Dr Karl O' Hanlon


Lecturer/Assistant Professor

Iontas Building
Ground Floor
Office 0.41


I am a poet-critic, and my research focuses on modern and contemporary poetry. My poetry has appeared in The TLS, The Irish Times, Poetry, and elsewhere. 

Before joining Maynooth, I was a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the University of Leeds. I held a Fulbright scholarship at Georgetown University, and I completed my doctorate at the University of York. I completed my BA Honours degree in English at Queen's University Belfast, where I won the Esther Ballantine Prize on graduation.


My monograph, Official Voices: Poets and the Irish State, is forthcoming with Liverpool University Press in 2024. It examines the poet-politicians and bureaucrats who shaped the twenty-six county Irish state. It focuses on how major issues in the state’s history resonate in the work of these poet-officials: revolution, state violence/insurgency against the state, patriarchy, partition, modernisation, socialist and feminist alternatives to conservative nationalism. Poets examined in this book include W.B. Yeats, Desmond FitzGerald, Denis Devlin, Valentin Iremonger, Máire Mhac an tSaoi, Eithne Strong, and Thomas Kinsella.

With Dr Jonathan Foster (Stockholm) and Dr Elliott Mills (Trinity College Dublin), I am co-editing Irish Writers and State Bureaucracy, forthcoming with Liverpool University Press in 2025.

Research Project

I am PI on the North-South Research Programme project '"Our roots travel widely": Beyond Regionalism and Nationalism in Irish Poetry' (BRAN).

BRAN aims to provide a radically-new paradigm for thinking about poetry, culture, identity, and politics on the island between 1920 and the late 1960s. Like Bran, the voyager of Irish legend, our project hoists anchor and sails out from familiar territories, the dominant critical narratives of Irish poetry in the period, in which regionalism and nationalism operate as exclusive poles within a fractured and traumatised cultural scene. We aim to recover a sense of Irish poetry as dynamic, collaborative, and shaped by international energies, by the crucial role of women, minorities, migrants, and visitors to the island.

Funded by Department of the Taoiseach's Shared Island Unit, the project is a collaboration with Dr Gail McConnell in Queen's University, Belfast, and brings postdoctoral researcher Dr Julie Morrissy to Maynooth. It will deliver two symposia (Dublin and Belfast), a creative-critical anthology, a Poetry Jukebox installation, and an online digital exhibition.

Recent Awards

In October 2023, I undertook research on mid-century migrant poetry in Ireland at the Library of Congress with the support of an RIA Charlemont Grant, and I was invited to give a talk on my research at Georgetown University.

In 2022, I won the Faculty Early Career Research Achievement Award. I was awarded a Provost's Grant for Library Research to undertake archival work at the Z. Smith Reynolds Library, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina in April 2023.


A current focus of my research on mid-century migrant writers is Jamaican poet Ferdinand Levy (possibly the first black poet published in Ireland). My article 'Ferdinand Levy: A Harlem Renaissance Dubliner and De-Colonial Cosmopolitanism', forthcoming in Journal of Modern Literature (spring 2024). BBC Radio 4 have commissioned Ferdy, a show producer Claire Cunningham and I proposed on Levy's life and work, scheduled to air spring 2024 with TS Eliot Prize-winning poet Jason Allen-Paisant as presenter.

 My article ‘The Case for Irish Modernism: Denis Devlin at the League of Nations and 1930s International Broadcasting’ appeared in Modernism/modernity (Spring 2021). I have been invited to speak at the Irish Studies seminar series in Queen's University Belfast (April 2024), Cambridge University's Postcolonial Seminar (May 2023) and the Trinity College Dublin Contemporary History Seminar, and recent conference presentations include Irish Literature and Periodical Culture (Leuven, December 2022), Irish Writers of the 1930s (Almería, March 2023), and Unions and Partitions in Ireland (EFACIS, QUB, August 2023). 

I have written for The Irish Times, Tribune, the Dublin Review of Books, and I review poetry widely. My writing on poetry has appeared in The Cambridge QuarterlyEnglish, Études Anglaises, as well as several edited collections, including essays on Robert Lowell, John Berryman, and Geoffrey Hill. 

I contributed the Foreword to Martin Bell Translates Robert Desnos. I was previously contributing reviewer for the Modern Irish Poetry section of Year’s Work in English Studies, and I have peer-reviewed for several journals, including Irish University ReviewReligion and Literature, and the publisher Peter Lang, as well as IRC postdoctoral fellowship internal peer review. 


I am finalising my first collection of poetry. In 2023, I was shortlisted for the Eavan Boland Emerging Poet Award. My poem 'Eliza', an elegy for my great-aunt murdered in the Belfast pogrom 1922, was included in the Poetry Jukebox installation as part of the Poetry as Commemoration (UCD) project in May 2023. I have given public readings, lectures, and talks at the Ilkley Festival, READ Salon (Durham), Trinity College Dublin, and This Irish American Life (NYU Glucksman House podcast). My poetry pamphlet And Now They Range was published by Guillemot Press in 2016 and reviewed in The Fortnightly Review and PN Review, and my poems have appeared in The Irish TimesPoetry, PN Review, The Times Literary Supplement, and The Stinging Fly


I contribute to the administrative life of the university as Faculty Research Committee Secretary (2021-2024), and with Dr Kevin Tracey and Dr Féaron Cassidy, co-founded Maynooth's ECR/Postdoctoral Network. From 2019-2022, I was Dissertations Co-Ordinator (Research). In 2021, I served as acting Research Co-Ordinator.

I teach across the module offerings in English at Maynooth, including at postgraduate level, and have convened several courses. I have supervised M.A. dissertations on H.D. and mysticism, Yeats and Irish translation, and Irish women's poetry and animality, as well as a creative prose M.A. dissertation. With Dr Catherine Gander, I co-organise the Poetry and Poetics Reading series, and our readers have included Carolyn Forché, Ilya Kaminsky, Philip Metres, Ishion Hutchinson, Vahni Capildeo, and Seán Hewitt. On my third year elective, Contemporary Poetry, we study poets from Ireland, the U.K., the U.S., Trinidad, Palestine, Jamaica, and elsewhere. My teaching on this and other modules includes 'creative' components. My offering on our MA Literatures of Engagement, Poetry and the Irish State, includes an archival masterclass in the Pearse Hutchinson papers housed in Maynooth's Special Collections. In Spring 2023, I sponsored an AHI/Library Fellowship held by poet Kimberly Campanello, who produced work responding to the Hutchinson archive. I've recently worked with colleagues in Special Collections to secure donation of the Tom O'Brien papers, an important literary archive relating to mid-century socialism and the Spanish Civil War.

Postgraduate Supervision

I welcome proposals for postgraduate work in any area of modern and contemporary poetry, particularly modernism, U.S., British and Irish poetry, and poetry and theology. I am the first in my immediate and extended family to reach third-level education, and I champion widening access.

Research Interests

Modern and contemporary poetry, translation, modernism, poetry and politics.

Research Projects

Title Role Description Start date End date Amount
"Our roots travel widely": Irish Poetry Beyond Regionalism and Nationalism PI 01/08/2022 31/07/2024 169501


Year Publication
2024 Karl O'Hanlon (2024) Official Voices: Poets and the Irish State. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.


Year Publication
2022 Karl O'Hanlon (2022) 'Ugolino's Last Son'. [Poetry]
2022 Karl O'Hanlon (2022) 'Night Rabbits' and other poems. [Poetry] [Link]
2021 Karl O'Hanlon (2021) 'Eigg' and 'Two Pigeons'. [Poetry] [Link]
2021 Karl O'Hanlon (2021) 'The Co-ordinates of Fear'. [Poetry] [Link]
2021 Karl O'Hanlon (2021) 'Rooks at Moyglare'. [Poetry]
2020 Karl O'Hanlon (2020) 'Study in Grisette' and other poems. [Poetry]
2020 Karl O'Hanlon (2020) 'Calvinist Spider in Ballymoney Service Station'. [Poetry]
2019 Karl O'Hanlon (2019) From In Our Outrageous Masks of Dog-Skin. Kings College, London: [Poetry]
2018 Karl O'Hanlon (2018) 'Three Poems'. [Poetry]
2017 Karl O'Hanlon (2017) from In Memory of Geoffrey Hill. Chicago: [Poetry]
2017 Karl O'Hanlon (2017) Two poems. Sheffield: [Poetry]
2016 Karl O'Hanlon (2016) Three poems (The Insular Style and other poems). Manchester: [Poetry]
2015 Karl O'Hanlon (2015) Clifford's Tower. Leeds: [Poetry]
2014 Karl O'Hanlon (2014) Two poems. Sheffield: [Poetry]
2023 Karl O'Hanlon (2023) In the Non-Catholic Cemetery, Rome. [Poetry]
2023 Karl O'Hanlon (2023) The Greenland Shark. [Poetry]

Peer Reviewed Journal

Year Publication
2021 O'Hanlon K. (2021) 'The case for Irish Modernism: Denis Devlin at the league of nations and 1930s international broadcasting'. Modernism/Modernity, :157-180. [DOI] [Full-Text]
2018 Karl O'Hanlon (2018) ''A Final Clarifying: Form, Error, and Alchemy in Geoffrey Hill's Ludo and the Daybooks''. Etudes Anglaises, . [DOI] [Full-Text]
2016 O'Hanlon K. (2016) ''The violent and formal dancers': John Berryman and Geoffrey hill'. Cambridge Quarterly, 45 (3):208-223. [DOI] [Full-Text]
2016 O'Hanlon K. (2016) ''Noble in his grandiose confusions': Yeats and Coriolanus in the poetry of Geoffrey Hill'. English, 65 (250):211-233. [DOI] [Full-Text]

Book Chapter

Year Publication
2020 Karl O'Hanlon (2020) 'Rebels in Formal Dress: Robert Lowell, Denis Devlin and their Transatlantic Literary Network' In: Robert Lowell and Irish Poetry. Bern: Switzerland : Peter Lang.
2017 O'Hanlon K. (2017) ''A fresh, active relation': Milton's Lycidas and the poetry of John Berryman' In: John Berryman: Centenary Essays. [DOI]
2016 O’Hanlon K. (2016) 'Language and the fall in W. B. Yeats and Geoffrey Hill' In: Fall Narratives: An Interdisciplinary Perspective. [DOI]
2014 Karl O'Hanlon (2014) ''Antimodernism and Religious Modernity in Brighton Rock: The Divided Mind of Graham Greene’' In: Graham Greene: un écrivain dans le siècle [actes du colloque international réunion à Besançon, 10-11 décembre 2011). Besançon : Presses de l'université de Franche-Comté.

Other Journal

Year Publication
2023 Karl O'Hanlon (2023) '‘A modification of the Treaty’: W.B. Yeats, W.T. Cosgrave, and secret peace talks in London during the Civil War' The Irish Story, . [Link]
2022 Karl O'Hanlon (2022) ''Dublin's Socialist Theatre Troupe'' Tribune, .
2020 Elleke Boehmer, Shirley Chew, Shara McCallum, and Karl O'Hanlon (2020) 'Tributes to Eavan Boland' Stand, 18 (2) .
2018 Karl O'Hanlon (2018) ''Paying Its Way' (review of Evan Kindley, Poet-Critics and the Administration of Culture. 2017.)' PN Review, 44 (6) .
2017 Karl O'Hanlon (2017) 'Ovid in America' Stand, 15 (2) :57-61.

Book Review

Year Publication
2022 Karl O'Hanlon (2022) The Letters of Denis Devlin ed. by Sarah Bennett, and: Irish Writers and the Thirties: Art, Exile and War by Katrina Goldstone (review). [Book Review]
2022 Karl O'Hanlon (2022) 'Lightbringers': review of George Szirtes & Denise Riley. Dublin: [Book Review]
2022 Karl O'Hanlon (2022) Observing Proportion (review of Maurice Scully, Airs. [Book Review] [Link]
2019 Karl O'Hanlon (2019) Review, The Book of Baruch by the Gnostic Justin (Oxford University Press, 2019). Sheffield: [Book Review]
2017 O'Hanlon, K (2017) One wide expanse: writings from the Ireland chair of poetry. ABINGDON: [Book Review] [DOI]
2016 O'Hanlon, K (2016) Quantum Poetics: Newcastle/Bloodaxe Poetry Lectures. OXFORD: [Book Review] [DOI]
2015 Karl O'Hanlon (2015) 'To Think Harder in Verse' (review of Philip Coleman, John Berryman's Public Vision: Relocating the Scene of Disorder UCD 2014. Manchester: [Book Review]
2014 Karl O'Hanlon (2014) ‘Dark with excessive bright’ Review of Geoffrey Hill, Broken Hierarchies: Poems 1952-2012 (Oxford University Press, 2013). Sheffield: [Book Review]
2014 Karl O'Hanlon (2014) 'Late Poems' (review of Thomas Kinsella). Leeds: [Book Review]
2016 O'Hanlon, K (2016) Visionary Philology: Geoffrey Hill and the Study of Words. BALTIMORE: [Book Review]

Newspaper Articles

Year Publication
2022 Karl O'Hanlon (2022) An Irish poet confronts the Holocaust during the second World War. [Newspaper Articles]
2022 Karl O'Hanlon (2022) Remembering my great-aunt Eliza, killed in Weaver Street bombing 100 years ago today. [Newspaper Articles] [Link]
2020 Karl O'Hanlon (2020) Desmond FitzGerald on T.S. Eliot: a revolutionary taste in poetry. Dublin: [Newspaper Articles]


Year Publication
2019 Levay M.; Bratton F.; Krzakowski C.; Keese A.; Corser S.; Livingstone C.; West M.; Cooper S.; D'Monte R.; Martin G.A.R.g.; Saunders G.; Baker W.; Masud N.; Creasy M.; Alonso A.; O'Hanlon K. (2019) Modern literature. [Reviews] [DOI]
2018 Levay M.; Radford A.; Krzakowski C.; Keese A.; Dick M.; Livingstone C.; Tweed H.; Rodríguez Martín G.; Saunders G.; Baker W.; Creasy M.; O'Hanlon K.; Hanna A. (2018) Modern literature. [Reviews] [DOI] [Full-Text]


Year Publication
2016 Karl O'Hanlon (2016) And Now They Range. Cornwall: [Pamphlet]

Edited Virtual Special Issue

Year Publication
2017 John Burnside, John Clegg, David Constantine et al. (2017) Special Issue on European Poetry. York: [Edited Virtual Special Issue]
Certain data included herein are derived from the © Web of Science (2024) of Clarivate. All rights reserved.

Professional Associations

Description Function From / To
IASIL professional body -
Fulbright Alumni Association Professional body 01/07/2010 -

Honors and Awards

Date Title Awarding Body
01/05/2022 Maynooth University Faculty of Arts, Celtic Studies, and Philosophy Early Career Research Achievement Award Maynooth University
01/09/2017 Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship The Leverhulme Trust
01/09/2008 Fulbright Postgraduate Scholarship Fulbright Commission
01/07/2022 Provost's Grant for Library Research Wake Forest University
01/09/2012 AHRC Doctoral Award AHRC
01/04/2023 Charlemont Grant: 'Mid-Century Migrant Poetry in Ireland' RIA/Charlemont