Dr Sarah Barnsley

Staff details

Position Senior Lecturer; Programme Director, University of London International Programmes (English)
Email s.barnsley (@gold.ac.uk)
Phone +44 (0)20 7717 2990
Dr Sarah Barnsley

Academic qualifications

  • BA (Hons) American and English Literature, University of East Anglia, 1997
  • MA ELT & Applied Linguistics, King’s College, University of London, 2001
  • PhD English, Goldsmiths College, University  of London, 2006
  • Visiting Tutor at Goldsmiths 2003-2010; appointed to External Programme 2005; appointed to ECL 2010


I teach/have taught the following courses:  Approaches to Text and The Short Story (Level 4); Further Studies in American Literature and Culture (Level 5);  The Emergence of Modern America 1890-1940 (Level 6); Modern American Fiction (Level 6); Modern Poetry (Level 6) and Re-writing Sexualities (MA option).  I also lecture on Moderns (Level 5).

Previous teaching has included Creative Writing (at Roehampton University) and Humanities (at the Open University).

Research Interests

American literature, Mary Barnard, modernism, poetry and poetics, creative writing.

My current book project, The ‘new’ New York Poets: Late Modernism in Manhattan, fleshes out the dynamic yet little-known milieu of Mary Barnard’s mid-century New York in the form of a group biography of a forgotten network of late modernist poets including Reuel Denney, Babette Deutsch, May Swenson and T.C. Wilson. It examines the ways in which these poets variously expanded on the Poundian-Williams notion of the poetic ‘new’ during their residence in Manhattan as they emerged before the better-known New York ‘school’, with whom they share some similarities in their means of production and their ambivalence about being explicitly anchored to one particular group.

Other projects I am at work on include an edition of Mary Barnard’s Complete Poems, a literary biography of May Swenson and a collection of poems.

I would welcome PhD proposals on the following areas:

  • American modernist poetry
  • modern and contemporary British and American poetry
  • late modernism in poetry
  • creative-critical hybrid writing

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
  • ‘misdirection’ in contemporary fiction and graphic narratives
  • Louis MacNeice at the BBC



Barnsley, Sarah. 2015. The Fire Station. Lewes: Telltale Press. ISBN 9780992855536

Barnsley, Sarah. 2013. Mary Barnard, American Imagist. State University of New York Press. ISBN 978-1-4384-4855-8

Edited Book

Barnsley, Sarah; Houghton, Robin and Kenny, Peter, eds. 2018. Truths: A Telltale Press Anthology. Eastbourne: Telltale Press. ISBN 978-0-9928555-5-0

Book Section

Barnsley, Sarah. 2020. Ode in the wrong time and place [POEM]. In: , ed. Live Canon Anthology 2020. Live Canon, p. 56. ISBN 9781909703841

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. 2021. Body found in garden after confession [POEM]. Poetry News, 2021(Spring), p. 11. ISSN 1353-7237

Barnsley, Sarah. 2020. The Thoughts [POEM]. Poetry Wales, 56(2), p. 25. ISSN 03322202

Barnsley, Sarah. 2020. Contemporary policemen in their homes [POEM]. Finished Creatures(4), pp. 56-57.

Barnsley, Sarah. 2020. Private and confidential [POEM]. Fenland Poetry Journal, Spring(2), pp. 52-53. ISSN 2632-8259

Barnsley, Sarah. 2020. I agree to read all the terms and conditions [POEM]. Shearsman, 2020(123-4), p. 59.

Barnsley, Sarah. 2020. The other side of the quarter panel mirror [POEM]. Shearsman, 2020(123-4), pp. 60-61.

Barnsley, Sarah. 2020. HELP WALLY! [POEM]. The White Review, Jul 20(28), p. 78.

Barnsley, Sarah. 2020. Poem on checks [POEM]. The White Review, Jul 20(28), p. 79.

Barnsley, Sarah. 2020. Virginia Woolf has fallen over [POEM]. The White Review, Jul 20(28), p. 80.

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. 2019. Safety-seeking behaviours [POEM]. Tears in the Fence, 70, p. 88. ISSN 0266-5816

Barnsley, Sarah. 2018. The day my brain broke [POEM]. Brittle Star, 43, p. 25. ISSN 1467-6230

Barnsley, Sarah. 2018. The Heebie-Jeebies [POEM]. Brittle Star, 43, pp. 76-77. ISSN 1467-6230

Barnsley, Sarah. 2018. Newly in love, distracted neuroscientists HEART [POEM]. Poetry News, Aut.(2018), p. 11.

Barnsley, Sarah. 2018. The Fugitive [POEM]. Under the Radar, 21, pp. 8-9. ISSN 1758-3357

Barnsley, Sarah. 2018. I carry a suitcase of whippets [POEM]. Under the Radar, 21, p. 10. ISSN 1758-3357

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. 2018. Lane closed for material curing [POEM]. Antiphon, 22, p. 10. ISSN 2058-7627

Barnsley, Sarah. 2017. Today you went to lunch with a cave [POEM]. The Rialto, 89, p. 26. ISSN 0268-5981

Barnsley, Sarah. 2017. We have made a number of key appointments [POEM]. Orbis, 180, p. 42. ISSN 0300-4425

Barnsley, Sarah. 2016. This Horse [POEM[]. Under the Radar(18), pp. 10-11. ISSN 1758 3357

Barnsley, Sarah. 2016. Think of it in terms of geometry [POEM]. Under the Radar(18), pp. 12-13. ISSN 1758-3357

Barnsley, Sarah. 2016. Self-diagnosis outside a fishmonger’s [POEM]. The Interpreter’s House(62), pp. 26-27. ISSN 1361-5610

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. 2015. A Zoology of London [POEM]. The Stinging Fly, 31(2),

Barnsley, Sarah. 2015. ‘The Outsider’ [POEM]. Envoi(170), p. 38. ISSN 0013-9394

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.