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Dr Emma Bird

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British Academy Research Fellow


Humanities Building, University Road
University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7AL


Emma Bird is a British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow (2014-2018). Her work examines the contexts in which poetry was written and published in Bombay from 1947 onwards, paying particular attention to the city's little magazines and small press publishers, as well as its poetry groups, circles, and other cultural and print platforms. Drawing on archival research, this project maps the poetry 'scene' in Bombay, offering a new perspective on individual poets and writers, and also on the city itself - which has been so thoroughly mythologized in much critical and popular discourse.

Research interests

Postcolonial and world literature; post-independence Indian poetry in English, with a particular focus on the work of Dom Moraes, Nissim Ezekiel, Arun Kolatkar, Adil Jussawalla, Gieve Patel, Arvind Krishna Mehrotra, Dilip Chitre and Eunice de Souza; literary representations of Bombay/Mumbai;the history of little literary magazines and small press publishers in India; representations of and contestations of literary modernity.

Selected publications


(Monograph forthcoming 2018). Rewriting Bombay: The Modern City and its Poets. Routledge. Routledge Research in Postcolonial Literatures.

(forthcoming 2018) An interview with Hemant Divate in The Journal of Postcolonial Writing. 


"Re-reading postcolonial poetry: Arun Kolatkar's Jejuri" in The Journal of Commonwealth Literature. June 2012. 47 (2): 229-243.

"'it's missing: damn you, Missing Person, and the material history of the postcolonial poem" in Postcolonial Text. 2014. Vol. 9, No. 4.

"Beautiful Thing: Literary Reportage and Bombay" in The Journal of Postcolonial Writing. 2015. Vol. 51,
Issue. 4. 380-394.

"A Platform for Poetry: The P.E.N All-India Centre and a Bombay Poetry Scene" in The Journal of Postcolonial Writing.2017. Vol. 53, Nos 1-2. 207-220.

'"the things not in the picture": Bombay's poets and and re-representation of the city' in The Journal of Postcolonial Writing. 2017.

"Relocating Bombay's poetry scene: taking a walk through the city of dreams" in Wasafiri. 2017. 32: 4: 35-41.

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