UCL English


Dr Matthew Sperling

Email: m.sperling@ucl.ac.uk

External phone: 020 7679 3148

Internal phone: 33148

Office: Foster Court 232



Education and Experience 

Matthew Sperling took a BA (2003), MSt (2005) and DPhil (2010) from the University of Oxford, and was a visiting student at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa in 2008.

He was Fellow by Special Election in English Literature at Keble College, Oxford from 2009 to 2012, and from 2012 to 2015 he was a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow at the University of Reading. He joined UCL in 2016 as Lecturer in Literature in English from 1900 to the Present Day.

Research Interests

Matthew’s research focuses on modern and contemporary literature and the history of publishing and the book. His first monograph, Visionary Philology: Geoffrey Hill and the Study of Words, was published by Oxford University Press in 2014, and he is at work on a second, entitled Poetry and the Book: Publishing Late Modernism in the Long 1960s. He has had articles and book chapters published on topics including indexes, poetry and geology, artist’s books and poetry publishing, and he has others forthcoming on poetry and class, dictionaries, hymnody and punctuation.

He has contributed reviews to many publications including the Economist, London Magazine, Literary Review, New Statesman and Review of English Studies, and he reviews scholarly work on British Poetry Post-1950 for The Year’s Work in English Studies. He also regularly writes about modern art for Apollo: The International Art Magazine.

His own fictions and poems have been published in 3:AM, Best British Short Stories 2015, edited by Nicholas Royle, The Junket, The Literateur, the New Statesman and elsewhere.


Visionary Philology: Geoffrey Hill and the Study of Words (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014)

Geoffrey Hill and his Contexts, edited by Piers Pennington and Matthew Sperling (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2011)

Visionary Philology

Geoffrey Hill

Articles and Chapters in Books

‘The Publishing of Poetry: An Interview between Don Paterson and Matthew Sperling’, in Natalie Pollard (ed.), Don Paterson: Contemporary Critical Essays (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014), 145–152

‘Books and the Market: Trade Publishers, State Subsidies and Small Presses', in Peter Robinson (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Contemporary British and Irish Poetry (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), 191–212

‘The Trouble of an Index’, Essays in Criticism, LXI:4 (2011), 325–337

‘“The Glacial Question, Unsolved”: A Specimen Commentary on Lines 1–31’ (co-authored by Thomas Roebuck and Matthew Sperling), Glossator: Practice and Theory of the Commentary, 2 (2010), 39–78

‘“The Making of the Book”: Roy Fisher, the Circle Press and the Poetics of Book Art’, Literature Compass, 4:5 (2007), 1444–1459