Creative Arts


Dr Ahren Warner

Photo of Dr Ahren Warner

Vice Chancellor’s Research Fellow

Ahren Warner is Vice Chancellor’s Research Fellow in the School of Arts, English and Drama. As a poet, he has published two books, Confer (Bloodaxe, 2011) and Pretty (Bloodaxe, 2013), with his third book – a collection of poems, texts and photographs, Hello. Your promise has been extracted – to be published by Bloodaxe in 2017.

Ahren’s poems, criticism and photographs have been published in various journals, including The Guardian, Poetry (USA), Granta, The Poetry Review, Poetry International and Φαρμακο (Greece). His work has received awards including an Arts Foundation Fellowship and a Society of Authors Eric Gregory Award, and has been shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and Michael Murphy Memorial Award.

Having completed a doctoral thesis entitled “Contradictions in Coherence: Three Poets and the Poetics of the Commodity as Fetish” (University of London, 2013), Ahren’s previous academic positions include a stint as a Post-Doctoral Research Associate in the Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts (Newcastle University), as well as guest lectures at universities including Kingston, Queen Mary, University of London and Kings College London.

His current critical research is focused on dialogue and encounter between poetry, fine art and new media in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. In addition to his academic work and creative practice, Ahren is the Poetry Editor of Poetry London, a leading international poetry journal, and has served as a judge for the T.S. Eliot Prize, Society of Authors Awards and Roehampton Prize, amongst others. 

Ahren’s research interests centre on the historic and contemporary interactions, or lack thereof, between poetry, the visual arts and various forms of new media. He is currently working on a critical monograph, Certain Very Bold Instructions, that attempts to think poetic innovation and affect from Mallarmé to the present day, within a contemporaneous context of the appropriation of poetic language as a form of immateriality by visual artists, and of the divergent relations of poetry and fine art to new media.

In tandem with his critical work, Ahren pursues his own practice-based research, which currently includes a book of poems, texts and photographs, Hello. Your promise has been extracted (Bloodaxe, 2017) and a forthcoming book of texts and drawings, Swag (Test Centre, 2018), as well as more expansive explorations of the potential for the lyric event as trans-media curation.

Ahren is also co-editing a volume of essays, The Contemporary Poetry Archive: Essays and Interventions (forthcoming, EUP), with Professor Linda Anderson, and has recently completed chapters or articles on the poems of Angie Estes, on Louis MacNeice and a post-Lacanian aesthetics of error, on the literary archive as affective space, and a translation of Yves Bonnefoy’s Poésie et photographie.

Ahren is currently supervising two PhD students working on various approaches to the interplay between poetic language and the visual arts. He welcomes PhD applications concerning contemporary poetics, poetry and philosophy or interactions between poetry and fine art.