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Durham University

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Mr Soumyaroop Majumdar

Contact Mr Soumyaroop Majumdar


My Creative Writing PhD is split in two parts: a creative portfolio and a literary-critical thesis. My doctoral thesis focuses on the New York School of poets, namely John Ashbery, Frank O’Hara, James Schuyler, and Barbara Guest, and aims to show how a poetics of distraction was crucial in their work. I hold their poetry in counterpoint to the perspective that considers distraction to be undesirable, a disorder. In fact, my project will explore the strains of distraction in their various influences—American pragmatism, the French symbolists, modernist poetry, abstract expressionistic art, and English Romanticism—from which, as I hope to show, the poets drew distractedly, making evident, even performing, their diffused mode.

I am interested in poetry as a site of interaction between the mind and the body, memory and forgetting, the familiar and the strange, the home and a life in exile, the individual and the whole.

I completed my MA from Durham University in 2017 and wrote a dissertation on John Ashbery's poetics of distraction, of which my doctoral project was a natural extension.

My PhD is funded by the DDS and supervised by Dr. Paul Batchelor and Dr. Daniel Grausam.

My poems have been published in Transect Magazine. Additionally, I am a contributor to the English department's READ blog.