Michael O'Neill (academic)

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Michael O'Neill signing a copy of The Stripped Bed in 2007.

Michael O'Neill (born 1953 in Aldershot, Hampshire) is an English poet, and academic, specialising in the Romantic period and post-war poetry.

Academic career

A graduate of Exeter College, Oxford, O'Neill has lectured at Durham University since 1979, now holding the title of Professor.[1] He is currently on the editorial boards of four journals, Romanticism, Romanticism on the Net, the Keats-Shelley Review and The Wordsworth Circle, as well as being a Fellow of the English Association and on the editorial board of the academic website Romantic Circles.[2]


His most significant publications have been on the topic of Romantic literature, of which his most notable single-authored academic works are his 1997 book Romanticism and the Self-Conscious Poem and his 2007 book The All-Sustaining Air (Oxford University Press), which explores the influence of Romantic poetry on poets from Yeats to Roy Fisher.[1]

One of his particular fields of expertise is the work of Percy Bysshe Shelley, about whom he has published several books, chapters and journal articles, as well as writing Shelley's entry in the Dictionary of National Biography.[2]

In addition, he has edited and co-edited several important works on Romantic and post-Romantic literature and poetry, including Romantic Poetry: An Annotated Anthology (Blackwell, 2007), A Routledge Literary Sourcebook on the Poems of W. B. Yeats (Routledge, 2004), Percy Bysshe Shelley: The Major Works, Including Poetry, Prose and Drama (Oxford University Press, 2003) and Literature of the Romantic Period: A Bibliographical Guide (Clarendon Press, 1998).

He is the general editor of Blackwell's Guide to Criticism series, for which he is currently composing a volume on modernist poetry. He also co-founded Poetry Durham, which he edited between 1982 and 1994.[1]


In addition to his academic career, O'Neill is an award-winning published poet, having been awarded an Eric Gregory Award in 1983 and a Cholmondeley Award from the Society of Authors in 1990.[2] He is known for his collection The Stripped Bed (1990). He also published Wheel in 2008, Gangs of Shadow in 2014 and Return of the Gift in 2018, all published by ARC Publications. Return of the Gift was officially launched in an event at Hatfield College, Durham University in which the poet read some of his works in February 2018.




  • The Stripped Bed. London: Collins Harvill. 1990. ISBN 978-0-00-271019-0.
  • Wheel. ARC Publications. 2008. ISBN 978-1-904614-79-1.
  • Gangs of Shadow. ARC Publications. 2014. ISBN 978-1-906570-64-4.


  • The Human Mind's Imaginings: Conflict and Achievement in Shelley's Poetry. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1989. ISBN 978-0-19-811748-3.
  • Percy Bysshe Shelley: A Literary Life (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1989)
  • Auden, MacNeice, Spender: The Thirties Poetry, with Gareth Reeves (Basingstoke: MacMillan, 1989)
  • Romanticism and the Self-Conscious Poem (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997)
  • The All-Sustaining Air: Romantic Legacies and Renewals in British, American, and Irish Poetry since 1900 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007)
  • Dante Rediscovered: From Blake to Rodin, with S. Hebron and D. Bindman (Grasmere: The Wordsworth Trust, 2007)

Edited anthologies

  • The 'Defence of Poetry' Fair Copies (New York: Garland, 1994)
  • Fair-Copy Manuscripts of Shelley's Poems in European and American Libraries, with D. H. Reiman (New York: Garland, 1997)
  • Zachary Leader, Michael O'Neill, eds. (2003). Percy Bysshe Shelley: The Major Works, Including Poetry, Prose, and Drama. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-281374-9.
  • A Routledge Literary Sourcebook on the Poems of W.B. Yeats (London: Routledge, 2004)
  • Michael O'Neill, Charles Mahoney, eds. (2007). Romantic Poetry: An Annotated Anthology. Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 978-0-631-21316-1.

Edited collections

  • Keats: Bicentenary Readings (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1997)
  • Literature of the Romantic Period: A Bibliographical Guide (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998)
  • Michael O'Neill, Mark Sandy, eds. (2006). Romanticism: Critical Concepts in Cultural and Literary Studies. London: Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-0-415-24725-2.

Journal articles

  • O'Neill, M. 2007. '"Driven as in Surges": Texture and Voice in Romantic Poetry'. The Wordsworth Circle 38(3): 91–93. (Additional information)
  • O'Neill, M. 2007. '"The Tremble from It Is Spreading": A Reading of Wordsworth's "Ode: Intimations of Immortality"'. The Charles Lamb Bulletin new series 139(July 2007): 74–90.
  • O'Neill, Michael. 2007. 'Inspiration Is Inspiration': In Memory of Robert Woof and Jonathan Wordsworth. European Romantic Review 18(2): 283–297. (Additional information)
  • O'Neill, M. 2006. A Magic Voice and Verse: Byron's Approaches to the Ode: 1814–1816. The Byron Journal 34(2): 101–114. (Additional information)
  • O'Neill, M. 2006. Fashioned from His Opposite: Yeats, Dante and Shelley. Journal of Anglo-Italian Studies (8): 149–171.
  • O'Neill, M. 2006. The Burden of Ourselves: Arnold as a Post-Romantic Poet. The Yearbook of English Studies 36(2): 111–127.
  • O'Neill, M. 2005. The Gleam of Those Words: Coleridge and Shelley. Keats-Shelley Review (19): 76–96.
  • O'Neill, M 2004. ‘Adonais and Poetic Power’. The Wordsworth Circle 35(2): pp. 50–7. (Additional information) (View publication online)
  • O'Neill, M. 2004. 'Only What Might Have Been': Lamb and Illusion. The Charles Lamb Bulletin (128): 96–107.
  • O'Neill, M. 2002. 'The Whole Mechanism of the Drama': Shelley's Translation of the Symposium. Keats-Shelley Review (18): 51–67.


  1. ^ a b c "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 27 July 2011. Retrieved 11 July 2009. O'Neill on the Arc Publications website
  2. ^ a b c [1] O'Neill on the Department of English Studies in the University of Durham website

External links

  • O'Neill on the Institute of Advanced Study at Durham University website
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