Dr Niall Munro

MA (Hons); PGCE (Secondary); MA; PhD

Senior Lecturer in American Literature & Director of the Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre

School of Education, Humanities and Languages


I am a Senior Lecturer in American Literature and also Director of the Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre.

I studied for my undergraduate degree at the University of St. Andrews, and completed a PGCE in English at Oxford Brookes. After teaching at secondary level for a number of years, I returned to Brookes to do an MA in English and then a PhD about the American modernist poet Hart Crane. My main area of research is twentieth-century American literature, particularly American modernist writings, but I have taught a wide range of courses about American, British, and European literature.

I am the Director of the Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre, which conducts research into poetry, runs an international poetry competition, a new poetry pamphlet press called ignitionpress, poetry workshops for military veterans, and organizes poetry projects in the community, including a Weekly Poem initiative that I edit. In addition to the website, the Poetry Centre posts details of its news and events on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Teaching and supervision


Modules taught


  • Reading for Meaning (module leader)
  • Special Topics (Genres) American Poetry: Origins & Legacies (taught jointly with Dr Eric White)
  • Advanced Options I ('Our hearts were touched with fire': the American Civil War Era in Literature, Memory, and Myth)
  • English Studies Dissertation
  • The Culture of Criticism (module leader)
  • Independent Project (module leader, Semester 1)


  • Critical Debates and Methods
  • MA Dissertation


I am currently the second supervisor for Susie Campbell's PhD about prose poetry and the legacy of Gertrude Stein, for Sarah Gilbert's project about women's anti-Vietnam War poetry, and for Jen Gallagher's work on the publication history of Wilfred Owen.

Recently I was the second supervisor for Jennifer Wong's critical/creative PhD on poets of the Chinese diaspora.

Research Students

Name Thesis title Completed
Susan Campbell Gertrude Stein, spatial form and contemporary prose poetry Active
Sarah Gilbert Women’s anti-Vietnam war poetry and canon(s): critical and feminist representation of the poetry of Muriel Rukeyser and Denise Levertov Active
Jennifer Wong A transnational poetics of place: identity, otherness and the meaning of home in the poetry of Li-Young Lee, Marilyn Chin, Bei Dao, Hannah Lowe and Sarah Howe 2018


I mainly work in the field of American literature, especially modernist writings. My recent research focusses on the literary memory of the American Civil War and this is the subject of my current book project, ‘Our only “felt history”’: American modernism and the Civil War'. This focus on commemoration, developed through a recent research project, Post-War: Commemoration, Reconstruction, Reconcilation (see below), has led to a broader concern with how writing, especially poetry, is used to commemorate, and how cultural memory can have disruptive effects in society, especially after war.

Together with Dr Tinashe Mushakavanhu (University of Oxford), I am currently working on a project called Disruptive Dialogues: the Legacy of Dambudzo Marechera in Harare and Oxford. Part of the Humanities Cultural Programme based at The Oxford Research Centre into the Humanities (TORCH), this is a critical-creative project  designed to reflect on Marechera's presence in both cities during the 1970s-80s and his influence today.

The project has three strands: the development of interactive maps of both Harare and Oxford to chart Marechera's movements around the cities; a series of workshops with members of Crisis, a homeless charity based in Oxford; and an exhibition at the Old Fire Station in Oxford that will draw the research and creative work together. You can read more about the project on the TORCH website, where you can also access the maps and listen to a podcast series.

I also have a particular interest in the poetry of Hart Crane (the subject of my first monograph: Hart Crane's Queer Modernist Aesthetic). Other interests include American writing of the Depression-era, contemporary American and British poetry, and American urban writing.

Research Interests

  • Modernist studies
  • American modernism
  • American poetry
  • Literary memory of the American Civil War
  • Writing and commemoration
  • Queer theory

Centres and institutes




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Professional information


I have organized/co-organized several conferences in recent years, including:

  • (Co-organizer with Prof Steven Matthews and IPSI, University of Canberra) 'moments/that stretch horizons': an international poetry symposium for practitioners, 28 June 2017, Oxford Brookes
  • (Co-organizer with Dr Eric White) Avant Gardes Now! Symposium, 1 May 2015, Oxford Brookes
  • (Co-organizer with Dr Wim van Mierlo) New to Next Generation 2014: Three Decades of British and Irish Poetry, 13-14 March 2015, Institute of English Studies, London
  • (Co-organizer with Dr Anna Hewitt and Dr Nissa Parmar) Shifting Territories: Modern and Contemporary Poetics of Place, 22-23 May 2013, Institute of English Studies, London
  • (Co-organizer with Dr Alex Goody and Dr Eric White) Modernist Magazines in the Americas: Points of Departure, 12 December 2012, Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford