at the university since 2003.
My academic work is spread across a variety of media. These include book publications with academic and commercial publishers, public exhibitions, broadcasting for television and radio networks, writing articles for newspapers and literary journals, and electronic publication of research materials.
I was editor and annotator for the enhanced digital edition of A Clockwork Orange: The Restored Text, available for iPad via the Apple store. The print edition is published by Penguin Classics and the electronic edition by Random House Digital. I expect that electronic publishing will play a significant role in my future research activity.
Outside the university, I am a director of the Carcanet Press and a member of the governing body of Chetham's Library, the oldest public library in England.
Why do I teach?
My teaching at MMU is led by my enthusiasms as a reader and researcher. The majority of my teaching is in the areas of (1) creative writing; and (2) modern and contemporary literature, with particular reference to twentieth-century British fiction and poetry.
Words of wisdom
Reading is at the heart of our culture, but we can never do enough of it. Aim to read as widely as you can and make notes about what you read. The Italian novelist and critic Umberto Eco sums it up for me: all books are made out of other books, and writing is a conversation between readers.
How I’ll teach you
All of my academic work is informed by the conviction that reading is both a social act and a form of ethical engagement. It allows us to communicate with the past, and to understand our present reality.