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Lucy Cheseldine

LAHRI Postdoctoral Research Fellow (September 2022–September 2023)
Areas of expertise
American poetry; regionalism; Modernism; the literary interview; form; editorial relations; writerly curation; the essay
Clothworkers South Building, University of Leeds Campus
Arts, Humanities and Cultures
Leeds Arts and Humanities Research Institute

I joined the University of Leeds in 2017, after studying in Glasgow, Alabama, and Dublin, to complete a PhD on the American poet Donald Hall.  Beginning with the nodal point of his writerly and ancestral geography, Eagle Pond Farm, I examined Hall’s connection to a long tradition of American poets who have created a sense of place by exploring language’s relationship to the material world. As my work developed, I also investigated his interventions in a transatlantic scene of contemporary poetry and his inheritance of certain Modernist traditions, finding patterns within and parallels between all. Thus, the project extended into his wider literary circles to revisit and revise existing conceptual and biographical knowledge – especially in the areas of poetic form, collaboration and inheritance, and media ecology – about the places and literary movements he was part of and witness to. In the close readings that comprised a large part of my work, I used archival materials from the University of New Hampshire and the Houghton Library, Harvard, to illustrate how Hall’s how process of writing, drafting, and revising intervened in existing textual practices. This is where, as my thesis ended, further and broader work begins through a consideration of what the work of writing itself means for literary criticism.

As a LAHRI Postdoctoral Research Fellow, I continue to work on research derived from my findings in the archives including Hall’s interviews with T.S. Eliot, Marianne Moore, and Ezra Pound for the Paris Review, his editorial engagement with other small presses and magazines at Oxford, and his correspondences with Seamus Heaney and Wendell Berry. Some of this writing will presently be published in Essays in Criticism. I am also working on an article that suggests how the interview dynamic and ongoing creative relationship between Hall and Henry Moore renews definitions of ekphrasis. All of this material will become a book that articulates the ways Hall and his networks transformed various modes of literary and artistic curation into forms of writing and thereby argues for their significant re-shaping of approaches to criticism, collaboration, and creation.

In areas beyond my research, since finishing my PhD I have continued to teach at the University of Leeds and elsewhere, designing and co-ordinating courses including The Creative Essay, The New Yorker Short Story Now and Then, and New England's Autumnal Poetry. I have also worked closely with LAHRI as a Postdoctoral Research Associate to write a project that assesses the successes, failures and best practices of creative research outputs and their impact across the Arts and Humanities. This work, in line with its object of study, was itself conducted through a series of interviews and presented using creative narratives and anecdotes as well as scholarly research.

In my wider academic and literary life, I am an active member of the European Association of American Studies poetry network. I also collaborate with the Walt Whitman Initiative in New York through international events to promote the poet’s work in the UK. I continue to review for the Leeds poetry magazine Stand and to write poetry within a group of practicing poets. Finally, as my doctoral research began with a transatlantic exchange of letters between Hall and myself, I remain a part of his life and legacy at Eagle Pond, New Hampshire, which since his death has been undergoing plans to become a museum and writer’s retreat. Once renovations are complete, I have been invited to hold a residency there in support of my research.


Cheseldine, L. “Talking Modernism: Donald Hall’s Paris Review Interviews”, Essays in Criticism, forthcoming in October 2022.

Cheseldine, L., “Labouring Destination: A Poetics of Inheritance in Donald Hall’s Life Work”, Oxford Research in English, vol. 11, (2020), 43-61.

Cheseldine, L., "The Labour of Laziness in American Literature." Comparative American Studies An International Journal, (2020), 1-2.

Cheseldine, L., “Review: Alessandro Cabiati, 'Fabulous Operas, Rock 'n' Roll Shows: The Intoxication and Poetic Experimentation of Arthur Rimbaud and Jim Morrison”, The Jim Morrison Journal, (2019), 2-7.

Cheseldine, Lucy, “Review: Jon C. Teaford, The Twentieth-Century American City: Problem, Promise and Reality” Irish Journal of American Studies, 8 (2018), web.

Conference Papers:

EAAS Conference, Wastelands 2022. EAAS Poetry Network Roundtable title, “Waste, Ruins, and What Remains: Discussing the Aesthetic Legacy of T.S. Eliot’s Poetry”. Fellow participants: Professor Philip McGowan, Queens University Belfast, Dr. James Dowthwaite, University of Göttingen, Ellen Hinsey, writer.

The Sylvia Plath Society Annual Conference, 2022. Chair of panel, “Plath’s Reception”.

The Henry Moore Institute, Sculpture and Poetry Conference 2022. Paper title, “Work, Talk, Make: Donald Hall and Henry Moore in the Atelier”.

EAAS Conference, 20/20 Vision: Citizenship, Space, Renewal 2021. Paper Title, “Failed Language and Bovine Faeces: Wasted Space in Donald Hall’s Life Work”.

Trinity College Dublin, The Essay Today Symposium 2020. Paper title, “A Place of Language: Donald Hall’s Poetics of Inheritance”.

University of Leeds, Re-Working Georgics, 2019. “Translating the Soil: Transitions of Labour in Donald Hall’s Life Work”.

Christ Church University, Canterbury, BAAS Annual Conference 2017. Paper title, “New England Ghosts: Donald Hall’s Architecture of Grief”.

University College Cork, IAAS Symposium 2017 “Make American –– Again?”. Paper Title, “Mark Twain, The Performer”.

Professional Memberships and Networks:

Higher Education Academy, Associate Fellow, 2021

EAAS Poetry Network

Walt Whitman Initiative:

Don and Jane Society (sponsoring the regeneration of Eagle Pond Farm):


  • PhD, The Place of Language: Donald Hall’s Poetics of Process, University of Leeds
  • Phil, Literatures of the Americas, Trinity College Dublin
  • A. (Hons), English Literature, University of Glasgow
  • Junior Year Abroad, University of Alabama