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Last updated 24th March 2023


Heather Clark joined the University of Huddersfield as Professor of Contemporary Poetry in 2019. She is the author of Red Comet: The Short Life and Blazing Art of Sylvia Plath, which will be published in October 2020 by Alfred A. Knopf in the US, and Jonathan Cape in the UK; The Grief of Influence: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes (Oxford UP, 2011), which was a Choice Outstanding Academic Title, and The Ulster Renaissance: Poetry in Belfast 1962-1972 (Oxford UP, 2006), which won both the Robert Rhodes and Donald Murphy Prizes from the American Conference for Irish Studies. Her reviews and essays have appeared in the Harvard Review, the Times Literary Supplement, PN Review and elsewhere.

Heather received a 2017-18 Public Scholar Fellowship and a 2006-07 Research Fellowship from the U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities, as well as a 2016-17 Biography Fellowship from the Leon Levy Center for Biography at the City University of New York, for her work on Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. She has recently been a Visiting U.S. Fellow at the Eccles Center for American Studies at the British Library and a Visiting Scholar at the Oxford Center for Life-Writing. In 2018 she appeared in a BBC documentary on Sylvia Plath, Life Inside the Bell Jar, for which she was also the scholarly consultant. Her research interests include postwar British, Irish and American poetry and literary biography. She welcomes MA and PhD proposals in these areas.


DPhil in English Literature, University of Oxford, 2002

MSt in English Literature, University of Oxford, 1999

MPhil in Anglo-Irish Literature, Trinity College Dublin, 1997

BA in English and American Language and Literature, Harvard University, magna cum laude, 1996

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 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Sylvia Plath
  • Ted Hughes
  • Poetry
  • Irish Poetry


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