Dr Michael Malay
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
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
In The Media