Anthony Caleshu

Academic profile

Professor Anthony Caleshu

Associate Head of School Research, Knowledge Exchange, Enterprise
School of Society and Culture (Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business)

The Global Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. Anthony's work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

Goal 14: SDG 14 - Life Below Water

About Anthony

Born in Massachusetts, USA in 1970, I moved to Ireland in 1997 after completing my MFA in Creative Writing at University of Alabama. I wrote my PhD at National University of Ireland, Galway (on the American poet, James Tate), and began working at University of Plymouth in 2003. I became Professor of Poetry and Creative Writing in 2012.

My chief interest is Contemporary Poetry. I've written 5 books of poetry and 3 books about poetry. I also write short fiction, and have recently completed a screenplay. Past writing publications include a novella as well.

Critical interests include Creative Health. My current work is around the benefit of Community Assets (Arts & Cultural organisations) and Social Prescription to support those with common mental health symptoms. I'm at work on the development of an app to evaluate the benefit of Social Prescription and Community Assets, but also to return agency to the person availing of such with a 'story' of a their health journey. I was PI for the AHRC-funded 'Poets Respond to Covid-19' project (2020-2021). Our published project findings about the benefit of poetry to health and well-being during the pandemic were covered by over 200 media outlets around the world (read the article in T).
All of my writing is research led and often stems from my wider interest in the creative arts and philosophy. My fifth and most recent book of poetry,Xenia etc. (Shearsman, 2023) aims to re-invigorate the ekphrastic tradition, spring-boarding from contemporary visual art into an exploration of the contemporary condition (exploring sexuality and gender in the paintings of Julie Curtiss, landscape and the environment in the work of Shara Hughes and Emma Webster, and race in the work of Henry Taylor). See two recent poems in FREE VERSE, issue 33. Read a review in(March 2024).

Previous books includeA Dynamic Exchange between Us(Shearsman, 2019), a book of criticism as Editor,In the Air: Essays on the Poetry of Peter Gizzi(Wesleyan UP, 2018), and the earlier books of poetry,The Victor Poems(Shearsman, 2014 -- the first five poems of which won the Boston Review Poetry Prize), andOf Whales: in Print, in Paint, in Sea, in Stars, in Coin, in House, in Margins(Salt, 2010), named a ‘book of the year’ in The Daily Telegraph.

In 2016, I began the new poetry venture, Periplum, dedicated to publishing pamphlets, broadsides, books, and digital videos of a selectively slim sample of some extraordinary contemporary poetry ( -- poets like Peter Gizzi, Mark Ford, Heather Phillipson, Rae Armantrout, Vahni Capildeo). From 2007-2015, I was founding Editor ofShort FICTION: ‘The Visual Literary Journal’ (an annual), and edited it until 2015, publishing writers such as Marina Warner, Kevin Barry, Julian Gough, Helen Oyeyemi, and Mary O' Donoghue.

I've held a number of senior management posts over the past decade, including Associate Head of School: Research, Knowledge Exchange, and Enterprise for the School of School of Society and Culture (current); Academic Lead and Director of the Arts Institute's Arts and Culture Programme (current); Head of English and Creative Writing (2020-2021), Programme Manager of the MA Creative Writing (current); and Deputy Director of the Doctoral College (2015-2019).
I've supervised over 20 PhDs in Creative Writing (all genres) and examined a similar number of PhDs at Universities in the UK and Ireland.

I welcome prospective PhD candidates working in all forms of Creative Writing; please do get in touch if you're interested in 'practice as research' which investigate a particular theme or idea.

Supervised Research Degrees

I've supervised over 20 PhDs in Creative Writing (fiction, poetry, non-fiction, and dramatic writing), with critical dissertations on poets and topics as varied as 'Painterly Poetics: Charles Olson, Robert Creeley, Cole Swenson', Ekphrastic Possibilities in Modern Japanese Fiction; the Poetry of TS Eliot; and Contemporary Nepalese Women's Poetry.


I've devised and/or taught on some 20+ modules over the past 25 years: in Creative Writing, Contemporary Literature, and American Literature. I've supervised 20+ PhDs in Creative Writing (poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, dramatic writing), with accompanying critical dissertations in a wide variety of areas, including: innovative American poetry, contemporary Nepalese women's poetry, Japanese ekphrastic fiction, the legacy of the Black Mountain poets, early modern American women's narratives, and community theatre.

Contact Anthony

Room 8, 5 Portland Villas, Drake Circus, Plymouth, PL4 8AA
+44 1752 585106