Portrait of Dr Ben Hickman

Dr Ben Hickman

Senior Lecturer in Modern Poetry
Director of Graduate Studies (Research)


Ben’s research centres around British and American experimental poetry of the last hundred years, with a particular focus on the political potential and limitations of poetry, the lives and afterlives of the avant-garde, and labour in modernist and contemporary writing. He’s written on a broad range of figures including John Clare, Michael Gold, Muriel Rukeyser, John Ashbery and Amiri Baraka. His most recent monograph is Crisis and the US Avant-Garde: Poetry and Real Politics (Edinburgh University Press, 2015). Ben is Director of the Centre for Modern Poetry and a co-organiser of Canterbury’s premier series of art/music/poetry events, Free Range.

Research interests

Ben's research interests include:

  • 20th-century poetry,
  • twenty-first-century poetry, 
  • American studies, 
  • arts activism, 
  • avant-garde poetry, 
  • canadian writing, 
  • contemporary literature and culture,
  • experimental literature, 
  • lyric poetry, 
  • Marxism, 
  • modern poetry, 
  • modernism, 
  • political literature, 
  • psychogeography, 
  • revolutionary poetics and liberation movements, 
  • the avant-garde, 
  • transatlantic literature, 
  • working-class literature.


Ben currently supervises PhD work in post-war British and American poetry and would welcome any proposals within this or in any of his areas of research interest.

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