My first PhD, in English Studies at the University of Manchester, focused on the idea of the sacred - from the late Middle Ages to the present day - and included a psychoanalytic reading of female devotional literature (Rapturous Visions: Mysticism, the sublime, and the discourse of sacrifice). This project was supervised by Professor Terry Eagleton and Dr Anke Bernau and funded by the AHRC. It also resulted in a series of academic articles such as 'Coleridge's Translucence: A Failed Transcendence?' (Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net) and 'A Timeless Sublime? Reading the Feminine Sublime in the Discourse of the Sacred' (Angelaki).
My second PhD, in Creative Writing at the Open University (Exit Strategy: Ekphrasis through the lens of the abstract and the formless), was supervised by Jane Yeh and Siobhan Campbell. The thesis consists of a poetry collection and a critical commentary on ekphrastic practice, experiments with form, pedagogic approaches to ekphrasis, and misperception in creative writing.
My research interests include art and literature of the period circa. 1880 - 1920, contemporary poetry, ekphrasis, word-image relationships, and prose poetry.
Recent articles have centred on ekphrasis, Seamus Heaney's bog poems, the feminine sublime, and apocalyptic themes in Michael Symmon Roberts's Drysalter (Brief Encounters).
I have also presented lectures on edgelands and liminal landscapes: (http://www.theatkinson.co.uk/events/edgelands-the-sefton-coast-in-words-and-images/).
Recent activity includes a course on pareidolia at the Poetry School (https://poetryschool.com/courses/pareidolia-studio/) and a talk and creative writing workshop at the Imagine Festival, Belfast, 'Why is Elvis in your toast?' (https://imaginebelfast.com/events/why-is-elvis-in-your-toast/).