Dr Simon Workman

Modern Irish culture (particularly suburban Irish art, culture and literature); Contemporary Irish fiction; Twentieth-century Irish poetry; British and Irish radio drama and Auditory culture


My research to date has been primarily concerned with modern Irish culture, particularly as it relates to the genres of poetry, radio drama, and the short story. My work has appeared in the Irish Literary Supplement, Poetry Ireland, Irish University Review, Irish Studies Review and The Review of English Studies. I have recently co-edited, with Eoghan Smith, a collection of essays on the cultures of Irish suburbia entitled Imagining Irish Suburbia in Literature and Culture that was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2018. My current research is focused on contemporary Irish literature and visual art, especially as they relate to suburban society and creativity. Expected research outputs emerging from this research include book chapters, essays in peer review journals and review essays.


I am a member of IASIL the International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures.


Edited Collections

Imagining Irish Suburbia in Literature and Culture. Eoghan Smith and Simon Workman, eds. (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018).


Peer-review articles

‘Maeve Kelly: Women, Ireland, and the Aesthetics of Radical Writing’, Irish University Review, 49.2 (2019):  pp. 304–321.

‘An Ancient Celtic world had filled the air”: the Celtic turn in Louis MacNeice’s mid-century radio writing’, Irish Studies Review, 25.2., (2017): pp. 357-371.


Book chapters

‘Ideal Homes and Haunted Houses: 21st Century Irish Suburban Art and Culture’ in Creativity From ‘Suburban Nowheres’: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, ed. by Ilja Van Damme, Ruth McManus, and Michiel Dehaene (Toronoto: Toronto University Press, forthcoming).

‘Imagining Irish Suburbia’ (with Eoghan Smith), in Imagining Irish Suburbia in Literature and Culture, ed. By Eoghan Smith and Simon Workman (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018).

‘A Life of One’s own’, Introduction, Maeve Kelly, Orange Horses (Dublin: Tramp Press, 2016).

‘“Poised on the edge of absence”: Kavanagh and MacNeice in the shadows of War’ in Irish culture and wartime Europe, 1938–48, ed. by Dorothea Depner & Guy Woodward (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2015).

‘“To be Tired of this is to Tire of Life”: Louis MacNeice’s London’ in Irish Writing London: Volume 1 Revival to the Second World War ed. by Tom Herron (London: Bloomsbury, 2013).

‘“Of them but not of them”: MacNeice and the Thirties poets.’ in Voicing Dissent: New Voices in Irish Criticism, ed. by Sandrine Brisset and Dr. Noreen Doody (Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 2012).


Invited Essays

‘Maeve Kelly: fighting for women and writing about them’, Irish Times 15 November, 2016

‘Pure Sound’, Poetry Ireland Review (93), 2008.



‘Tom Walker, Louis MacNeice and the Irish Poetry of His Time’ The Review of English Studies, Advanced Access published March 31, 2016, doi:10.1093/res/hgw037.

‘David Fitzpatrick, “Solitary and Wild”: Frederick MacNeice and the Salvation of Ireland’. Irish Literary Supplement32.2 (2013), 12-13.

‘Selected Letters of Louis MacNeice ed. Johnathan Allison’ Irish Literary Supplement 32.1 (2012).

Further Research Outputs

Selected Conference Presentations

2019: ‘Spectral Homes: Irish ghost estates and the trace of Futures Past’, “What is it to dwell?”: Home(s) in Irish Studies: Third Galway Conference of Irish Studies, National University of Ireland, Galway Centre for Irish Studies.

2019: ‘Community, creativity and critique: the literary and visual cultures of modern Irish suburbia’, Cultural and Creative Production from ‘Suburban Nowheres’ Historical Perspectives, University of Antwerp.

2016: ‘“You’re a nice little thing, even if you are Irish”: Maeve Kelly, constructions of Irish identity and migrant female experience in Post-War Britain’, Conflict, Migration & Identity in Modern Ireland: Global and transnational perspectives, Trinity College, Dublin, VISUAL Centre & Carlow College.

2014: ‘Valerie Anex, “Ghost Estates”’, Encircling Worlds: Imagining Irish Suburbia, Conference, Carlow College        and VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art .

2013: ‘“Poised on the edge of absence”: Place and placelessness in the poetry of Louis MacNeice and Patrick Kavanagh’ Writing Home: Irish culture and wartime Europe 1938-48, Trinity College, Dublin.

2013: ‘“This chain of simple notes”: Louis MacNeice, Radio, Poetry and the Auditory Imagination’, Louis MacNeice, Radio Writer and Producer, Oxford University.

2013: ‘Beckett and Radio’, Explaining Beckett, Carlow Public Library.

2012: ‘A mint of golden intonations’: Louis MacNeice and the BBC, Voices in the Ether, Royal Irish Academy.

2009: ‘“Speaking of lost illusions”: MacNeice, London and the Second World War’. Literary London Conference, Queen Mary, University of London.

2007: ‘“Not matching pictures but inventing sound”, MacNeice and the Auditory Imagination.’ Louis MacNeice Centenary Conference, Queens University, Belfast.


Conferences Organised

‘Conflict, Migration and Identity: Global and Transnational Perspectives’ (2016), TCD, Carlow College and VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art, Carlow.

‘Encircling Worlds: Imagining Irish Suburbia’ (2014). Carlow College and VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art, Carlow (Co-organiser).


Media Interactions

5 November 2016: Contribution to discussion on the writing of Maeve Kelly, RTE Bookshow, <http://www.rte.ie/radio1/the-book-show/programmes/2016/1105/829440-the-book-show-saturday-5-november-2016/?clipid=2324432>

25 October 2014: Contribution to programme on Irish Suburbia, RTE Bookshow. <http://www.rte.ie/radio1/the-book-show/programmes/2014/1024/654626-the-book-show-saturday-25th-october-2014/?clipid=1714057>


Awards & Funding

My PhD on Radio, Modernism and the Poetry of Louis MacNeice (2010) was funded by the IRCHSS. I also received travel grants from TCD to facilitate this research.