Yeung, Heather



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Personal profile


My work is in theoretical and applied poetry and poetics, often interacting with deep ecological and cultural materialist perspectives. I have strong comparative research interests in global literatures, global feminisms, music, and the plastic and performing arts. I am particularly interested in poetry’s (im)material status as a textual and verbal art form; creative and critical work in literature and the wider arts which sits at the intersection of forms, genres, media, languages, and disciplines; literature which works in productive dialogue with the natural sciences; and, across all of these interests, precarious and transitive states of existence. 


Between 2011 and 2013 I edited two collections of essays on Art Walking. My first monograph, Spatial Engagement with Poetry was published in 2015 (paperback 2017), and I have recently edited a special issue of the journal New Global Studies on the idea of ‘thinking the global with literature’ (2019). Essays, predominantly concerned with liminal and [e/al]lusive literary states have appeared in numerous journals, edited collections, and artist book publications. My second monograph On Literary Plasticity: Readings with Kafka in Ecology, Voice, and Object-Life was published by Palgrave in 2020. 


Current research projects in poetry studies and literary theory involve a continued engagement with this idea of Literary Plasticity through the lens of the aesthetics of stone in Modern literature and art, and (in very early stages) a study of the American Sonnet's border- and language-crossing portabilities. Current creative-critical research projects in cultural history engage with three very slippery everyday phenomena: the Archipelago, the Worm, and the Sky. 


I do not publish poetry by conventional means, nor is the circulation of my artist books fully mappable. This renegade interaction with publication indices (particularly the critical interrogation of international book standardization and cataloguing mechanisms, and the close attention to the histories and natures of ephemeral and the precarious poetic matter) is an ethics, an activisim, and an integral part of my practice as a poet and thinker. Following these interests in printed matter and its circulation in 2021 I will edit a special issue of New Global Studies on the global book.


My solo and collaborative work as a poet-thinker has been exhibited and performed nationally and internationally. A permanent archive of my poetic output is held in the Scottish Poetry Library, Edinburgh. Elements of this archive have been brilliantly digitised by Dr. Eleanore Widger, but as much of the work is sequential, and stems from an interest in material, vocalic, and textual form(s) and their effects on our reading, memorized, lives, it is also worth a visit. Links through to the digitization project can be found via my SPL poet’s page (link above). 


Since 2021 I direct the MLitt in English Studies.

My teaching is predominantly in poetry and poetics, environmental/ecological thought, and theory. I teach on most levels of the MA in English and Creative Writing, supervise on the MA dissertations (both creative and critical). The courses I currently convene are:

Level 3:

  • EN32036 Writing Poetry [creative] 

Level 5:

  • HU51001 Approaches to Literary and Visual Culture [critical/creative]
  • EN51042 Research Methods and Skills for English Literary studies
  • EN52052 Current Research In Literary Studies and Theory 2: MODERN RUINS
  • HU51001 (with Dr. Johanna  Linsley) Approaches to Gender, Culture, and Society

I am happy to consider graduate special option critical and/or creative supervision in any of my areas of research interest; be in touch to discuss!

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Durham University