School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

Staff Profile

Dr Alex Niven

Lecturer in English Literature



I completed a DPhil at the University of Oxford in 2013. Before arriving at Newcastle I was assistant editor at New Left Review.


BA (Bristol)

MSt (Oxford)

DPhil (Oxford)


Research interests

The main focus of my literary research is post-war Anglo-American modernist poetry, in particular the Newcastle poet Basil Bunting. I am preparing a first edition of Bunting's letters for OUP, and writing a monograph on Bunting and late modernism.

I have also written on contemporary politics, music and the history of the north-east of England (I was born and brought up in Northumberland). My first book Folk Opposition (2011) explored the atmosphere of early-2010s Britain, through discussions of regionalism, political history, pop culture and the mores of the modern English bourgeoisie. My second book, a study of the Oasis album Definitely Maybe for Bloomsbury's 33 1/3 series, examined the oceanic cultural moment of the mid-1990s.

My first poetry collection, The Last Tape, was published by Zero Books in 2014. Poems have also appeared in Oxford Poetry, The Junket, 3:AMThe Oxonian Review and North-East Passage.



I would be happy to supervise postgraduate students researching modernist and contemporary poetry (especially Bunting, and the Poundian tradition and its offshoots), intersections between literature, popular music and contemporary politics, the history and afterlife of the Anglo-American counterculture and the art and identity of the north-east.


Media and public engagement

I have written journalism and been featured in interviews and articles for national and international media (The Guardian, Pitchfork, The Independent, Washington Post, VICE, LA Review of Books, De Standaard) and given talks at Glasgow School of Art, Green Man Festival, the Durham Miners Gala, NewBridge Project, Newcastle and the Houses of Parliament (John McDonnell's People's Parliament forum). I would be happy to talk to the media or speak in public about any aspect of my research.


SEL1003: Introduction to Literary Studies 1

SEL3386: Modernist Poetry: Pound to the Beats (convenor)

SEL8540: Poetology (convenor)

SEL2207: Modernisms (convenor)

SEL6632: Dissertation in English Literature