Professor Redell Olsen

Personal profile

Redell Olsen is a poet and writer who publishes both academic and creative work. She is interested in the emerging critical space between these two disciplines as well as in interdisciplinary work between language and the visual arts.  Recent scholarly articles include essays on Frank O'Hara, Susan Howe and the film maker and poet Abigail Child. Her poetry publications include: 'Film Poems' (Les Figues, 2014), 'Punk Faun: a bar rock pastel' (subpress, 2012), ‘Book of the Fur’ (Rempress, 2000), ‘Secure Portable Space’ (Reality Street, 2004) and the collaboratively edited (with Susan Johanknect) ‘Here Are My Instructions’ (Gefn Press, 2004).

From 2006 - 2010 she was the editor of How2 the online journal for modernist and contemporary poetry, poetics and criticism by women.

Recent projects have involved texts for performance, film and site-specific collaboration and include: ‘Newe Booke of Copies’ (2009), ‘Bucolic Picnic (or Toile de Jouy Camouflage)’ (2009) and the collaboratively realised ‘The Lost Swimming Pool' (2010). These texts were published as Film Poems (Les Figues, 2014). In 2014 she took part in the 'Polar Muse' exhibition at the Scott Polar Museum. She was one of a group of poets who installed their poems and texts on glass in the musuem.

In 2013-14 she was the Judith E. Wilson Lecturer in Poetry at the University of Cambridge.


Research interests

Her research interests include: avant-garde modernist and contemporary poetics, visual arts and poetry, feminist theory and writing practice, Language Writing, contemporary fiction, novels by poets, ecology and environmental literatures, performance. She is interested in supervising students wishing to work on academic and practice-based Phds in these areas and on collaborating with museums and galleries or other non HE bodies who wish to involve creative writing and poetry in their programme.



Educational background

Redell Olsen graduated in English Literature from New Hall, Cambridge University. She subsequently completed an MA in Fine Art. She was awarded funding from the British Academy to complete a PhD in contemporary poetry, women's writing and its relationship to the visual arts in 2002.


Redell Olsen joined the department at Royal Holloway as a full-time member of staff in 2003. From 2002-2003 she was a Lecturer in Writing (Performance Writing) at Dartington College of Arts in Devon. She has also taught as a visiting lecturer at the University of the Arts, Camberwell (MA in Bookarts), Oxford Brookes University and most recently at The Berlin University of the Arts.


Courses 2012-15:


MA Poetic Practice (Course Director), MA Modernist and Contemporary Literatures, Third Year Poetic Practice, Writing and the Short Story, Writing / Painting, Introduction to Poetry, Creative Writing.

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