Photo of Dr Michael Malay.Dr Michael Malay

Ph.D. (Bristol)

Postdoctoral Fellow

Modern and contemporary poetry, animal studies and environmental writing

Humanities Research Institute C.01



I came to Sheffield as a postdoctoral fellow in 2016, after finishing my PhD in Bristol in 2014. My primary research interests are in modern and contemporary poetry, animal studies and environmental writing.

Membership of Professional Bodies

To follow.


Current Research

I'm currently working on a project entitled 'Faceless Extinctions'. This project examines the lives of endangered animals in the UK, particularly creatures without 'faces', and tries to think through the implications of what would be lost – both for the environment and for culture – if certain species were to disappear. I am especially interested in molluscs, beetles, butterflies and eels.

My first book, The Figure of the Animal in Modern and Contemporary Poetry, will appear later this year with Palgrave Macmillan. Offering close readings of animals in the poetry of Marianne Moore, Elizabeth Bishop, Ted Hughes and Les Murray, the book argues that there is a special relationship between the poetic and the creaturely, based on poetry’s distinctive use of rhythm, sound, metaphor and image. Poetry, to adapt a phrase from Rilke, allows us to 'see animals more seeingly'.

Other interests include Raymond Williams, George Oppen, Simone Weil and Ludwig Wittgenstein. I am also a contributing member of RUOM, a group of journalists based in Southeast Asia.


Monographs & Edited Collections

The Figure of the Animal in Modern and Contemporary Poetry (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming)

Details to follow.

Journal Articles

Why Look at Animals?: Creaturely Encounters in Philosophy and Literature’, Forum for Modern Language Studies, April 2017.


‘The Homely and the Wild in Elizabeth Bishop’, Essays in Criticism, January, 2017.


‘Modes of Production, Modes of Seeing: Creaturely Suffering in Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle’, in American Beasts: Perspectives on Animals, Animality and U.S. Culture, 1776-1920 (Berlin: Neofelis, 2016).


‘Raymond Williams and Ecocriticism’, Key Words Journal of the Raymond Williams Society, October, 2014.


‘Ted Hughes: Another Look at the Jaguar’, Ted Hughes Society Journal, July, 2014.


Public Engagement

Public Engagement

To follow.

In The Media

To follow.