Visiting professors / fellows
Sean O'Brien's Collected Poems appeared from Picador in 2012. His collections include The Drowned Book (2007) and November (2011). He has won the T.S.Eliot Prize and (three times) the Forward Prize. Other recent work includes a verse translation of the Inferno (Picador, 2006); The Silence Room (short stories, Comma, 2008); a novel (Afterlife, Picador, 2009); Journeys to the Interior: Ideas of England in Contemporary Poetry (Bloodaxe, 2012); and the anthology Train Songs (co-edited with Don Paterson, Faber, 2013). He is at work on a novel and (with Daniel Hahn) of the Selected Poems of Corsino Fortes. His verse translation of Tirso de Molina's Spanish Golden Age comedy Don Gil of the Green Breeches (1615) is part of the Golden Age season at the Theatre Royal Bath and the Arcola Theatre, London 2013-14. He reviews for The Guardian, The Independent and the Times Literary Supplement. He is Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University.
Alison Light is a freelance writer. She has worked at the BBC and as a lecturer in English at Royal Holloway College and University College London University; she has also taught for the WEA, at the Open University and Brighton Poly in the 1980s. She spent several years helping to establish the Raphael Samuel History Research Centre (UEL- Birbeck) whose public archive is based at the Bishopsgate Institute, London (www.raphael-samuel.org.uk). Most recently, she was Professor of Modern English Literature and Culture (part-time) at Newcastle University. Apart from her academic publications and reviews, she has written for the national press, including The Guardian, The Independent, and the London Review of Books; she has also broadcast on BBC radio and television. Her last book, Mrs Woolf and the Servants won second prize for the History Today Longman Prize and was longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize. Published in the USA by Bloomsbury Press, it was named by the Atlantic Monthly as one of the top five books of 2009 - fiction or nonfiction in the UK or the USA. It was 'Book of the Year' in the New Yorker, the Sunday Times and the New Statesman. She is a Visiting Professor at Newcastle University. Her new book, 'Common People: An English Family History without Roots' will be published by Fig Tree/Penguin in 2014. She first became involved with English at Sheffield Hallam through the conferences on ‘middlebrow' literature and is now acting as an advisor for the new ‘Readerships and Literary Cultures 1900-1950' Special Collection.
Michele Roberts is the author of twelve highly acclaimed novels, including The Looking Glass and Daughters of the House which won the WHSmith Literary Award and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Her memoir Paper Houses was BBC Radio 4's Book of the Week in June 2007. She has also published poetry and short stories, most recently collected in Mud- stories of sex and love (2010). Half-English and half-French, Michele Roberts lives in London and in the Mayenne, France.