Dr Karl O'Hanlon


I joined the School of English in 2017 as a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow. My project is provisionally entitled Official Voices: Poets and the Administration of the Irish State, focusing on Irish poets and the governmental, diplomatic and cultural institutions of the Irish state. My first chapter explores W.B. Yeats's role as senator and his attempts at 'designing the ultimate island'; the second chapter examines Desmond FitzGerald, the trajectory of his career from proto-Imagist in London's bohemia to "man of action" in the GPO in 1916, and later a reactionary figure in Irish politics; the third chapter is on the poet-diplomat Denis Devlin and the transnational embassy of Irish modernism; chapter four is on Blanaid Salkeld and the Women's Writers Club, and the final chapter looks at Thomas Kinsella in the Department of Finance and T.K. Whitaker's economic blueprints for a modern Ireland.

I am a former Fulbright scholar, completing my Master of Arts degree in English at Georgetown University, before undertaking doctoral studies on the theological poetics of Geoffrey Hill at the University of York.

My poetry has appeared in AgendaBlackbox ManifoldPN ReviewPoetry, and Stand. My debut pamphlet, And Now They Range, was published by Guillemot Press in 2017. I am working on my first full collection.

I am the contributor to the ‘Modern Irish Poetry’ section in The Year’s Work in English Studies, and a member of the University of Leeds Poetry Centre.

Research interests

My research interests lie within modern and contemporary Irish, British, and U.S. poetry. Although my general reading ranges widely, I am particularly interested in transnational literary networks of the twentieth century, poetry and theology/philosophy, and modern poetry's relationship to governmental and cultural institutions. I am also interested in poetry translation, particularly French poetry.

My current research project is provisionally entitled Official Voices: Poets and the Administration of the Irish State, and examines poet-politicians, diplomats, bureaucrats, and the cultural arms of the Irish state in the twentieth century in a transnational context.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD (University of York)
  • M.A. (Georgetown University)
  • B.A. Hons. (Queen's University, Belfast)

Professional memberships

  • British Association of Modernist Studies
  • International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures
  • Fulbright Alumni Association

Student education

I teach broadly across literature modules, including poetry and American literature. I supervise final year projects in creative writing, especially poetry.