To Michael O'Neill (1953-2018)

Mark Sandy


This issue of the BARS Review is dedicated to the memory of an eminent scholar of Romanticism, Michael O’Neill. Until his death on 21 December 2018, Michael O’Neill was Professor of English at Durham University, where he taught for nearly forty years. During that time he served for two three-year periods as Head of Department and as Director of the University’s Institute of Advanced Study. His research concentrated on questions of literary achievement and on literary dialogue and influence. These research interests are the preserve of his most recent monograph, Shelleyan Reimaginings & Influence: New Relations (published posthumously by Oxford University Press in March 2019). He published widely on Romantic Poetry, especially the poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley, and on an array of Victorian and twentieth- and twenty-first-century poets. He co-founded and edited Poetry Durham from 1982 to 1994. He received many awards for his criticism and poetry, including a Distinguished Scholar Award from the Keats-Shelley Association of American for 2018, an Eric Gregory Award in 1983, and a Cholmondeley Award from the Society of Authors in 1990. His most recent collections of poems include Return of the Gift (Arc, 2018) and Crash & Burn (Arc, 2019). Michael’s loss as a colleague, academic, and poet is only equalled by his loss as a friend.

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