John has directed PhD theses on Don DeLillo, ice hockey and Canadian literature and the carnival in literature.



Black Cat Bone (Jonathan Cape, 2011)

The Hunt in the Forest (Jonathan Cape, September 2009)

Gift Songs (Jonathan Cape, 2007)

The Good Neighbour (Jonathan Cape, 2005)

The Light Trap (Jonathan Cape, 2002)

The Asylum Dance (Jonathan Cape, 2000)

A Normal Skin (Jonathan Cape, 1997)

Penguin Modern Poets (Penguin, 1996)

Swimming in the Flood (Jonathan Cape, 1995)

The Myth of the Twin (Jonathan Cape, 1995)

Feast Days (Secker and Warburg, 1992)

Common Knowledge (Secker and Warburg, 1991)

The Hoop (Carcanet, 1988)


Something Like Happy (Jonathan Cape, 2013)

A Summer of Drowning (Jonathan Cape, 2011)

Glister (Jonathan Cape, 2008)

The Devil's Footprints (Jonathan Cape, 2007)

Living Nowhere (Jonathan Cape, 2004)

The Locust Room (Jonathan Cape, 2001)

Burning Elvis (Jonathan Cape, 2000)

The Mercy Boys (Jonathan Cape, 1999)

The Dumb House (Jonathan Cape, 1997)

Life Writing

Waking Up In Toytown, (Jonathan Cape, 2010)

A Lie About My Father, (Jonathan Cape, 2006)

Reviews and Features

Regular recent contributor of features, essays and reviews to a number of periodicals and newspapers in the UK, Germany and Switzerland; regular 'Nature' column in The New Statesman.


Dice (with A. L. Kennedy), a series for television, produced by Cité-Amérique, Canada.

Wild Reckoning (Gulbenkian, 2004), joint editor with Maurice Riordan of this anthology of ecology-related poems.

Black Cat Bone
Something Like Happy
Waking up in the Toytown
A Normal Skin book cover
The Myth of the Twin book cover
Mercy Boys book cover

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Prof John Burnside

Education and Experience

After working in computer systems design for a decade, John Burnside became a full-time writer in 1994. He has been Writer in Residence at the University of Dundee, The British Library and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, amongst others. John has published fourteen collections of poetry, and has won the Geoffrey Faber Prize, the Whitbread Poetry Prize, the Petrarca Preis and, most recently, the Forward and T.S. Eliot Prizes for his poetry. He has published eight novels and his memoir, A Lie About My Father, received the Saltire Book of the Year Prize, the Sundial/SAC Non-Fiction Book of the Year Award and a CORINE International Literature Prize. A second memoir, Waking Up in Toytown, appeared in 2010, followed by a third, I Put a Spell on You, in 2014. His radio work includes stories, features, political and social comment and a BBC documentary on the Sami circumpolar festival, Riddu Riddu. His radio work for SWR in Germany has won several awards, including the German Academy of Performing Arts Radio Play of the Year for 2017.

Research Interests

John's main interests are in American literature, poetry, sleep in literature and the politics of Englishness in 20th Century art. He contributes a regular column on nature to The New Statesman, and occasional pieces and reviews to The London Review of Books and The Guardian, among others.

PhD Supervision

Cuilin Sang, Tarn Painter-MacArthur, Gabrielle Sher

John Burnside

Contact information

Room: KH 002
Phone: 2662

Consultation hours:
12 noon on Thursdays and Fridays

Research Profile on PURE

School role

Environmental Officer