Critical Writing

A Fractured Landscape of Modernity: Culture and Conflict in the Isle of Purbeck. (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).

“The recent rise of ‘new nature writing’ has renewed the question of how a landscape can be written. This book intervenes in this debate by proposing innovative methodologies for writing place that recognize and make use of the contradictions, fractures and coincidences found in a modern landscape. In doing so, it develops original readings of modernist artists and writers who were associated with the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset, including Vanessa Bell, Paul Nash, Eric Benfield and Mary Butts. Their work is set alongside embodied practices of leisure and labour such as sea bathing, beachcombing, quarrying, tourism and scientific fieldwork, as well as the material and geological features of the environment with which such activities are allied. By showing the Isle of Purbeck to be a site where versions of modernity were actively generated and contested, the book contributes to a reassessment of the significance of rural locations for English modernism.”

“‘Limestone is the humanistic rock’: Geological Thought in the Work of Adrian Stokes and Peter Riley”, in Where Horizons Meet: The Poetry of Peter Riley, ed. Amy Cutler & Alex Latter (Canterbury: Gylphi, forthcoming 2014)

“‘O gods…’ Hidden Homeric Deities in Godard’s Le Mepris, Godard’s Contempt. Essays from the London Consortium, Critical Quarterly Special Issue, ed. Colin MacCabe and Laura Mulvey. Volume 53, Issue Supplement S1, pages 42–51, July 2011.

“Radio And…” in Stress Fractures: Essays on Poetry, ed. Tom Chivers (London: Penned in the Margins, 2010).

The Poem as Space of Collection [PDF] A talk on Peter Riley’s Excavations, delivered at the Collecting and Gathering Conference, Columbia University, New York, in June 2009.

There’s a fair amount of older material on the Studio International website, including my review of Tate Modern’s 2008 Cy Twombly retrospective.