Sarah Barnsley is Senior Lecturer in English and American Literature, with research interests in American literature, Mary Barnard, modernism (particularly late modernisms), poetry and poetics, creative writing and, more recently, the medical humanities - specifically applications of neuroscience within creative/critical practices. She is Programme Director for the BA/DipHE/CertHE English programmes (by distance-learning) at University of London Worldwide (UoLW).
- PhD English, Goldsmiths College, University of London 2006
- MA ELT & Applied Linguistics, King’s College, University of London 2001
- BA (Hons) American and English Literature, University of East Anglia 1997
Teaching and Supervision
BA (Hons) English, MA Literary Studies: Comparative Literature and Criticism
I write creatively and critically. As a researcher, I have been H.D Visiting Fellow in American Literature at the Beinecke Library, Yale University, which helped me complete my first book, 'Mary Barnard, American Imagist' (SUNY Press, 2013). My edition of Mary Barnard’s 'Complete Poems' is forthcoming. As a poet, my pamphlet, 'The Fire Station' (Telltale Press, 2015), explored experiences growing up in the Midlands where my dad was a firefighter. My lived experience of psychological pain is the focus of my first full collection of poems, 'The Thoughts,' (Smith|Doorstop, 2022). Long-term creative and research interests in literature are complemented by developing interests in the medical humanities, specifically neuroscience and positive psychology - and how such fields might be applied in creative/critical contexts. Particular enthusiasms include ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), meditation, Mindful Self-Compassion and positive neuroplasticity.
Publications and research outputs
Barnsley, Sarah. 2018. My stay in that hotel was just out of a magazine [POEM]. In: , ed. Live Canon 2018 Anthology. Live Canon, pp. 38-39. ISBN 9781909703360
Barnsley, Sarah. 2023. OCD, metaphor, and me: the horse that can’t eat apples. The Lancet Psychiatry, 10(3), pp. 170-171. ISSN 2215-0366
Barnsley, Sarah. 2022. The Human Nervous System Has No Delete Button [Poem]. The Frogmore Papers(100), p. 19. ISSN 0956-0106
Barnsley, Sarah. 2020. I agree to read all the terms and conditions [POEM]. Shearsman, 2020(123-4), p. 59.
Barnsley, Sarah. 2019. Symposium response: “She would write about forest fires at a time like this!” – Mary Barnard at the Lockwood Memorial Library, University of Buffalo, September 1939. Paideuma, 44, pp. 9-18. ISSN 0090-5674
Barnsley, Sarah. 2018. Newly in love, distracted neuroscientists HEART [POEM]. Poetry News, Aut.(2018), p. 11.
Barnsley, Sarah. 2018. I prefer to get my information from unreliable sources (online version) [POEM]. Truths: A Telltale Press Anthology, p. 33.
Barnsley, Sarah. 2018. I prefer to get my information from unreliable sources [POEM]. Truths: A Telltale Press Anthology, p. 32.
Barnsley, Sarah. 2016. Late Modernism in Manhattan: Mary Barnard and May Swenson. Women: A Cultural Review, 26(3), pp. 254-269. ISSN 0957-4042
Barnsley, Sarah. 2013. Making it New: Sappho, Mary Barnard and American Modernism. Synthesis, 5, pp. 71-93.
Barnsley, Sarah. 2010. ‘“Sand is the beginning and the end of our dominion”: Mary Barnard, H.D. and Imagism,’ Paideuma: Modern and Contemporary Poetry and Poetics, 36 (Spring 2010): 47-74. Paideuma: Modern and Contemporary Poetry and Poetics,, 36, pp. 47-74.
Barnsley, Sarah. 2009. Sarah Barnsley, ‘Mary Barnard’s “North Window”: Imagism and the Pacific Northwest,’ Western American Literature, 44.3 (Fall 2009), 251-74. Western American Literature, 44(3), pp. 251-274.
Further profile content
Mary Barnard, American Imagist
Book (poetry collection)
I am committed to mental health activism and advocacy in service of the greater good and to this end am a member of the Goldsmiths Compassion Collective, inspired by Compassion in Education. I am also Contributing Editor to The Understory Conversation, an online hub for creatives.
Goldsmiths Research Centres/Groups
Goldsmiths Compassion Collective
Conferences and talks
Association for Medical Humanities Annual International Conference
Presenter, 'The poetics of uncertainty: an autoethnographic approach'
Translation and Creative Practice - An in-person symposium on building capacity for practice research, Goldsmiths, University of London
Presenter, 'Translating the Brain: Poetry and Neuroscience'
National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE) Annual Conference, Online
Co-Presenter, 'The Understory Conversation: a new way of building resilience, balance and inclusivity'
Creating (and) the Critical: The critical component of practice-based PhDs, CHASE consortium conference, Goldsmiths, University of London
Roundtable participant, panel chair and workshop co-facilitator
National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE) Annual Conference, York
Panel Organiser and Speaker ‘PhDs in Creative Writing: The Critical Component’
Remaking the New: Modernism and Textual Scholarship Conference, British Association of Modernist Studies, Queen Mary, University of London
Speaker, ‘“Sent to Rapallo…”: Mary Barnard and the Modernist List’
MLA Annual Convention 2015, Vancouver, Canada
Panel Organiser (‘Late Modernism in Manhattan’) and Presenter (‘Late Imagism in Manhattan: Mary Barnard, Babette Deutsch and May Swenson’)
Contemporary Innovative Poetry Series, Institute for English Studies
‘Manhattan and Modernist Memory: The “new” New York Poets’
Grants and awards
Module teaching, PhD supervision
I am convenor of two undergraduate Level 6 modules, ‘The Emergence of Modern America: American Literature 1890-1940’ and ‘Poetry since 1945’. I also lecture on undergraduate modules ‘Introduction to Poetry’ and ‘Moderns’, as well as the postgraduate module ‘Modern Literary Movements’.
I welcome PhD proposals in any area of modern and contemporary poetry. Current and recent PhD projects supervised/examined include:
• Sylvia Plath, ‘performativity’ and the ‘author function’
• ‘play’ in contemporary poetry
• intersecting Sylvia Plath and the Gothic in found poetics practice
• Louis MacNeice at the BBC
• an argument for hybridity
• the modernist poetics of Benjamin, H.D. and Mina Loy