Research

Current Research Interests

Irish Literature; Northern Irish Literature, History and Politics; Colonial/ Postcolonial Literatures and Theory; Contemporary British Literature; Polish Poetry; Translation.

Research Projects

Michael’s current major research project is Seamus Heaney: Legacies, Afterlives. This is a 250,000- word study of Heaney’s complete oeuvre in poetry, drama, translation and criticism which will be published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2018.

Invited Lectures, Plenaries and Presentations (since 2000)

  • Seamus Heaney Home Place, Invited Lecture: ‘Seamus Heaney and the Polish Connection’, April 2018.
  • Gothenburg University. Three lectures: ‘A Holding Field; Seamus Heaney’s Translations’, ‘Noli Timere: Reflections on the Life and Work of Seamus Heaney’, and ‘Poetry and Memory’, April 2018.
  • Oxford Brookes University. Seminar on ‘Seamus Heaney’s Making: Poems from Death of a Naturalist, Wintering Out and North’, March 2018.
  • Gothenburg University. Postgraduate seminar on ‘The Making of Seamus Heaney: From Early Drafts to Finished Poems’, and joint presentation with Aleksandra Parker on ‘Czeslaw Milosz in Translation: Crossing Cultures’. November 2017.
  • Oxford Brookes University, Poetry Centre. ‘Czesław Miłosz and the Heaney Connection’, March 2017.
  • Waterstone’s Gower Street, London and Wolfson College, Oxford. ‘A Celebration of Czesław Miłosz’. Panel presentation with Andrzej Franaszek, Jerzy Illg, and Aleksandra Parker. April, 2017.
  • Oxford University, Department of Continuing Education. ‘Rewriting History: the Easter Rising in Northern Irish Literature since its Fiftieth Anniversary’, Invited Lecture at ‘Literature and 1916’ Day School, 9 April 2016.
  • Georgia Southern University, Statesboro. Invited Presentation: ‘Noli Timere: Reflections on the Life and Work of Seamus Heaney’, 30 October 2015.
  • University of California, Berkeley. Invited Lecture: ‘’Facing the Music: Public Imperatives in Seamus Heaney’s Late Poetry’, 6 October 2015.
  • Columbia University, New York. Invited Lecture ‘Out of The Blue: Seamus Heaney’s Poetic Responses to 9/11 and Its Aftermath’, 11 September 2015.
  • Oxford University, Department of Continuing Education. ‘Seamus Heaney: Poetry as Witness’, Invited Lecture at Seamus Heaney Day School, 11 April 2015.
  • Oxford Literary Festival. Invited Presentation: ‘Noli Timere: Reflections on the Life and Work of Seamus Heaney’, co-presentation with Stephen Regan, 28 March 2015.
  • University of Paris 13/ Sorbonne Nouvelle. Invited Presentation: ‘Noli Timere: Reflections on the Life and Work of Seamus Heaney’, co-presentation with Stephen Regan, at SOFEIR Conference, 22 March 2015.
  • University of Aberdeen, Keynote Lecture: ‘Greek Gifts: Seamus Heaney’s The Burial at Thebes, Its Inception, Composition and Reception’. Research Institute of Irish & Scottish Studies Symposium on ‘Irish Adaptations’, February 2015.
  • Oxford Brookes University, Invited Lecture: ‘Circling and Return: Public and Private Imperatives in Seamus Heaney’s Late Poetry’, February 2015.
  • National Library of Ireland, Dublin. Invited Presentation: ‘Noli Timere: Reflections on the Life and Work of Seamus Heaney’, co-presentation with Stephen Regan, December 2014.
  • University of Łódź, Invited Lecture: ‘Out of Place: Representing the Eastern European Migrant in Rose Tremain’s The Road Home’, at a Research Symposium on ‘British, Irish and Polish Emigration Literature since 2004’, November 2014.
  • University of Rennes II, Invited Lecture: ‘L’Enracinement’ / ‘The Need for Roots’: Seamus Heaney and European Literary Tradition’, March 2014.
  • British Academy, London. Public Lecture, Organiser of Panel, ‘William Trevor: A Revaluation’, with Hermione Lee, Lyn Innes, Michael O’Neill, and Paul Delaney, December 2013.
  • Irish Literary Society, London. Organiser of ‘Noli Timere: Reflections on the Life and Work of Seamus Heaney’. co-presentation with Stephen Regan, September 2013
  • University of Strasbourg, SOFEIR Plenary Address, ‘Between Here And There: Self, Place and Gender in the fiction of William Trevor, Sebastian Barry And Colm Toibin’, March 2013
  • British Academy, London. Public Lecture, Organiser of Panel consisting of George Szirtes, Stephen Regan, Jerzy Jarniewicz, Cynthia Haven, and Michael Parker on ‘Czesław Miłosz’s influence on British, Irish and American Poetry, 6 December 2012.
  • University of Paris III, Invited Lecture, ‘Czesław Miłosz and the Polish Effect on Seamus Heaney’s Writings’, March 2012.
  • Bergen University (Norway), ‘His Master’s Voice: Czesław Miłosz and his Impact on Seamus Heaney’s Poetry’; ‘Themselves Alone: Literary Representations of Women’s Lives in 1930’s-1950’s Ireland’, September 2011.
  • Mid-Sweden University and Umea University (Sweden) ‘Gender and Politics in Irish Writing Since the 1990s: ‘His Nibs: Self-reflexivity in Seamus Heaney’s Human Chain’, September 2011.
  • University of Gdańsk (Poland), Keynote Lecture, ‘Renewed, Transfigured, In Another Pattern’: Allusion and Translation in Seamus Heaney’s Recent Poetry’ at ‘Back 2’, International Poetry Conference and Festival, Sopot, May 2011.
  • Manchester World Heritage Centre, ‘Themselves Alone: Literary Representations of Women’s Lives in 1930’s-1950’s Ireland’, May 2011.
  • Durham University, Basil Bunting Memorial Lecture, 2011, ‘His Nibs: Self-reflexivity and the Significance of Translation in Seamus Heaney’s Human Chain’. April, 2011.
  • NUI Maynooth (Ireland), ‘His Nibs: Self-reflexivity in Seamus Heaney’s Human Chain’, April, 2011.
  • Southampton University. ‘Twelve Gates, Twelve Foundations’: Form and Revelation in Seamus Heaney’s Human Chain, March 2011.
  • Nordic Irish Studies Association Biennial Conference, Tromso, Plenary Address: ‘The Island’s Arts: Northern Irish Literature and Visual Arts’, December 2010.
  • Trinity College Dublin: Invited Lecture, ‘Air from Another Time and Place: Seamus Heaney’s Human Chain’, November 2010.
  • Wake Forest University: Invited Lecture, ‘Ever After’ and ‘Now’: Time, Love and Faith in Seamus Heaney’s Human Chain’. October 2010.
  • Boston University Invited Lecture, ‘Seamus Heaney and Contemporary Northern Irish Literature: Taking Stock’, October 2010. https://www.bu.edu/buniverse/view/?v=DHmDTPl
  • Irish Literary Society, London. ‘In the Stillness of Long Evenings; Seamus Heaney’s The Riverbank Field’, May 2010
  • William Carleton Summer School, Clogher, Tyrone. Invited Speaker at Symposium on John Montague’s Work, 4 August 2009.
  • University of Central Lancashire. Public Lecture Series: ‘Fearing for Our Future?: Representations of 9/11 and its Aftermath in the Press and in Poetry’, May 2009.
  • Queen’s University, Belfast. “‘Skies Change, but not Cares’: Seamus Heaney in America’, 6 May 2009.
  • Columbus University and Georgia State University.‘’Civil Rights, Uncivil States: America’s Impact on Northern Irish Literature 1960-1971′, April 2009.
  • Emory University, Atlanta. ‘Fallout from the Thunder’: Seamus Heaney’s District and Circle’. April 2009
  • University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, ‘Atlantic Crossings: Images of America in the Poetry of Seamus Heaney’, April 2009
  • Oxford University, Hertford College, ‘Standing Your Ground: Seamus Heaney’s Negotiations with History’, November 2008.
  • Trinity College Dublin, ‘Seduction and Betrayals: History, Politics and Gender in William Trevor’s Felicia’s Journey’. Invited Speaker at William Trevor Symposium, April 2008.
  • University of Paris III, ‘Du Temps Perdu: Poetry and Politics in Seamus Heaney’s District and Circle’, March 2008.
  • Trinity College Dublin, ‘Fallout from the Thunder: North Irish Poetry since 9/11’), January 2008.
  • Birkbeck College, University of London, ‘Winter Seeds: Seamus Heaney’s Changing Responses to the Northern Ireland Crisis, 1966-71′, November 2007.
  • Universities of Pecs, Debrecen (Hungary) and Nagyvarad (Romania). British Council-sponsored lecture tour. Four invited lectures on contemporary British fiction and Northern Irish poetry. 23-27 April 2007.
  • University of Aberdeen ‘In the Wake of the Hunger Strikes: Northern Irish Politics, Fiction and Drama 1981-85’, 13 December 2005.
  • Creative Writing Network, Belfast. Invited Contribution to a Panel on Northern Irish Literature, 2 December 2005.
  • University of Lodz (Poland) ‘Confronting the Boys: Politics and Gender in Gary Mitchell’s The Force of Change (2000)’, 25 October 2005.
  • University of Ulster, ‘Cores of Uncertainty: Northern Irish Poetry and Politics 1972-1975’, AICH Research Seminar Series, April 2005.
  • University of Ulster, ‘Starting From Home: Place And Politics in John Montague’s Poetry 1970-1984’), Symposium on the Poetry of John Montague’, September 2004.
  • University of London, ‘Dropped Words’: The Word of Mouth Women’s Poetry Collective), March 2003: revised for ‘Contemporary Irish Literature: Diverse Voices’, University of Central Lancashire. April 2003.
  • Irish Literary Society, London, ‘Loosening Gravities’: Politics and Seamus Heaney’s Poetry 1966-1975, March 2002.
  • Bath Spa University College ‘Forms of Redress: Bloody Sunday and Brian Friel’s The Freedom of the City’, February 2002.
  • Yeats Summer School, Sligo and Irish World Heritage Centre, Manchester ‘Measuring Changes: Northern Irish Poetry and the Peace Process, August and September 2000.

Conference Papers (since 2000)

  • University of Reading. Room to Rhyme Conference, held at the Linenhall Library, Belfast. ‘Recognition Scenes’: The ‘Glanmore Revisited’ Sequence from Seeing Things (1991), May 2018
  • University of Manchester, John Rylands Research Institute Conference. ‘Recalled to Life’: Seamus Heaney’s Translations of Giovanni Pascoli’s L’Ultima Passeggiata’, June 2017.
  • University of Paris III, Sorbonne Nouvelle. SOFEIR (French Irish Studies) Annual Conference, ‘Speaking Truth to Power: Seamus Heaney’s The Burial at Thebes‘, 21 March 2015.
  • University of Manchester: Third British and Irish Contemporary Poetry Conference, ‘Cross-hatching: Seamus Heaney’s Translations from the French and Italian in Human Chain‘, September 2013.
  • Queen’s University, Belfast, IASIL Conference. ‘Small Worlds: Urban and Domestic Confinement in Sebastian Barry’s The Secret Scripture and William Trevor’s Reading Turgenev’, July 2013.
  • Tulane University, New Orleans. ACIS Conference. Organiser of and contributor to Panel, ‘Weight-Bearing Structures: Form and Translation in Contemporary Irish Poetry’, March 2012.
  • Leuven University, IASIL Annual Conference. Convener and Contributor to Panel: ‘Contemporary Irish Poetry and the Efficacy of Form’, July 2011.
  • Queen’s University, Belfast. British and Irish Poetry Conference, ‘In the Stillness of Long Evenings; Seamus Heaney’s Poetry Since 2006’, September, 2010.
  • NUI Maynooth, IASIL ‘Past Master: Czesław Miłosz’s Impact on the Work of Seamus Heaney’, July 2010.
  • University of Central Lancashire, ‘Poetry and Belief’ Conference, ‘Belief and Poetry, Poetry as Belief: Miłosz, Heaney, O’Driscoll and the Catholic Legacy’, April 2009.
  • University of Porto: IASIL, ‘Bifocal Visions: Heaney, Morrissey and 9/11’, July 2008.
  • St Ambrose University, Davenport, Iowa, ACIS, ‘Fallout from the Thunder: North Irish Poetry since 9/11’, April 2008.
  • University of Seville. EFACIS ‘Enduring History: Northern Irish Fiction Since the Good Friday Agreement’), December 2007.
  • University of Sunderland, NE Irish Studies Network. ‘Falling into Light: Northern Irish Poetry Since the 1990s’, November 2007.
  • University College, Dublin, IASIL, ‘Politics and Gender in the plays of Gary Mitchell’, July 2007.
  • University of Paris III, Sorbonne Nouvelle, SOFEIR Annual Conference: ‘Falling into Light: Northern Irish Poetry Since the 1990s’, 16-17 March 2007.
  • Oxford University, Inaugural British and Irish Contemporary Poetry Conference, ‘In the Name of the Father: Patrilineality in Northern Irish Poetry’, 22-24 September 2006.
  • Charles University Prague (Czech Republic) IASIL, ‘From Winter Seeds to Wintering Out: the evolution of Seamus Heaney’s third published collection’, 25 July 2005.
  • University of Liverpool, ACIS/BAIS, ‘Gloss, On The Difficulties Of Translation’: Poetic Responses To The Northern Ireland Troubles, 1968-1971’, July 2004.
  • Dublin City University, IASIL, ‘Northern Odysseys: Maurice Leitch’s The Liberty Lad and John Montague’s ‘The Cry’), July 2001.
  • Bath Spa University College, IASIL ‘Into the South: Ireland, Europe and the Quest for Identity in Contemporary Irish Fiction’, 25 July 2000.
  • Liverpool Hope University College, ‘Textports’ International Conference,‘The Siren in the Shipyard: Sam Thompson’s ‘Over the Bridge’, May 2000.