Researchers at UCD

Ian Davidson

Full Professor

School Of English, Drama & Film
Newman Building
Dublin 4

Tel: +353 1 7168157


Ian Davidson is a poet and a specialist in modern and contemporary poetry and poetics. After undergraduate and postgraduate study at the University of Essex, he received his PhD on ideas of space in contemporary poetry from Aberystwyth University, and postdoctoral funding from the AHRC. He worked in Bangor University (Wales) in English and Creative Studies before becoming professor and head of research for the humanities in Northumbria University in Newcastle Upon Tyne. He has taught, supervised and examined students in creative writing and literary studies, with a particular interest in the ways these intersect. His most recent research, carried out in creative and critical modes, examines the relationship between the increased mobility of people and things from the second half of the twentieth-century to the present, and the forms of literature that increase produces. It has a particular emphasis on writing that sits outside established genres. This is necessarily interdisciplinary work, and takes him across human and cultural geography, sociology and philosophy in order to develop the contexts for the research.  


Honours and Awards

Year: 2007.
Title: Member of the Welsh Literary Academy
Year: 2004.
Title: AHRB/C Fellowship
Year: 2010.
Title: Poetry Editor for English
Year: 2005.
Title: Fellow of the Higher Education Association
Year: 2014.
Title: Fellow of the English Association


Year 2004 Institution: University of Wales
Qualification: PhD Subject:
Year 2003 Institution: University of Wales
Qualification: PhD Subject:

Journals Edited

English: Co-Editor.

Other Activities

Co-editor of Skald Poetry Magazine 2002-9

Co-editor of Gratton Street Irregulars  2011 - 

Editorial Board of Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry 



Davidson, I (2003) Harsh. Peterborough: Spectacular Diseases. [Details]
Davidson, I (2004) At a Stretch. Exeter: Shearsman. [Details]
Davidson,I (2007) As if Only. Exeter: Shearsman. [Details]
Davidson, I (2007) Ideas of Space in Contemporary Poetry. Basingstoke: Palgrave. [Details]
Davidson, I (2010) Into Thick Hair. Dublin: Wild Honey. [Details]
Davidson, I (2010) Radical Spaces of Poetry. Basingstoke: Palgrave. [Details]
Davidson, I (2010) Partly in Riga. Exeter: Shearsman. [Details]
Davidson, I (2014) The Tyne and Wear Poems. Newcastle: Red Squirrel. [Details]
Davidson, I (2017) On the Way to Work. Exeter: Shearsman. [Details]

Edited Books


Peer Reviewed Journals

Davidson, I (2009) 'Symbolism and Code in frank O'Hara's early poems'. Textual Practice, . [Details]
Davidson, I (2011) 'The Languages of Charles Reznikoff'. Journal of American Studies, . [Details]
Davidson, I (2012) 'Automobility, Materiality and Don DeLillo's Cosmopolis'. Cultural Geographies, . [Details]
Davidson, I (2014) 'Mobility and Automobility in the poetry of Bill Grifiths'. Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry, . [Details]
Davidson, I. (2015) 'Movement and Mobility in Patrick Hamilton'. Textual Practice, . [Details]
Davidson, I (2017) 'Mobility and Poetic Form'. Mobilities, 12 (4):548-558. [Details]


Research Interests

 I have published over twenty single author poetry works, including four book-length collections. Partly in Riga, based in part on my writing carried out during a one-month residency in Riga in August 2006, was published by Shearsman in 2010. Two other recent full-length collections are At a Stretch and As if Only. At a Stretch reinvents the notion of place in a globalised environment. Moving from the idea of place as a 'structure of feeling', an important concept for post-war British and US poets as diverse as Frank O'Hara, Philip Larkin and Seamus Heaney, the poems, both in the content and the forms they employ, explore increasingly interconnected and destabilised landscapes. As if Only continues to develop the idea of place and its relation to the mobile human body, and its relationship to increasingly globalised structures and systems. 

My work was, for many years, broadly concerned with the Welsh landscape, read through spatial and mobility theory in an international context, and drawing on the multilingual and multicultural nature of Welsh experience and the presence of two official languages. My work reflects this through the use of Cynghanedd metre, albeit in English language poems, and this has carried forward to my recent Tyne and Wear poems project where in some sequences I use Welsh forms to describe North East English experience, as well as ekphrastic work. The Tyne and Wear Poems are an extended project, published in a number of recent pamphlets (four so far), that will be collected together to form a more substantial publication. 

I also carry out work in the field of modern and contemporary literature. My first monograph, Ideas of Space in Contemporary Poetry (2007) gives a comprehensive account of the way processes of globalization and spatial theory have influenced the work of contemporary poets from the UK and the US. Key elements of the 'spatial turn' in cultural and social theory are drawn from the work of figures as diverse as Henri Lefebvre and Doreen Massey and related to developments in poetry and poetics. The book demonstrates how contemporary poetry, some of which is difficult and challenging, sustains an engagement with important social and political issues. 

My second monograph, Radical Spaces of Poetry (2010) introduces a diverse range of experimental writing from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and examines the ways that writers have used varieties of evidence to produce not only new information, but also new ways of working with information through innovations in poetic form. An edited collection, Placing Poetry, brings together critics, poets and poet/critics to re-evaluate the notion of place for the 21st century. 

My current project draws on ideas of mobility from cultural and human geography, sociology and anthropology to demonstrate the ways that increased movements of people and things have influenced the form and content of contemporary literary works. Essays are published or forthcoming in journals such as Textual Practice, Mobilities, the Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry and Cultural Geographies, and a monograph is in preparation. 


Recent Postgraduates

 PhD Theses supervised:
John Tanner. 2006 - 2009. Richard Brautigan and Experimental Writing.
Lisa Blower. 2007 - 2011. Identity and the Novel. (Lecturer at Bangor University)
Terri Lee Hackman. 2008 - 12 The Psychology of the Short Story. ( AHRC funded,
elected to stay in Bangor University for final year)
Sam Rogers. 2010 - 14) Landscapes of British Poetry. (elected to stay in Bangor for
family reasons) (Lecturer at UWE)
Sara Bailey. 2009 - 14. Novels for Women. (Independent writer)
Anne Matthews. 2011 - 14. Writing and the City (Northumbria Scholarship) (Lecturer at Aberystwyth University)
Tim Turnbull. 2011 - 16. The Adventures of Kunstlicht in the Netherworld - A Novel. (Northumbria Scholarship)
Rhys Trimble. 2011 - 17 Macaronic Poetry - Minority /majority language 
relations in multilingual texts (Independent writer/performer)
Lisa Matthews. 2012 -. Creativity and Poetry.
Ed Luker. 2013 - J H Prynne and Lyric Poetry (Northumbria Scholarship) 



Modules Coordinated

201700   CRWT40130     Creative Writing: Poetry in Progress
201700   CRWT30010     Creative Writing: Creative Writing L
201700   CRWT20010     Creative Writing: Creative Writing K