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School of English and Drama

Dr Rachael Allen, BA (Goldsmiths), PhD (Hull)


Lecturer in Creative Writing

Room Number: 3.02A
Twitter: @r_vallen


I was born and grew up in Cornwall, moving to London to study English Literature at Goldsmiths University. At Goldsmiths I started an event and anthology series called clinic, which developed into a small press. I have been publishing ever since, working for a decade at the literary quarterly Granta Magazine, and publishing a poetry list for Granta Books. My authors include writers like Will Harris, Daisy Lafarge, Holly Pester, Stephanie Sy-Quia, Will Alexander and others. I completed a PhD at the University of Hull. My doctoral research identified an anglophone, feminist lyric emerging in the Anthropocene, looking at the poets Ariana Reines, Sylvia Legris, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge and Selima Hill, and the collection of poems I wrote during this time, Kingdomland, was published by Faber and Faber in 2019.


Research Interests:

  • Poetry and poetics
  • Literary fiction
  • Environmental humanities
  • Animal studies
  • Literature and the visual arts
  • Publishing practices

Recent and On-Going Research

My forthcoming book, God Complex, will be published by Faber & Faber in 2024. It is a fragmentary long poem that looks at climate grief and human grief. It presents a devotional framework, asking questions about the ways in which we are forced to acquiesce to systems, landscapes, and beings. The research develops from my previous thinking into ecopoetics and animal studies that fed into my first collection of poems, Kingdomland, published by Faber & Faber in 2019. Kingdomland was an attempt to build an uncanny world that lay close to what is recognisable. At the book’s core were several sequences that thought through femicide, intensive animal agriculture, and class politics.

I collaborate frequently with visual artists, working alongside photographers, sculptures, illustrators, and painters to make hybrid works. My most recent collaborations were a text-based response to the irreverent video art of Welsh artist Aled Symons, and the introduction to a book by the photographer Jet Swan called MATERIAL, published by Marseille-based press Loose Joints.

I am deeply committed to interdisciplinary and collaborative writing that breaches specialisms, modes, distinctions, and genres to create a more hybrid space for work to exist. I am currently working on a book of fragmentary non-fiction about class politics in the UK, called Notes on Class, and a novel.


Poetry Collections

Kingdomland, full-length collection (Faber & Faber, 2019)

Co-authored artists’ books

Material, co-authored with Jet Swan (Loose Joints, 2022)

Green at an Angle, co-authored with Ben Sanderson (Kestle Barton, 2021)

Almost one, say again!, co-authored with JocJonJosch (London: Slimvolume, 2019)

Nights of Poor Sleep, co-authored with Marie Jacotey (London: Test Centre, 2017)

Jolene, co-authored with Guy Gormley (London: Matchstick Books, 2012)


Hypochondria (If a Leaf Falls Press, 2017)

Faber New Poets 9 (Faber & Faber, 2014)

Authored Articles, Interviews, Academic Chapters, and Papers

‘“A Grain of Brain”: Women and cows in collections by Ariana Reines and Selima Hill’, in Literature and Meat Since 1900, ed. John Miller (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019).

‘‘Not a Notch but a Note’: the poetry of Sylvia Legris from Circuitry of Veins to The Hideous Hidden’, Music & Literature No.9, (Spring, 2019).

‘Dreaming Reasonably: on the poetry of Jenny George’, The White Review (Spring, 2019).

‘Hummingbird: on the poems of Sylvia Legris’, Prac Crit (Summer, 2016).

Unwrapping Modern Life: on pamphlets and chapbooks’, Poetry London, (Winter 2012)

‘Undoing the Folded Lie: Poetry after 9/11’, Granta (Winter, 2011)

Poems in Journals, Periodicals and Magazines

‘from God Complex’, The Stinging Fly (Summer 2022)

‘from God Complex’, Poetry Review (Autumn 2021)

‘from God Complex’, PURPLE magazine (Summer 2020)

‘from God Complex’, Five Dials (Hamish Hamilton, Summer 2020)

‘Dad the Pig’, Five Dials (Hamish Hamilton, forthcoming Autumn 2019)

‘Bat’, Magma 73 (Spring, 2019)

from Dig’ (ten poems), Poetry London: Issue 92 (Spring, 2019)

‘Meeting you in the first place was great though’, LitHub (Spring, 2019)

‘Kingdomland’ and ‘Monstrous Horses’, TANK magazine (Spring, 2019)

‘The Indigo Field’ and ‘Hysterical’, The Rialto: Issue 90, (Winter, 2018)

‘The Slim Man’, Faber & Faber 2019 Diary (Winter, 2018)

‘Promenade’, ‘Porcine Armour Thyroid’, ‘Remedies’, The Poetry Review, Vol. 108, No. 2 (Summer, 2018)

‘Exxonmobil’ and ‘Ocularium’, The Wolf (Summer, 2017)


I would welcome enquiries from potential doctoral students looking at any of the areas of my research. I would be particularly keen to hear from those looking to work in space where environmental humanities, animal studies and poetry intersects, or those working in poetry and the visual arts.

Public Engagement

For ten years I was the poetry editor for Granta Magazine, and I now curate and edit a poetry list for Granta Books:

I am also an editor for the publication platform Monitor Books, which has a focus on publishing poetry and writing between disciplines:

I frequently host writing events or read my own work in spaces such as Foyles, the Barbican, the Serpentine Gallery, Burley Fisher, and others.

I co-host the Faber Poetry podcast, and periodically write on art and books for spaces such as The Poetry Review, ArtReview, TANK magazine, Music & Literature, The White Review, and elsewhereI am also an editor for the publication platform Monitor Books, which has a focus on publishing poetry and writing between disciplines.

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