Patrick Errington | Modernism

Originally from the prairies of Alberta, Canada, Patrick is currently a poet, translator, and doctoral researcher at the University of St Andrews. He has long been fascinated by the interplay between literature and the reading mind, and his current research, under Profs Don Paterson and John Burnside, draws from fields as diverse as semiotic philosophy, phenomenology, cognitive neuroscience, linguistics, and literary theory to suggest how modern and contemporary poetries aim to re-embody and re-activate thought in readers. A graduate of the University of Alberta and Columbia University, he is also interested in literary response, such as translation, refutation, and homage, in Modernist literatures.

As a poet and translator, Patrick’s work has won several prizes, including The London Magazine Poetry Prize 2016, and has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Best New Poets 2016, The Iowa Review, Copper Nickel, West Branch, Diagram, and The American Literary Review. His translation (into French) of PJ Harvey’s The Hollow of the Hand will be available shortly from Éditions l’Âge d’Homme as Au creux de la main.

Though he has taught creative writing, composition, and modern and contemporary literatures at the University of St Andrews and at Columbia University, this is Patrick’s first year teaching with SUISS. And he can’t wait!

Dr James Leveque | Modernism

s200_james.levequeJames’ research is on the encounter of Anglo-French Modernisms, with a focus on the rapport between avant-garde poetics, religion, and politics. He has published articles on a variety of subjects, such as the Bible in the avant-garde, apocalyptic literature in the Modernist period, surrealism, and Futurism and war. Along with the above, he has broad interests in poetry, aesthetics, and class; literature and sociology; and Marxist literary theory. In 2015, he graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a PhD in Comparative Literature. His thesis focused on the poetry of Ezra Pound, Guillaume Apollinaire, and F. T. Marinetti, which he is preparing as a monograph on the subject of prophetic and apocalyptic themes in the European avant-garde. He is also begun work on a postdoctoral project exploring the role of anti-politics in 19th- and 20th-century French to American avant-garde and experimental literature. He has taught at the University of Edinburgh and Edinburgh Napier University, and he joined the SUISS team in 2015. He is also a poet.

Alexandra Campbell | Scottish Literature

Alexandra is a final year doctoral candidate in English Literature at the University of Glasgow. Her thesis entitled ‘Archipelagic Poetics: Ecology in Modern Scottish and Irish Poetry’ presents a series of ecocritical readings of modern Scottish and Irish poets in line with geological, biological and oceanic coordinates. She has recently published on the poetry of John Burnside and has a forthcoming book chapter in the Bloomsbury critical companion to his work (due 2018). She is particularly interested in material ecocriticism, postcolonial studies and the ‘Blue Humanities’, and has several forthcoming articles that explore the concept of ‘blue ecology’ in contemporary poetry.

Alexandra has taught in both the Scottish Literature and English Literature departments at GU, and last year was awarded an Associate Fellowship of the HEA. Further to her teaching and academic works she is the current General Editor of EnviroHum, a new interdisciplinary and experimental zine and digital platform for artists and academics working in the Environmental Humanities.

Jim Benstead | Scottish Literature

IMG_0345Jim grew up in the south of England, and moved to Edinburgh to start a Master’s degree in English Literature in 2005 having completed an undergraduate degree in Mathematics at University College London. It was during this Master’s that he discovered the work of Hugh MacDiarmid, Alasdair Gray, and Lewis Grassic Gibbon; he’s still puzzled as to why these writers appear so rarely on literature courses outwith Scotland.

After working on various charitable and commercial projects, Jim started a PhD at the University of Edinburgh in 2013. He is currently writing his thesis on the mature work of the Scottish modernist poet Hugh MacDiarmid. He also teaches undergraduate tutorials for the University’s Scottish Literature course, and provides digital humanities training within the School of Humanities and Social Science.

Jess Orr | Contemporary Literature 

Jess is in her second year of a PhD at the University of St Andrews, focusing on the contemporary Scottish writer Ali Smith. Her thesis is provisionally titled: ‘Making Space for the Reader in the Fiction of Ali Smith’. She is a passionate teacher who has tutored literature for many years in a one-to-one capacity, and has most recently been teaching 19th and 20th Century literature at the University of St Andrews, and on the Lift Off Study Skills programme with the University of Abertay.

Jess has previously worked with a variety of literature organisations including the Edinburgh International Book Festival and Scottish Book Trust, and in 2014 collaborated with Ali Smith on a series of events called ‘Something Else’. She continues to work with community organisations as a reading group facilitator, leading regular sessions in Edinburgh at the Grassmarket Community Project and Eagle’s Lodge care home. Other recent workshops and projects have included St Augustine’s High School, Venture Trust, LGBT+ Health and Wellbeing, StAnza International Poetry Festival and the Audacious Women Festival in Edinburgh. In 2017, she is undertaking a placement at the Glasgow Women’s Library as Reader in Residence.

Eleanore Widger | Contemporary Literature

Eleanore is a final year PhD candidate at the University of Dundee (funded by the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities). Her doctoral project looks at the influence of Romantic aesthetics on representations of the visible and the environment in contemporary radical landscape poetry. She has recently published articles on innovative environmental poetries in English and The Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry. She also has a book chapter forthcoming on the theme of landscape in the work of Geoffrey Hill (Shearsman). Her broader research interests include intermediality and intersections between text and image; ecocriticism and environmental art; theories of perception and representation.

Eleanore has taught on the English Literature course at Dundee since 2015. She is also currently undertaking an internship with Scotland’s Futures Forum at the Scottish Parliament, which aims to improve engagement between Arts and Humanities researchers and policy makers. In-between studies she has worked in top tourist and heritage attractions in Edinburgh, including The Scotch Whisky Experience and Assembly Rooms. She is very happy to be joining the SUISS team this year and looks forward to meeting students in the summer.

Nick-e Melville | Creative Writing

Nick-e Melville makes found, visual, process and sometimes even ‘proper’ poetry. Since 2010 he has had ten publications released, including a poster poem and a badge; his most recent book is ABBODIES (sad press 2017) and he was anthologised in the international collection of visual poetry The New Concrete (Hayward Gallery Publishing, 2015). His work has also featured in several exhibitions, with a solo exhibition, ‘DOLE,’ at Interview Room 11 in 2013. He has taught creative writing in many settings for over ten years and from 2010-2011 he was Writer (not) in Residence at HMP Edinburgh. From time to time he organises and co-hosts poetry events in Edinburgh, the current series is Second Space, poetry with videos.

Nick-e is pursuing an AHRC funded PhD at the University of Glasgow working on an epic post-conceptual book length poem-object,The Imperative Commands. The poem is composed entirely from found texts, harvested from the language of instruction in advertising, the media, etc., that assault and ‘guide’ everyone of us every day.

Dr Defne Çizakça | Creative Writing

IMG_38061Defne is a Turkish writer, editor, and lecturer in love with Scotland. She holds a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Glasgow (2015) where she worked on a historical and magically real novel about fin de siècle Istanbul, Κωνσταντινούπολη.

She is the fiction editor of Unsettling Wonder: A Journal of Folk and Fairy Tales and the co-editor of three books, Tip Tap Flat: A View from Glasgow (Freight, 2012), New Fairy Tales: Essays and Stories (Unlocking Press, 2013) and Miscellaneous: Writing Inspired by the Hunterian (The Hunterian, 2014). Her creative work has appeared in such journals as New Writing Scotland 31 and 33, Gutter, Fractured West, Spilling Ink Review and Time Out Istanbul, among others. Defne has tutored in the departments of Comparative Literature, English Literature and the Programme of Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow, and was Writer in Residence at the Hunterian Museums from 2012 to 2014, where she researched, wrote and conducted creative writing workshops about the un-exhibited artefacts of the collection. Her PhD novel, which she is currently preparing for publication, was the 2014 recipient of the Gillian Purvis Award for New Writing.

Defne currently lives in Istanbul where she works as a part-time lecturer at Koç University, and where she has initiated a programme to teach creative writing to women who have had to flee their homes – Syrian refugees, Kurdish immigrants, residents of trans guesthouses, and women’s shelters. She joined the SUISS team in 2015.


Dr Tim Jeeves | Theatre & Performance

Tim Jeeves’ has worked as a performer and director for the last 15 years, making work for the theatre, gallery and in the city. Based in Liverpool, in 2011 he initiated the Giving in to Gift festival and, in the time since, in association with different venues in the city, has used this as a vehicle to explore the economies within generosity through playful and varied forms.

Whilst working on Giving in to Gift Four (to be presented later this year) he has also completed a PhD at Lancaster University and is currently developing Not Just the Incredibles, an ACE funded research project that explores the place of the everyday within organ transplantation.



Deryl Davis | Theatre & Performance

Deryl-Davis.jpgDeryl Davis has worked in theatre and television in Washington, D.C. over the past decade, and many years ago, was a student actor at the University of Edinburgh’s Bedlam Theatre. An award-winning TV and radio reporter in the United States, he also adapted and directed some of the first English-language, student-acted productions of Shakespeare to be nationally broadcast in the People’s Republic of China. As an educator in drama, literature, and film studies, Deryl has taught at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., and at universities in China. He also has worked as a professional theatre and arts critic, publishing reviews in leading magazines in the United States. Deryl holds master’s degrees in literature and theology from the University of Edinburgh and is a second-year PhD student in Theology, Literature, and the Arts at the University of Glasgow, where he also teaches. Deryl’s particular interests are modern drama, drama in performance, and Romantic and modern literatures. He is a member of the Massachusetts-based Shakespeare & Company and of the Washington Playwrights Forum.