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Professor Michael O'Neill

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 42582
Room number: Room 101, Hallgarth House

(email at m.s.o'


Academic Year 2017-18: office hour (preferably by appointment): N/A

Michael O’Neill is Professor of English. He was Head of Department from 1997 to 2000 and from 2002 to 2005. From 2005-11, he was a Director (Arts and Humanities) of the Institute of Advanced Study (IAS) at Durham University; he served as the Acting Executive Director of the IAS from January 2011 until May 2012. He is a Founding Fellow of the English Association, on the Editorial Boards of the Keats-Shelley Review, Romantic Circles, Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net, RomanticismThe Wordsworth Circle, and CounterText, Chair of the International Byron Society's Advisory Board and Chair of the Wordsworth Conference Foundation. In 2005 he established and is Director of an intra-departmental research group working on Romantic Dialogues and Legacies.

Professor O’Neill has published on Romantic literature, especially the work of Percy Bysshe Shelley, on Victorian poetry, and on an array of British, Irish, and American twentieth- and twenty-first-century poets. His research has concentrated on questions of literary achievement and of poetic influence, dialogue, and legacy. Books published relatively recently include (with Michael D. Hurley) Poetic Form (CUP, 2012), and, co-edited with Anthony Howe and with the assistance of Madeleine Callaghan, The Oxford Handbook of Percy Bysshe Shelley (2013; paperbacked 2017). He is the co-editor (with Mark Sandy and Sarah Wootton) of two volumes from Pickering & Chatto: Venice and the Cultural Imagination (2012) and The Persistence of Beauty: Victorians to Moderns (2015). His third collection of poems Gangs of Shadow was published by Arc in 2014 and his fourth collection of poems Return of the Gift appeared from the same publisher in 2018. His edited collection of essays John Keats in Context came out from Cambridge University Press in 2017, and in the same year The Romantic Poetry Handbook, co-authored with Madeleine Callaghan, was published by Wiley Blackwell. Professor O'Neill is writing a book on Shakespeare and English Poetry for OUP.

He is an associate editor on the multi-volume Johns Hopkins edition of Shelley's poetry. The third volume appeared in 2012 and received the 2013 Richard J. Finneran Award from the Society for Textual Scholarship. He is co-editing (with Timothy Webb) The Prose of Percy Bysshe Shelley 1818-1822 for OUP. This project was awarded an MHRA Research Associateship (holder Dr Paige Tovey) for 2010-11 and 2011-12.

Professor O’Neill has received the following awards for his poetry: an Eric Gregory Award in 1983 and a Cholmondeley Award from the Society of Authors in 1990. He has successfully supervised research degrees on Shelley (Mary as well as Percy Bysshe); P. B. Shelley and Keats; Romantic Poetry and Wallace Stevens; Romantic Literature and Dream Poetry; Victorian Medievalism; Elegy in Douglas Dunn and Tony Harrison; The Great War and Irish Poetry; Olive Schreiner; Hart Crane's poetry; John Montague's poetry; a study of Yeats, Byron, and Shelley; the Decadent Image in 1890s poetry; the responses of Wordsworth and Coleridge to Shakespeare; Gary Snyder and Romanticism; narrative and identity in Keats's poetry;voice and reception in Tennyson, Browning and other Victorian poets;the influence of Calderón and Goethe on Shelley; Wordsworth's unachievable style, 1797-1805; lyric individuality in Clare, Hopkins, and Edward Thomas; John Clare and 'the Art of "Is"'; Silence in P. B. Shelley, Robert Browning, W. B. Yeats, and T. S. Eliot; nostalgia and homesickness in Emily Brontë; Coleridge's legal reflections, 1794-1797; and vital instability in the poetry of Byron and Shelley. He is happy to supervise postgraduates in any area of his research interests.


Research Groups

Department of English Studies

Research Interests

  • Post-war British and American poetry
  • Romantic and post-Romantic poetry
  • Shelley
  • Editing

Indicators of Esteem

  • : Esteem Indicators Prizes, Awards, Fellowships British Academy Overseas Travel Grants: 2001 (500 pounds) An AHRB Research Leave Term, Michaelmas 2001 (13,900 pounds) Grantholder for RCUK Fellowship, 2004/5-2010: (125k pounds) Editorial Boards On the editorial boards of Romantic Circles, Romanticism on the Net, ABES, Romanticism, and The Wordsworth Circle. General editor of Blackwell’s ‘Guides to Criticism’ series and an editorial advisor for Blackwell’s ‘Annotated Anthologies’ series. Invited member of Academic Conference Committee for 29th and 31st International Byron conferences (Liverpool, 2003, and Dublin, 2005). Advisory Academic Work I regularly read manuscripts for OUP and for other presses, including Blackwell, and for journals, including Romanticism, Romanticism on the Net, and Twentieth-Century Literature. Lectures and Talks Invited lectures at the 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005 (forthcoming) Wordsworth Summer Conferences in Grasmere; Invited plenary lecturer at the 2001 International Conference of the British Association for Romantic Studies (in Liverpool); Invited plenary lecturer at the 2001 conference on ‘Lyric’ organised by the Centre for English Studies, University of London. Invited lecture and poetry reading at an Poetry Festival organized by the Keats-Shelley House in Rome (2003) (Other speakers were Philip Hobsbaum, Grevel Lindop, and Tom Paulin). Invited plenary lecture at an international conference organized by the German Society for the Study of Romanticism (in Regensburg, 2003). Invited plenary lecture at the Coleridge Summer Conference in Cannington (2004) Invited lectures at the Wordsworth Winter School at Grasmere in 2002, 2004, and 2005. Invited lectures at the Universities of Glasgow (2002) and Oxford (2004). Invited lecture, Charles Lamb Society (2003). Invited plenary lecturer at a conference on Romanticism and Post-Colonialism, University of Leeds, July 2005. Invited papers at Byron international conferences in 2001 (Boston), 2003 (Liverpool). Other In the period, my poems have appeared in the TLS, London Magazine, PN Review, Oxford Magazine, English, the Keats-Shelley Review, The Faber Book of Twentieth-century Italian Poetry in Translation.
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Selected Publications

Authored book

Chapter in book

Edited book

Edited Journal

Journal Article

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Selected Grants

  • 2011: The Prose of Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1818-1822 (£18000.00 from MHRA)
  • 2010: The Prose of Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1818-1822 (£17500.00 from MHRA)