UCL English


Dr Hugh Foley



Email: h.foley@ucl.ac.uk
External phone: 020 7679 3139
Internal phone: 33139
Office no: FC238


Photograph of Hugh Foley

Education and Experience 

Hugh Foley received his BA and MA in English from UCL. He completed his DPhil at Exeter College, Oxford in 2017. He has taught English and Creative Writing at the University of Liverpool and Queen Mary, University of London.

Research Interests

Hugh’s research looks at poetry, chiefly of the twentieth and twenty first centuries. He has written about the relationship between poetry and political thought, especially liberalism; conceptions of personhood; and the distinctiveness of literature and literary ways of thinking.

His first book, Lyric and Liberalism in the Age of American Empire, forthcoming with Oxford University Press, considers what lyric poetry in America has in common with liberal thought. Looking at the work of five major American poets, Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Lowell, John Ashbery, Amiri Baraka, and Jorie Graham, it discusses the way that these poets have sought to distinguish the subject of lyric poetry from the liberal subject of rights.

He is currently pursuing a new research project on the relationship between contemporary poetry and institutions, ranging from the modern research university to the CIA.


Lyric and Liberalism in the Age of American Empire (forthcoming, Oxford University Press 2022).

Articles and Chapters in Books

‘Robert Lowell, The New Critics and the “unforgivable landscape” of Liberalism’, Twentieth-Century Literature (Vol. 66 . No 4. 2020.)

 ‘The Reality Based Community’ (on the ‘War on Terror’ and contemporary US poetry), Excursions (Vol. 5. No. 1. 2014).


His poems have been published in various magazines and journals, including in Poetry Review Poetry London, The Rialto, Blackbox Manifold, The Next Review, Boston Review and The Oxonian Review. Essays and reviews have appeared in Poetry Review, The White Review, Review 31, the Oxonian Review and Wild Court.