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Karl Popper 617
My M.A. thesis examined the novels of Damien Wilkins, and sought to place him within the context of international trends in poststructuralist and postmodern thought. An extract from this thesis was published as a chapter in Floating Worlds. Since then I have published articles on poets such as Tusiata Avia, James Brown, John Newton and Bill Manhire, and a book chapter on James K. Baxter. The major theme of my continuing research remains the influence of the literary-theoretical problem of romanticism in the context of contemporary New Zealand literature—specifically, literature written after 1984 and in the era of so-called late capitalism and neo-liberalism. The book chapter (Quarrels with Himself, 2017) on James K. Baxter’s criticism of poetry seeks to seed this analysis in a progenitor figure; while my essay on Carl Shuker’s novel Anti Lebanon draws attention to romanticism as a problem interconnected with the force of neo-colonial globalisation. My current book project is a collection of essays on a selection of New Zealand poems published after 1984, modelled on Stephanie Burt’s successful The Poem is You (2016), to be titled Stepping Out the Distance. In 2021 I gave presentations on Aotearoa New Zealand literature at Oxford University, University College London, Bard College, and Deakin University. I also regularly speak at high schools in Ōtuatahi Christchurch on a broad range of literary topics. Along with the book on contemporary New Zealand poetry (mentioned above), my other current projects include a chapter on Vince O'Sullivan's play Shuriken, and an essay on the modernism of poet Ursula Bethell. Currently I run the Masters of Writing programme. My own poetry has been published in Landfall, The Spinoff, and Poetry New Zealand Yearbook.