School of English Literature

Staff Profile of Dr Zoe Skoulding

Dr Zoe Skoulding
Senior Lecturer
Room 311, New Arts

Enjoys teaching

Creative writing and contemporary literature, and the interface between critical and creative practice.

Research profile

My critical research has developed from my creative practice as a poet and is closely related to it. I see writing and performance as a means of discovering and rethinking the ways in which place and identity are constructed and experienced, rather than simply as an outcome or recording of such knowledge. Much of my work has centred on how place shapes and is shaped by language. Although I write in English, the nature of Bangor as a bilingual city has been an important influence, as have the layered histories of other European cities.

As a development of the ideas in my 2008 collection of poems Remains of a Future City, I have become interested in how language and subjectivity in contemporary poetry and poetics, particularly that written by women, relate to urban spaces. Research carried out during my AHRC Fellowship in the Creative and Performing Arts, 2007–2012, was focused on connections between feminist poetics and geography. It involved the following questions: why have women poets tended to write about the city less often, or less directly, than men? What is the role of gender in the construction of city space? How far does the globalized city give rise to paradoxical relationships with language, culture and political structures, and how might these be relevant to women writers? My critical monograph examining these issues is forthcoming from Palgrave Macmillan in 2013.

Working with others, I perform poetry with field recordings and electronic music as an exploration of relationships between language and the physical environment. These performances have taken place all over the world, but they are concerned with how language, sound and noise interact in particular localities. This work is linked to a critical interest in how the impact of recorded sound has shaped the relationship between poetry and music, as outlined in my forthcoming chapter for OUP’s Handbook to Contemporary British and Irish Poetry.

Translation of other poets’ work is another important area of collaboration. I have co-translated the work of Luxembourgish poet Jean Portante into English, and worked on the co-translation of the American poet Jerome Rothenberg into French. In co-operation with Literature Across Frontiers I have led and participated in several international translation workshops involving poets from all over Europe and India. I see the translation of poetry as both impossible and vitally necessary; no translation is ever definitive but the space of possibility and encounter it opens up is central to my creative practice and increasingly important to my critical investigations.

As Editor of the quarterly magazine Poetry Wales and Director of the North Wales International Poetry Festival (in association with Tŷ Newydd), I aim to link these areas of research with broader public experience of poetry and its place in Wales’s cultural life.

Poetry collections:

  • The Mirror Trade (Seren, 2004).
  • Dark Wires [with Ian Davidson] (West House Books, 2007).
  • From Here (Dusie, 2008).
  • Remains of a Future City (Seren, 2008). Longlisted for Wales Book of the Year 2009.
  • The Museum for Disappearing Sounds (Seren, 2013).

Edited Collection:

  • Placing Poetry, ed. Zoë Skoulding and Ian Davidson, (Rodopi, 2013).

Poems in anthologies:

  • Women’s Work, ed. Amy Wack and Eva Salzman (Seren, 2009).
  • Identity Parade, ed. Roddy Lumsden (Bloodaxe, 2010).
  • Infinite Difference, ed. Carrie Etter (Shearsman, 2010).
  • The Ground Aslant: Radical Landscape Poetry, ed. Harriet Tarlo (Shearsman 2010).
  • Best British Poetry 2012, ed. Roddy Lumsden (Salt, 2012).


  • Jean Portante, What does and what doesn’t come to pass (Redfox, 2010), translation from the French, artist’s book.
  • Marjan Strojan, Barbara Pogacnik, Gregor Podlogar, Ana Pepelnik, In Unfriendly Weather: Four Slovenian Poets, ed. Gregor Podlogar ( Ljubljana: Lud Literatura, 2011), joint translator.
  • Jean Portante, In Reality, translation from the French (forthcoming, Seren, 2013).
  • Jerome Rothenberg, Pologne/1931, translation from English to French with Jean Portante (forthcoming, Caractères, 2013).

Refereed Journal Articles:

  • ‘Alice Notley’s Disobedient Cities.’ Feminist Review. Volume 96, Issue 1 (October 2010) 89–105.
  • ‘Translation, rewriting and the marginal city in Geraldine Monk’s Escafeld Hangings.’ Translation Studies, Volume 4, Issue 2, (2011), 183–196.
  • ‘Against background: Reframings of the City by Redell Olsen, Jena Osman and Frances Presley.’ Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry, Volume 3, Issue 2 (2011): 123–139.

Chapters in Edited Collections:

  • ‘Absent cities: texts and heterotopias.’ Performing Poetry: Rhythm, Place and Body in the Poetry Performance, ed. Cornelia Graebner (Thamyris/Intersecting, 2011).
  • ‘Translating Cities: Walking and Poetry.’ The Creative Writer in the Academy, ed. Richard Marggraf Turley. Essays and Studies (Boydell and Brewer, 2011).
  • ‘Cathedrals of Sand.’ Nutopia: A Critical View of Future Cities, ed. Malcolm Miles and Jennie Savage (University of Plymouth Press, 2012).
  • ‘Misremembered Lyric and Orphaned Music.’ The Oxford Handbook to Contemporary British and Irish Poetry, ed. Peter Robinson (Oxford University Press, 2012).

Other publications:

  • Introduction to Crwydro / Marcheurs des Bois [a Wales-Quebec artists’ collaboration], ed. Simon Whitehead (Shoeless, 2008).
  • ‘Transpoetics – Experiments with Creative Co-writing in Translation’ [with Elżbieta Wójcik-Leese](Norwich Papers, 2008).
  • ‘Disobedience’ [with Ian Davidson] in David Kennedy, ed. The Occasions of Poetry, (Shearsman, 2007).

Music collaborations (recordings):

  • Parking Non-Stop, Species Corridor (Klangbad, 2008).
  • Poetry CD/pamphlet with Alan Holmes, You Will Live in Your Own Cathedral (Seren/LAF 2009).
  • Parking Non-Stop/Temple of the Beeheads (Pure Pop For Now People, 2010).

Selected recent readings / performances


  • Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, February
  • University College Falmouth, February
  • Fiction Fiesta, Cardiff, March
  • Poetry Wales for Poets Live, Paris, April
  • Sheffield University, May
  • The Troubadour, London, June
  • Dinefwr Literature Festival, June
  • Massolit Books, Krakow, Poland, October
  • Katowice Festival, Poland, November


  • Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, February
  • Café Fra, Prague , March
  • Thionville, France, March
  • Luxembourg Embassy, London, March
  • Wroclaw Port Festival, April
  • Exarchia, Athens, May
  • Hay Jamboree, June
  • World Festival of Poetry, Venezuela, June
  • Anthony Burgess Centre, Manchester, July
  • Ledbury Festival, July
  • Nodutgang Festival Bodø, Norway, October
  • Royal Holloway, Centre for Creative Collaboration, November
  • Anthony Frost Bookshop, Bucharest, November


  • Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, February
  • Granada International Festival of Poetry, Nicaragua, February
  • Swedenborg Hall, Bloomsbury, March
  • Longwy, France, March
  • The Other Room Series, Manchester, April
  • Printemps de Poètes, Luxembourg, April
  • Launch of Infinite Difference, Cambridge University, May
  • Lyd+Litteratur Aarhus, Denmark, June
  • Poetry Days, Riga, September
  • Kulturfabrik, Esch-sur Alzette, Luxembourg, November
  • Philip Larkin Centre, Hull, November
  • Rose Theatre, Edge Hill University, December
  • Trivandrum, Pune and Chennai, India, December

Site footer