Shannon Ray

Shannon Ray
Cohort Year: 2020
Research Interests: 19th- and 20th-Century Poetry and Poetics; Prosody; Lyric; Aesthetics; Print Culture
Education: MSc, University of Edinburgh, 2019; BA, Rutgers University, 2017


My current research focuses on British Romantic poets whose verse styles require readerly engagement or participation. I’m interested in the formal, technical, and linguistic difficulties––prose syntax, negativity, intricate meter––that complicate descriptions of Romantic poetry as accessible, simple, or stripped down. In characterizing Romantic verse as deliberately demanding, I aim to highlight cases in which poets’ desires to challenge their readers were motivated by the social, political, economic, and technological changes that expanded Britain’s reading public and paved the way for professional poetry.

In addition to this ongoing project, I have broader research and teaching interests in post-Romantic poetry, broadly construed. Tennyson, Hopkins, Eliot, Oppen, Dylan Thomas, and W.S. Graham have been some of my favorite poets to read and write about.

I earned my MSc at the University of Edinburgh (2019) and my BA at Rutgers University (2017), where I was the recipient of the English department’s Evelyn Hamilton and Irving D. Blum prizes. I spent much of my time at Rutgers studying and making films, and I still try to live in the world of cinema whenever I can. I am also a climber/outdoors-person and an advocate for animals and the environment.