Staff Profile of Dr Zoe Skoulding

Dr Zoe Skoulding
Room 311, New Arts

I am the Director of Creative Writing and Deputy Head of School.  I am also Bangor's Director of Contempo, the Centre for Contemporary Poetry run collaboratively between five UK universities.

Teaching and Supervision

I teach creative writing and contemporary literature, with particular specialisms in poetry and experimental practice. I teach the poetry module and supervise dissertations on the MA in Creative Writing. I am currently supervising five PhD students with creative writing projects, three in fiction and two in poetry, and welcome proposals in any area connected with my research or teaching.

Research profile

My critical research has developed from my work as a poet and is closely related to it. My main interests lie in sound and performance, ecopoetics and urban space, and translation as a creative practice.

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. In a development of the ideas in my 2008 collection of poems Remains of a Future City, I became interested in how contemporary poetry relates to urban spaces. Research carried out during my AHRC Fellowship in the Creative and Performing Arts 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 was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2013.

My poetry collection The Museum of Disappearing Sounds (Seren, 2013) is concerned with what it means to listen to the world around us in its human and non-human aspects, as it explores the poem as a space of tension between music and noise. Although my primary interest is writing for the page, I have often performed poetry with field recordings and electronic music, with a focus on 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 chapter for OUP’s Handbook to Contemporary British and Irish Poetry (see below) and a continuing project on poetry and listening.

I am currently collaborating with the visual artist Ben Stammers on rAdda, a poetry, photography and performance project on the Adda, Bangor's little-known culverted river. I have also written a sequence of poems about a lost Parisian river, the Bièvre. In both cases, I explore hidden rivers as the hidden reverse of urban spaces often taken at face value.

Translation is another important area of my practice-based research. I have translated the work of Luxembourgish poet Jean Portante into English, and co-translated the American poet Jerome Rothenberg into French. In co-operation with Literature Across Frontiers I have led and participated in several international translation workshops. I see the translation of poetry as both impossible and necessary; no translation is ever definitive but the space of intercultural 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 from 2008 to 2014 and current co-director of the Wales International Poetry Festival, I have aimed to link these areas of research with broader public experience of poetry and its place in Wales’s cultural life.


ESRC Impact Acceleration Major Award for project on Afon Adda, 2016
The Museum for Disappearing Sounds shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry, 2014
Laureate of Les Récollets International Artist Residency, Paris, 2014
Remains of a Future City longlisted for Wales Book of the Year, 2009
AHRC Fellowship in the Creative and Performing Arts, 2007–2012
Academi Writing Bursary 2005

Selected Commissions:

  • Poem on Mina Loy for exhibition event at Bluecoat, Liverpool, January 2016.
  • Poem for Dutch Chairmanship of EU exhibited at Schiphol Airport and Amsterdam Central Station, 2016.

Poetry collections:

  • Teint: For the Bièvre (Hafan Books, 2016).
  • The Museum for Disappearing Sounds (Seren, 2013).
  • Remains of a Future City (Seren, 2008).
  • From Here (Dusie, 2008).
  • Dark Wires [with Ian Davidson] (West House Books, 2007).

The Mirror Trade (Seren, 2004).

Critical reception:

My poetry is discussed in several critical publications, including Alice Entwistle's Poetry, Geography, Gender: Women Rewriting Contemporary Wales (University of Wales Press, 2013), and her interview with me forms a chapter of In Her Own Words: Women Talking Poetry and Wales (Seren, 2014). See also Devolved Voices:


Contemporary Women’s Poetry and Urban Space: Experimental Cities (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).

Edited Collection:

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

Poems in anthologies:

  • Out of Everywhere 2: Linguistically Innovative Poetry by Women in North America and the UK, ed. Emily Critchley (Reality Street, 2015)
  • Debajo la Hierba. Arriba la Bóveda del Cielo: Ventanas al Paisaje Británico [in Spanish translation], ed. and trans. Adriana Díaz Encisco (Mexico: Elefanta Editorial, 2015).
  • Nuestra Tierra de Nadie: Poesía Galesa Contemporánea [in Spanish translation] eds. and trans. Victor Rodriguez Nuñez and Kate Hedeen (Mexico: La Otra, 2015).
  • Best British Poetry 2012, ed. Roddy Lumsden (Salt, 2012).
  • 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).
  • Women’s Work, ed. Amy Wack and Eva Salzman (Seren, 2009).


  • Jean Portante, In Reality, translation from the French (Seren, 2013).
  • Metropoetica, collaborative writing and translation co-authored with Ingmara Balode, Julia Fiedorczuk, Sanna Karlstrom, Anna Pepelnik and Elzbieta Wocik-Leese (Seren, 2013).
  • Jerome Rothenberg, Pologne/1931, translation from English to French with Jean Portante (Caractères, 2013).
  • 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, What does and what doesn’t come to pass (Redfox, 2010), translation from the French, artist’s book.

Refereed Journal Articles:

  • Co-authored with Carole Birkan-Berz, 'Translating Sound and Resonance in Experimental Poetry from the UK : a Cross-Channel Perspective'. Palimpsestes 28 (2015) 97-116.
  •  ‘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:

  • 'Film, Gramophones and the Noise of Landscape in Thomas and Lynette Roberts', in Reading Dylan Thomas, ed. Edward Allen (University of Edinburgh Press, forthcoming).
  • 'Listening and Location in the poetry of Lynette Roberts', in Locating Lynette Roberts: 'Always Observant and Slightly Obscure' eds. Gareth Evans and Siriol McEvoy (University of Wales Press, forthcoming).
  • 'Disappearing sounds: poetry, noise and narrative' in Audionarratology, eds. Till Kinzel and Jarmila Mildorf (Narratologia de Gruyter: 2016).
  • 'Translation and destruction' [in Spanish translation] Poetas que traducen poesía, ed. Jorge Fondebrider (Santiago, Chile: LOM ediciones, 2015).
  •  ‘Misremembered Lyric and Orphaned Music.’ The Oxford Handbook to Contemporary British and Irish Poetry, ed. Peter Robinson (Oxford University Press, 2013).
  •  ‘Cathedrals of Sand.’ Nutopia: A Critical View of Future Cities, ed. Malcolm Miles and Jennie Savage (University of Plymouth Press, 2012).
  • ‘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).

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).

Selected Recent Conference Papers:

'Caroline Bergvall's Drift: subtitles and sounded text', PoeTransFi, Montpellier Paul Valéry University, June 2015.

'Film, gramophones and the noise of landscape in Dylan Thomas and Lynette Roberts', paper presented at Resounding Dylan Thomas, University of Cambridge, October 2014.

'Translating Sound and Resonance in Experimental Poetry from the UK : a Cross-Channel Perspective', paper written jointly with Carole Birkan-Berz, presented at TRACT: Translation and Orality, October 2014.

'Poetry, Noise and Erasure,' paper presented at Audionarratology, Interfaces of Sound and Narrative, Universität Paderborn, September 2014.

'Sundogs and Roses: Synaesthesia in the poetry of Carol Watts and Mei-mei Berssenbrugge', paper presented at Joined Senses: Synaesthesia in Texts and Images, Université de Bourgogne June, 2014.

'Disappearing Sounds: On translation' Paper presented at TRACT research group, Sorbonne Novelle, March, 2014.

'"& in ongoingness" "of voices"': speech, song and citation in the poetry of Alice Notley and Pierre Joris', ULB, Nomadic Travels and Travails, November, 2013.

'Sound and Ecopoetics', Ecopoetics Symposium, Southampton University, May 2013.

‘Misremembered Lyric and Orphaned Music.’ The Shape of Song, Cambridge University, July 2012.

Irruptive Citizenship in the Poetry of Erin Moure.’ Poetry and Revolution, Birkbeck College, May 2012.

‘Lisa Samuels: Unknown Cities.’ Bangor University, Contempo, November 2011.

‘Metropoetica: poetry translation and walking in the city’ The Author as Translator, Swansea University, June 2010.

‘Against Background.’ The Women's Innovative Poetry & Cross-Genre Festival, Greenwich University, July 2010.

‘Metropoetica.’ Joint paper with Julia Fiedorczuk. ASLE, Bath University September 2010.

‘Reading Denise Riley’s “The Castalian Spring”’A Colloquy of Poets, Philip Larkin Centre, Hull University, November 2010.

Listening and location in the poetry of Lynette Roberts, Symposium on Lynette Roberts, Dylan Thomas Centre, October 2009.

Selected recent readings / performances


Maison de la Poésie, Paris;
Managua International Poetry Festival.


Festival of Sound at Magdalene College, Cambridge
The Poetry Experiment, Cardiff
Izmir Poetry Festival, Turkey
Gelynion/Enemies tour, venues in Newport, Swansea, Cardiff and Bangor, the Hay Festival and Rich Mix London
Mlade Rime Festival, Slovenia
Blue Bus, London
Voci lontane Voci sorelle poetry festival, Florence
Globe Road Festival, London


Poets Live, Paris
Poètes en résonances, Paris
Printemps de poètes, Paris.
Storm and Golden Sky Series in Liverpool (
Sheffield University
Ledbury Festival
The Mosaic Rooms, London
Waterstones, Manchester


Nazim Hikmet Centre, Istanbul
Stanza Festival, St Andrews
Kenyon College, USA
Prague Bookworld, Czech Republic
Reading Poetry Festival
Avant-Garde Festival, Schiphorst, Germany
Bath Spa University
Aberystwyth Library
Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff
Sheffield University
University of East Anglia
Xing the Line, London


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