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 Wanda O'Connor

Wanda O'Connor

Research student, Creative and Critical Writing, School of English, Communication and Philosophy

I am a poet and scholar of contemporary poetry and poetics. I publish widely and across genres and collaborate with artistis and composers, create film-poems and write libretto for opera.

I am an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2017) and a tutor of Creative Writing and English Literature for Cardiff University and for the Poetry School, and I co-organize the Cardiff Poetry Experiment reading series, an engagement activity funded by the School of English, Communication and Philosophy. In 2018, I organized a conference on contemporary poetics at Cardiff University (; conference report: Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry).

Memberships include the National Association for Writers in Education (NAWE), the Contemporary Women's Writing Association and the British Association for Contemporary Literary Studies. I am also a committee member of NAWE's PhD Network.

Academic background

I undertook a BA (Hons, distinction) in Classical Languages and Literatures with a Major in Creative Writing at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec (2009) where I also graduated with an MA in English Literature (2011). My MA thesis looked to American poetry and poetics, specifically the work of poet and scholar Robin Blaser and his connection to the San Francisco Renaissance. My PhD thesis brings forward Projectivist poetics and examines contemporary poetry as it relates to what I identify as a current Projectivist aesthetic.


I am a recipient of the College of Humanities Overseas Research Scholarship at Cardiff University for my PhD research. My Master's degree was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanites Research Council (SSHRC) Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Master's Scholarship and I've received additional internal and external funding towards my research.


November 11-13, 2016, NAWE (National Association for Writers in Education) Annual Conference. Panel proposed and presented: “Hybrid Writing” with Kat Peddie (University of Kent), Stratford-upon-Avon, England.

October 5-7, 2016, Outside-In / Inside-Out: A Symposium / Poetry Festival on Outside and Subterranean Poetry. Critical-creative reading and performance of Entwurf – a practice rooted in Heideggerian thrown projection, University of Glasgow, Scotland.

June 17, 2016, Critical Creativity: Exploring Creative-Critical Writing. Paper, “Process as aleatory, and other ‘ways in'”, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, England.

April 9-11, 2016, Poetics: The Next 25 Years. Panel: Translingual Poetics and the Network. Paper “Accentuating the Interregnum: the Translingual as Interval Field,” University of Buffalo, New York.

July 2, 2015, Panel talk and poetry reading, “Considering Place in Poetry,” The Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere, England.

June 15-18, 2015, SCALE, European Society for Literature, Science and the Arts. Paper, “Moving Fields: Mapping the Contemporary Spatial Poem,” Valletta, Malta.

May 7-9, 2015, Place for Poetry. Paper, “Perpetual Inroads: ‘Throwing the Text’ in Contemporary Poetry, a Spatial Inquiry,” Goldsmith’s College, University of London, London.

Selected Performances, Readings and Collaborations

August and April 2017 - Anathema, experimental poetry reading series, Arnolfini Centre for Contemporary Arts, Bristol, England

Spring 2017 - Librettist for two arias, in collaboration with the Welsh National Youth Opera and Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales

August 2016 - The Other Room, reading with James Wilkes, David Kennedy & Joey Frances, Manchester, England

June 2016 - Librettist for Make an Aria, part of Festival of Voice 2016 and in collaboration with Music Theatre Wales and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff, Wales

April 2016 - Words&Words, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Aberystwyth, Wales

April 2016 - Experimental poetry and performance evening, with Rhys Trimble, Steven Hitchins & Lyndon Davies, Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, Wales

January 2016 - Datableed launch, part of Canterbury’s Free Range series of events and University of Kent, Canterbury, England

June 2015 - Best Canadian Poetry 2014 reading and book launch, KGB Bar, East Village, and “Word for Word” event with Bryant Park Reading Room, New York, New York

May 2015 - Poetry collaboration with Peter Finch, Cardiff, Wales

Spring 2014 - Poetry and jazz collaboration, Banff Centre for the Arts, Alberta, Canada

April 2013 - Reading at Prelude Event for Northrop Frye Festival, Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Selected Publications

"Before the diagnosis, after the diagnosis of the diagnosis, before and after" and "In," Wretched Strangers, Boiler House Press 2018.

"Pythia's rest," The World Speaking Back: to Denise Riley, Boiler House Press 2018.

The Practice of Entering,” essay and cover image, “Moon,” Poetry Wales, Summer 2017.

Bad Kid Catullus,” translated from Latin and with my own poetry, Sidekick Books 2017.

Three Poems, The Other Room anthology 9, April 2017.

"A lesson of Lemminkäinen," Molly Bloom, May 2017.

“Brother” and “Palatine Hill,” Poetry Wales, Spring 2016.

Drawing hour,” Glasfryn Project, Junction Box 8, 2016.

Omophagos,” translated from Ancient Greek and with my own poetry, Asymptote's experimental translation feature, Winter 2016.

Go soft into this posture,” an ekphrastic poem based on Salvador Dali’s Mountain Lake, Magma, Spring 2016.

Fugue state,” Datableed, Autumn 2015.

“Stratum,” Zarf: new experimental poetry, Summer 2015.

Sleep troubles my waking face,” Resonance Reading Series, Fall 2015.

Get me out of here: Poems,” contributor. Sachiko Murakami, Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2015 (28, 41).

“How to enter a dress,” Best Canadian Poetry in English 2014. Toronto: Tightrope, 2014 (61-64).

How to enter a dress,” Second place in the Thomas Morton Poetry Contest, The Puritan Literary Journal, 23 (2013).

damascene road passaggio,” Poetry chapbook, Above Ground Press, 2013.

“Flu(net)”, “A month of Novembers.” Canadian Authors Association Anthology
of Montreal Writers. Vol. 5. Montreal: Canadian Authors Association, 2013 (106).

Robin Blaser’s ‘The City’,” How Poems Work contributor, Lemon Hound Literary Journal, 2012.

“Where Are the Lids? The Lids to Everything? The Poetry of Artie Gold,” The Globe and Mail, 2010.


Jerome Rothenberg’s '15 antiphonals for HAROLDO',” Zarf, November 2015.

Out-standing Artifacts: The Performance Art of Chun Hua Catherine Dong,” Rover Arts – Culture & Conversation, 2014.

"Poets Talk: Conversations with Robert Kroetsch, Daphne Marlatt, Erin Mouré, Dionne Brand, Marie Annharte Baker, Jeff Derksen, and Fred Wah," Filling Station, Issue 41, 2007.

The Sleepy Heart of a Poet: a. rawlings romps through the dream state in Wide Slumber for Lepidopterists,” The Ottawa XPress, April 2006.

An Unexpected Shift: Experimental poetry gets turned “on” by new Canadian anthology,” The Ottawa XPress, January 2006.

Research interests

Innovative poetry and poetics, postmodern theory, contemporary women’s poetry, hybrid literatures, literature and philosophy, libretto, critical theory, film theory, performative space, translation, practice-based research in interdisciplinary contexts, the avant-garde, situationist theory and psychogeography, Ancient Greek tragedy and mythology.


Cardiff University

2016-2018 Creative Writing Tutor, Year 1
2017 MA Creative Writing Tutor, Gregynog Annual Writing Retreat
2017 Guest Lecturer, Postmodern Poetry
2015-2016 English Literature Tutor, Year 1
2015 MA Creative Writing Tutor, Gregynog Annual Writing Retreat

Concordia University

2011 Guest Lecturer, Milton and Paradise Lost
2011 Historical Survey of Medieval Literature Tutor
2011 Graduate Seminar in University Teaching Tutor
2010-2011 Technical Writing and Communication Tutor
2010 Historical Survey of British Literature Tutor
2010 Guest Lecturer, Wordsworth and the Sublime
2008 Mediterranean Mythology and Greek History Tutor
2006 Greek Mythology Tutor


Towards a Post-Projective Poetics

My doctoral project introduces what I call a Post-Projective Poetics. It functions within a spatial body and presents itself as ‘unplanned drift’ fixed only by ‘constant currents’ (Debord). The post-projective poem is vitally a site of plurality and my critical-creative project seeks to decipher ways into the shifting peripatetics of this contemporary form and to chart its open arrangement. The thesis explores a poetics of erasure, gloss, the archive, excess and thrownness, and builds on prior literature by bringing a phenomenological approach to bear on the consideration of textual elements and by deploying an interdisciplinary framework appropriate to the nature of a post-projective practice in contemporary poetry.



Dr Ailbhe Darcy

Senior Lecturer

Aidan Tynan

Dr Aidan Tynan

Senior Lecturer

Areas of expertise