Dr Holly Pester

Senior Lecturer
Department of Literature Film and Theatre Studies (LiFTS)
Dr Holly Pester
  • Email

  • Telephone

    +44 (0) 1206 874029

  • Location

    5NW.4.7, Colchester Campus

  • Academic support hours

    Wednesday 9am-11am



I am poet and scholar working in experimental forms of lyric and performance texts. I have published works of creative and critical writing in the field of contemporary poetics and on forms of practice-based research methodologies.


  • I have a PhD in English from Birkbeck, University of London where I worked with Professor Carol Watts. My thesis (completed in 2014) was titled, 'Making Speech Matter: Recurring Mediations of Sound Poetics in the Contemporary Field'.

Research and professional activities

Research interests

Feminist experimental writing (poetry and prose)

Open to supervise

Archive theory and forms of archive research

Open to supervise

Innovative methods of practice-based research

Open to supervise

Writing on and about and with dreams, hallucinations, daydreaming, voice, non-linguistic sounds, nonsense, body, sexuality, posture, radical politics

Open to supervise

Current research

My current research is into lullabies as they relate to the body, voice, the politics of care.

Conferences and presentations

Latent Resources in Contemporary Poetry

Invited presentation, Conference, Poetics of the Commons, Sheffield, United Kingdom, 22/5/2019

Comic Timing in the Poetic Line

Conference, Gestures: writing that moves between, Manchester, United Kingdom, 15/2/2019

Drops, Pitches and Break in Civic Delivery

Keynote presentation, Conference, Sound and Silence, London, United Kingdom, 8/6/2018

Gossip and Plots

Invited presentation, Keynote presentation, Event, Witchy Methodologies, London, United Kingdom, 13/1/2017

Nervousness as Style

Invited presentation, Keynote presentation, Conference, Contemporary Poetry: Thinking and Feeling, Plymouth, United Kingdom, 22/5/2016

'The Epistimological Tactics of Fan Fiction'

'Hannah Weiner and Clairvoyancy as Experimental Method'

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Poetry: A Very Short Introduction (LT143)

  • Writing Structures (LT209)

  • Reading, Writing and Doing Poetry (LT381)

  • Independent Creative Writing Project (LT832)

  • Dissertation Preparation: Postgraduate Research and Writing Skills (LT901)

  • Dissertation Preparation: Postgraduate Research and Writing Skills (LT902)

  • Creative Writing Workshop (LT911)

  • The Humanities Graduate: Future Pathways (LT705)

Previous supervision

Janet Mathieson
Janet Mathieson
Thesis title: The Cells: The Creation of a Novel From an Interdisciplinary Writing Practice, in Dialogue with Julia Kristeva, to Reimagine Cancer and Care.
Degree subject: Creative Writing
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 15/11/2022
Eliza Jane O'toole
Eliza Jane O'toole
Thesis title: In Deed; Land Cleaved: A Poetic and Etymological Enquiry Into Land Lore and Law.
Degree subject: Creative Writing
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 27/4/2020
Penelope Claire Simpson
Penelope Claire Simpson
Thesis title: 'Bone Seeds: The Creation of a Novel From an Interdisciplinary Writing Practice, in Dialogue with Walter Benjamin's Denkbild, to Reimagine Narratives of Aftermath.'
Degree subject: Creative Writing
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 24/7/2019
Simon Peter Everett
Simon Peter Everett
Thesis title: Tamám: Trace, Reinterpretation and the Periphery of Poetic Translation.
Degree subject: Creative Writing
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 5/7/2019


Journal articles (3)

Pester, H., (2019). The Politics of Delivery (Against Poet-Voice). Poetry Review. 109 (Summer 2019), 67-78

Pester, H., (2017). Archive Fan-Fiction: experimental archive research methodologies and feminist epistemological tactics. Feminist Review. 115 (1), 114-129

Pester, H., (2016). Rebellious daughter: Reading Adrienne Rich. Poetry Review. 106 (2), 49-56

Books (3)

Pester, H., (2024). The Lodgers

Pester, H., (2021). Comic Timing. Granta. 1783786868. 9781783786862

Pester, H., (2015). go to reception and ask for Sara in red felt tip. Bookworks. 1906012660. 978 1 906012 66 3

Book chapters (3)

Pester, H., (2019). Distributed and Entangled Posture in Cathy Wagner’s My New Job and Nervous Device. In: Poetry and Work: Work in Modern and Contemporary Anglophone Poetry. Editors: Luker, E. and Lindsay Walton, J., . Palgrave Macmillan. 978-3-030-26124-5

Pester, H., (2017). Heavy Clay Soil. In: Protest Stories of Resistance. Editors: Page, R., . Comma Press. 1905583737. 9781905583737

Pester, H., (2016). The Body and the Page in Poetry Readings as Remembrance of Composition. In: Memory in the Twenty-First Century: New Critical Perspectives from the Arts, Humanities, and Sciences. Editors: Groes, S., . Springer. 271- 275. 978-1-349-56642-6

Other (6)

Pester, H., International Worker's Day. Poetry Review(Winter 2017),Poetry Society

Pester, H., (2021).'People Who Live Here',Granta Online

Pester, H., (2019).Poems for Idle Workers,BBC Radio 4 / Reduced Listening

Pester, H., (2018).Comic Timing. Granta,Granta

Pester, H., (2017).Three Poems. The Believer

Pester, H., (2016).Common Rest,Test Centre

+44 (0) 1206 874029


5NW.4.7, Colchester Campus

Academic support hours:

Wednesday 9am-11am