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Dr Simon Perril

Job: Professor of Poetic Practice

Faculty: Arts, Design and Humanities

School/department: School of Humanities

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, UK, LE1 9BH

T: +44 (0)116 207 8818



Personal profile

Simon's poetry publications include The Slip (Shearsman 2020), In the Final Year of My 40s (Shearsman 2017), Beneath (Shearsman 2015), Archilochus on the Moon (Shearsman 2013), (Shearsman Nitrate (Salt 2010), Hearing is Itself Suddenly a Kind Of Singing (Salt 2004); the chapbooks Newton’s Splinter (Open House 2012), A Clutch of Odes (Oystercatcher 2009); and appearances in the anthologies Sea Pie: A Shearsman Anthology of Oystercatcher Poetry (Shearsman 2012), Gathered Here Today (Knives forks and spoons press 2012), and New Tonal Language (Reality Street Editions 1999).  His poems have featured in leading journals including PN Review, Poetry Wales, Jacket, Tears in the Fence, Angel Exhaust, Fragmente, Salt, Jacket, The Gig, Shearsman, Pages, CCCP, Pilot, Hearing Voices, Cleaves. He has also been translated into Dutch by Stanza: Internationale Pöezie. 

As a critic he has written widely on contemporary poetry, specialising in Late Modernist, ‘Linguistically Innovative’ or Anglo-American vanguard poetry and poetics. He has editing the books The Salt Companion to John James (Salt 2010), and Tending the Vortex: The Works of Brian Catling (CCCP 2001). He has contributed to many critical anthologies such The Cambridge Companion to British Poetry 1945-2010 (Cambridge University Press 2015), and Modernist Legacies: Trends and Faultlines in British Poetry Today (Palgrave 2015); and many book chapters and refereed journal articles on poets such as Tom Raworth, Anna Mendelssohn, Peter Riley, Andrea Brady, John Tranter and Peter Manson. 

You can watch his inaugural professorial lecture here, containing three poetry film pieces:

You can watch him reading at London’s Xing the Line poetry series on YouTube here: and here: ; and reading in Leicester here:

Simon has appeared regularly on BBC Radio Leicester, reading his work, being interviewed, and talking about National Poetry Day, and World Poetry Day, and the States of Independence publishers’ fair co-organised by De Montfort’s Leicester Centre for Creative Writing and industry partner Dahlia Books. For more information on States of Independence, visit the website:

Simon is particularly interested in formal innovation in all aspects of Creative Writing practice, and currently supervising 4 practice-based PhD students working in diverse forms and projects: a ‘speculative biography’ of the 90s music scene, a ‘queer’ exploration of migrant identity and autobiography, a multi-platform creative experiment examining the ‘Millennial’ generation, and a memoir that challenges standard representation of visual impairment and mental health.

Key research outputs

Newton’s Splinter (Open House 2012)

Nitrate (Salt 2010)

The Salt Companion to John James (Salt 2010)

A Clutch of Odes (Oystercatcher 2009)

Hearing is Itself Suddenly a Kind Of Singing (Salt 2004)

Research interests/expertise

Dr Perril’s research expertise lies in Creative Writing, and contemporary Anglo-American poetry and poetics, with particular leanings towards the ‘experimental’ (Modernism, Avant-Garde, Postmodernism, Linguistically Innovative, Late Modernist, British Poetry Revival).

Areas of teaching

Creative Writing


  • Phd in Contemporary Poetry, Cambridge University, 
  • MA in American Literature, Leeds University
  • BA Hons in English Literature, Anglia Ruskin University

Courses taught

On the undergraduate Creative Writing BA (Hons) degree, Simon teaches Writing Identity, Writing and Context, Writing Place.  In the past he has taught all manner of literature courses (Modernism, Postmodern American Poetry, Romanticism, Victorian Literature, Decadence, Critical Theory).

Membership of professional associations and societies

National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE)

Conference attendance

Conference Papers

Nitrate: creative practice as research”, Canadian Creative Writers & Writing Programs conference, “Creative Writing in the 21st Century”, Thursday May 10th — Sunday May 13th 2012, Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, Toronto.

“‘the words you can & do remember / by the hand to write / defy the night’: John James and the resistance to gravity”. Birkbeck Centre for Poetics Research, Keynes Library, London WC1, 9th March 2012.
 ‘“Kinked up like it wants to bark”: Contemporary British Poetry at the tomb of the Poète Maudit’. Paper given at the International conference Legacies of Modernism: The State of British Poetry Today, 9-11th June 2011, Université Paris-Diderot, Institut Charles V, 10, rue Charles V, 75004 Paris.
“Treasure Islands: Douglas Oliver, Hannah Arendt and the Pathos of Novelty” paper given at Variations on the Theme of Harm: A One-Day Conference on the Work of Douglas Oliver,  Dept of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies and the Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies, December 5th 2009.
“Up the Northampton NILE - Paddle Provided (demonstration of the Northampton Integrated Learning Environment)” with Dr Ruth Robbins. Given at the Studying Poetry conference November 28th 2003, University of Hertfordshire, De Havilland Campus, Hatfield 
“One’s Regard Per Se: Leslie Scalapino’s Moebius Comic Strip” Given at Postmodern Poetry: An International Conference 30-31 March 1998, Exmouth Campus, University of Plymouth. July 1998.
 “Being Apprehended, Being Overlooked: Barbara Guest’s Fair Realism” Given at "Something We Have That They Don’t”: Post-War Anglo-American Poetic Relations conference held at Centre For English Studies, University of London, July 1998.
“Hanging on Your Every Word: J.H.Prynne’s Bands Around The Throat” Given at The Works of J.H. Prynne: A One Day Colloquium December 15th 1998, English Faculty, Cambridge University.
Poetry And Artificial Intelligence”, given at the Assembling Alternatives international poetry conference / Festival held at the University of New Hampshire, U.S.A. 29 August - 2 September 1996.
“Response And Responsibility In J.H. Prynne’s Word Order”, given at the Identity And Community In Contemporary British Poetry conference held at the Centre For English Studies, University Of London. September 1 1996.
“Tom Raworth’s Eternal Sections and Recent Debates Concerning The Politics Of signification”, given at the Twentieth-century Graduate Research seminar, English Faculty, Cambridge. March 11 1995 .
“J.H. Prynne’s The Oval Window”, given at the Twentieth-century Graduate Research seminar, English Faculty, Cambridge. May 1994.

April 24 1993 : “A Reading Of Brian Catling’s The Stumbling Block”, given at The Third Cambridge Conference Of Contemporary Poetry, Kings College May 1993.

Selected Poetry Readings / Public Performances (since joining DMU)

  • Poetry reading at the xing the Line series, The Apple Tree, London WC1X 0AE, 20th April 2012
  • Invited to give a talk on John James, and then an evening poetry reading, at The Birkbeck Centre for Poetics Research, Keynes Library, London WC1, 9th March 2012.
  • Reading with visuals at Sussex Poetry Festival, Nightingale Theatre, Brighton, July 1st, 2011
  • Featured poet at Shindig! Reading series, The Western, Leicester, 27th June 2011
  • Invited to talk on my book Nitrate at Open Meeting of the Poetry and Poetics Research Group, Edge Hill University, 11th November, 2010.
  • Reading to launch the first issue of Cleaves magazine at the Turkey Café, Leicester, March 2010
  • An installation of an audio-visual version of my book of poems Nitrate, was screened on a loop all night at the Phoenix digital Arts Center, Leicester for the Cpulse Launch event 29th January 2010. I also gave a live poetry reading.
  • Reading at the States of Independence Independent Publishers Fair that the Creative Writing team co-hosted with Five Leaves Press, March 2010 – and which drew in 500 visitors, and was successful enough for Derby to use our model for a similar event themselves.
  • Launch reading for Nitrate as part of Salt Poetry Night at Cultural eXchanges alongside the internationally respected poets Tom Raworth and John James.
  • Reading at Salt Poetry’s 10th Anniversary event, The Punter, Cambridge, 28th January, 2010
  • Clutch of Odes Launch at the Western Pub, Leicester,2009

Key articles information

[Add key research outputs information here] 

e.g ‘Outputs, e.g. selected publications’ produced since January 2008

Current research students

  • Emma Conway, full-time, PhD, First Supervisor
  • Pam Thompson, P/T, PhD, First Supervisor
  • Hannah Stevens, P/T, PhD, First Supervisor

Externally funded research grants information

  • £2,500 funding from the Henry Moore Foundation, January 2001 (towards the completion of Tending the Vortex: The Works of Brian Catling).
  • JISC TechDis: Undergraduate Creative Writing and E-inclusivity 
    Total:  £ 2010 (Commissioned July 2008; interim report written in January 2009; final report submitted in May 2009).

Internally funded research project information

  • Research into Teaching 2007-2008: Journeying Beyond the Page: New Media and undergraduate Creative Writing. Total: £3000.
  • Research Into Teaching 2008-2009: Towards Creative Design: Total: £3, 243.00.