Phoebe Campion, King's

Degree: PhD
Course: CC
Supervisor: Dr Robert Macfarlane
Dissertation Title:

Arts of Attention in Compromised Landscapes: Radical Landscape Poetry 1970-present


Biographical Information

I graduated with a BA (1st) in English Literature from Newnham College, Cambridge in 2016 with the Agnes Cann Memorial Prize for my archival dissertation on the work of J.A. Baker. After working as an artist’s assistant for two years, I returned to Cambridge for the MPhil in Criticism + Culture (King’s College, 2018-19), graduating with a distinction and a thesis on the granular poetics of R.F. Langley’s Journals. I am currently in the second year of my PhD here at Cambridge, funded by the AHRC. I’m a staff writer for Another Gaze journal, and an editor for King’s Review magazine.

Research Interests

My doctoral work lies at the intersection of literature, the GeoHumanities, Anthropocene studies and art writing/visual culture. It examines the ways in which experimental landscape poetics and site-specific literary and artistic practices have responded to what the poet Peter Larkin calls a 'compromised landscape': agro-chemical fields, industrial plantation forests, upland deserts, etc.) since 1970. These landscapes, shaped by logics of extraction and domestication, pose particular ethical poetic and perceptive challenges. I’m interested in how innovative anglophone poetics (particularly the work of Larkin, J.H. Prynne, Carol Watts, Colin Simms, Elisabeth Bletsoe, Harriet Tarlo & others) approach and approximate these compromised ecologies ‘by degrees of distortion’ (Bogost), bringing poetic and material notions of scarcity, precarity, legibility, resource and encounter into dialogue to resist conventional definitions of eco- and activist- poetry and envisage a poetics in/of the commons. 

Areas of interest: contemporary poetics & critical theory; environmental justice scholarship; biopolitics & biosemiotics; multispecies studies; feminist new materialism; regenerative agriculture; site-writing; sculptural & architectural poetics; land art; fieldwork & journal practices; the British Poetry Revival; folk horror & landscape punk; neo- and techno-paganism; experimental film & artist moving image; climate fiction; indigenous studies; postcolonial ecocriticism; anarchist pedagogies; militant ecologies.

Areas of Supervision

Practical Criticism, Part II Contemporary Writing in English, Part II Literature and Visual Culture, Part II Lyric. I welcome dissertation proposals from students working in my areas of interest.