School of English


MA, PhD, Kent

My research primarily covers American and British literature from the 20th and 21st centuries, with a particular emphasis on the intersections between literature, the visual and the performing arts, culture, politics, and philosophy. I am especially interested in innovative and experimental poetry from the 1970s to the present day, but I spend a considerable amount of time thinking about comics and graphic novels as well.

My recent monograph, Poetry and Performance During the British Poetry Revival 1960-1980: Event and Effect (Palgrave Macmillan 2017), examines intersections of poetry and performance during the British Poetry Revival. Its investigations are centred on four specific performance events: The First International Poetry Incarnation at the Royal Albert Hall in 1965; Denise Riley’s first public reading at the Cambridge Poetry Festival in 1977; Eric Mottram’s Pollock Record; and Allen Fisher’s Blood Bone Brain. Drawing upon a range of archival resources, recordings, and interviews, each chapter in the book offers detailed “archaeological” accounts and analyses of these largely unexamined events as well as the potential dialogues between them. These discussions also draw upon the theories of Deleuze and Guattari, Lefevbre, Whitehead, and others. The book additionally features previously unpublished interviews with both Fisher and Riley. 

My other recent or ongoing research projects include work on topics such as the role of collage and graffiti in the recent publications of Allen Fisher and Ulli Freer; the readership of modern poetry; the political implications of supervillains in comics; female poets in the British Poetry Revival; and radical politics in contemporary poetry and poetics.

I am also a poet. My writing in this area can be found in Back Channel Apraxia (Contraband Books 2014), -LAND (Oystercatcher Press 2016), as well as a number of small press magazines. I have performed my work across the UK, and sometimes collaborate with musicians. My current poetry project is called Doom Engines. Together with Eleanor Perry, I co-edit the online poetry journal DATABLEED.

Contact Information


Office: W4.E7 (Rutherford)

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Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository

Virtanen, J. (2017). Poetry and Performance During the British Poetry Revival 1960-1980 : Event and Effect. [Online]. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan. Available at:
Virtanen, J. (2016). -LAND. [Online]. Norfolk, UK: Oystercatcher Press. Available at:
Virtanen, J. (2014). Back Channel Apraxia. [Online]. London, UK: Contraband Books. Available at:
Book section
Virtanen, J. (2014). Allen Fisher Reading: Facture,'Atkins Stomp',and Ezra Pound. in: Parker, R. ed. News from Afar: Ezra Pound and Some Contemporary British Poetires. Bristol, UK: Shearsman Books, pp. 194-211. Available at:
Virtanen, J. (2016). Writing on: Context and Visual Culture in Recent Works of Allen Fisher and Ulli Freer. Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry [Online] 8:1-34. Available at:
Virtanen, J. (2014). 'on-fold worldly-cares': Metrical Cookery with Bill Griffiths. Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry [Online] 6:85-100. Available at:
Internet publication
Virtanen, J. (2012). 'NO ONE REMAINS, NOR IS, ONE: Olson, Black Mountain and Theater Piece #1' [text]. Available at:
Virtanen, J. (2016). Review: Brian Catling, The Vorrh (Coronet, 2016, 512pp, £8.99). Foundation 45.3:123-126.
Virtanen, J. (2015). Juha Virtanen Reviews Joshua Clover, Red Epic. Shearsman Review [Online]:1-2. Available at:
Virtanen, J. (2014). Bill Griffiths, 'Collected Poems and Sequences (1981-90), reviewed by Juha Virtanen Halsey, A. ed. Shearsman Review [Online]:1-2. Available at:
Virtanen, J. (2014). 'Seven Pamphlets From Knives Forks And Spoons Press'. Tears in the Fence:152-154.
Virtanen, J. (2012). 'A Colloquium on the work of Bill Griffiths' held at Northumbria University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 27 January 2012. Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry [Online] 4:116-127. Available at:
Total publications in KAR: 12 [See all in KAR]
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Research supervision

I would be interested in supervising students who are researching any area of contemporary literature, especially if the work seeks to combine literature, the visual arts, and/or performance with socio-political and philosophical topics. I would also be interested in co-supervising projects that study works from other periods in light of contemporary issues.

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School of English, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NX

The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T: +44 (0)1227 823054

Last Updated: 12/01/2018