Mr Jack Parlett, Gonville and Caius

Degree: PhD
Course: CC
Supervisor: Dr A Stillman
Dissertation Title: Frank O'Hara and Walt Whitman

Biographical Information

I read English for my BA at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge (2013) and subsequently took an M.Phil in Criticism and Culture at Cambridge (2015). I am currently in the process of finishing revisions to my PhD, which I submitted to the Faculty in September 2018. In October 2018, I took up a Junior Research Fellow in English at University College, Oxford, where I am working on a literary history of Fire Island. My new e-mail address is 

Research Interests

My work lies at the intersection between the study of American literature and queer studies. My thesis project, which is entitled ‘Looking for Right Now: Cruising Pictures in Gay New York’, considers the work of Walt Whitman, Frank O’Hara and David Wojnarowicz as a triptych of poets who share, across their different historical moments, a sense of gay cruising as a form of queer world-making. In their writing the ‘look’ emerges as the means by which one reads, and is read, on the street. In the work of each of these writers, archetype emerges as a form of vocabulary, a mode in which the cruiser makes himself known as sexually available that is enfolded within a flirtatious comportment toward the poems’ readers. Whitman’s fixation upon the ‘roughs’, O’Hara’s Camp love of Hollywood stars and Wojnarowicz’s tendency toward the renegade spirit of Genet and Rimbaud both mediate their descriptions of desirous strangers and emerge as stylistic precedents for their own writing.

Areas of Supervision

Practical Criticism; English Literature 1870-Present; Tragedy; Contemporary Literature; Lyric. 

Recent dissertation topics I've supervised have included: Walt Whitman, Frank O'Hara, Allen Ginsberg, Alice Walker, Kate Tempest, Ben Lerner, Lana Del Rey. 

Selected Publications

'The Boys on the Beach: Andrew Holleran's Fire Island' in Narrating and Constructing the Beach (edited collection under review with De Gruyter) 

'Standing Still and Walking in the Paris Arcades' (co-written with Anne Stillman) in Arcade Materials, 1 (2019)

'New York Drifters: Tehching Hsieh and David Wojnarowicz', Performance Research, 23.7 (2018) 

My poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Hotel, Blackbox Manifold and the BFI Flare LGBTQ+ Film Festival zine. I have also written reviews and essays for Dazed & Confused, the Cambridge Humanities Review and Poetry London.