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Photo of Professor Tim Kendall

Professor Tim Kendall



01392 724343

I have three current and overlapping research interests: twentieth-century poetry, archives, and William Golding. Recent publications and broadcasts include Poetry of the First World War: An Anthology (Oxford University Press, October 2013) and a 1-hour arts documentary, Ivor Gurney: The Poet who Loved the War (BBC4, 2014; I was the producer of a BBC2 documentary on Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar, broadcast in August 2018.

With Philip Lancaster, I am editing Ivor Gurney's complete literary works in five volumes for OUP; volume 1 was published in March 2020. I have also edited the 6th edition of the Norton Anthology of Poetry alongside Mary Jo Salter and Margaret Ferguson (February 2018). I am currently editing Poetry of the Second World War (forthcoming from OUP, 2021), and the correspondence between William Golding and his Faber editor, Charles Monteith.

I have been Head of Department, Director of Research, and Head of Impact. From January until July 2019, I was Academic Director of Arts & Culture for the university. In July, I started a new role as Academic Director of Special Collections.

Research interests

I have published mainly on twentieth-century poetry from Britain, Ireland and America, including full-length studies of Sylvia Plath, Robert Frost and Paul Muldoon. Several of my recent publications have focused on war poetry: Modern English War Poetry (OUP, 2006); ed. The Oxford Handbook of British and Irish War Poetry (OUP, 2007). My annotated anthology, Poetry of the First World War, appeared from Oxford World's Classics on Remembrance Day, 2013; its sequel on the Second World War will be published in 2021. Also under contract is a 5-volume variorum edition of Ivor Gurney's Complete Poems, which I am editing with Philip Lancaster for Oxford English Texts; volume 1, covering the years 1907 to 1918, appeared in February 2020.

I was presenter of BBC4's Ivor Gurney: The Poet Who Loved the War (2014), and producer of BBC2's Sylvia Plath: Life Inside the Bell Jar (August 2018).

I am currently editing the letters between William Golding and his Faber editor, Charles Monteith.

Research supervision

War poetry; archives; writers' letters; anthologies; nature writing. Specific authors include Robert Frost, Charlotte Mew, Sylvia Plath, Keith Douglas, Ivor Gurney, Rudyard Kipling, William Golding.


Research students

The following PhD students successfully completed in 2013:

  • Philip Lancaster (PhD on Ivor Gurney).
  • Carrie Smith (PhD on Ted Hughes, co-supervised with Jo Gill).
  • Rebecca Welshman (PhD on Thomas Hardy, Richard Jefferies and Victorian Archaeology)

In 2014:

  • Sadia Rehman (MbyRes on T. S. Eliot).

In 2015:

  • Jasmine Hunter Evans (PhD on David Jones, co-supervised with Rebecca Langlands).
  • Lucy Tunstall (PhD on Sylvia Plath, co-supervised with Jo Gll).

In 2016:

  • Grant Repshire (PhD on F W Harvey).
  • Suzanne Steele (PhD on war poetry).
  • Luke Thompson (PhD on Jack Clemo).

In 2018:

  • Pete Bunten (PhD on Henry Williamson).
  • Bysshe Coffey (PhD on Percy Shelley).

Other information

I co-organised the William Golding Centenary Conference in 2011.

Modules taught


Tim Kendall was born in Plymouth in 1970. He read English at Christ Church, Oxford, and completed his D. Phil on Northern Irish poetry in 1994. After holding several short-term teaching posts in Oxford, he became the Sir James Knott Research Fellow at the University of Newcastle.  In 1997 he was appointed to his first permanent post, at the University of Bristol. He joined Exeter as Professor of English Literature in 2006, and served as Head of Department from 2007 to 2013. He was Director of Research in 2014, after which he held a three-year Major Research Fellowship funded by Leverhulme. From January until July 2019, he was the university's Academic Director of Arts & Culture, and he has now taken a new role as Academic Director of Special Collections.


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