Kathleen Mc Cracken
  • Cromore Road, Coleraine Campus

    BT52 1SA Coleraine

    United Kingdom

1978 …2020

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Kathleen McCracken is a Canadian poet and academic. She is the author of seven collections of poetry including Blue Light, Bay and College (Penumbra Press, 1991), which was shortlisted for the Governor General's Award for Poetry in 1992, A Geography of Souls (Thistledown Press, 2002), Moonclaves (Exile Editions, 2007) and Tattoo Land (Exile Editions, 2009).

A bilingual English/Portuguese edition of her poetry entitled Double Self Portrait with Mirror: New and Selected Poems, and featuring a preface by Medbh McGuckian, was published by the distinguished Brazilian press Editora Ex Machina.

She is the recipient of the University of Toronto Review's Editor's Choice Award for Poetry, the Anne Szumigalski Editor's Prize, the 2017 Poet-in-Residence Bursary, Poetry Ireland/Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig, several several Ontario Arts Council awards and an Individual Artist Award from the Northern Ireland Arts Council. 

Her poem ‘Moon With Contrail’ was a finalist for The Walrus Poetry Prize, 2017. ‘You Have to Love Them Enough to Let Them Be Wild’ was shortlisted for The Montreal Poetry Prize, 2017 and she was awarded First Prize, Second Prize and Commendation for ‘Basil and the Air Scoop’, ‘High Fidelity’ and ‘My Father’s Last Word’ in the Glebe House Harmony Community Trust Poetry Competition, 2016. Her poem ‘The Fulminoligist’ was a finalist for the WB Yeats Society of New York Poetry Competition, 2016.

Her poems have appeared in The Malahat Review, Poetry Canada Review, Exile Quarterly, Poetry Ireland, The Shop, Revival, Abridged, New Orleans Review and Grain, and she has given readings in Canada, Ireland, Portugal, Brazil, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Kathleen received an Honours BA in English and Creative Writing and an MA in English from York University.

Her doctoral thesis examined the anti-parable form in the radio plays of Louis MacNeice, and after receiving a PhD in English from the University of Toronto, she was awarded a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Fellowship which enabled her to complete two years of post-doctoral research at University College, Dublin.

In 1992 she took up a full-time post as Lecturer in English and Creative Writing at Ulster University. She has published scholarly articles the poetry of Paul Durcan, Paul Muldoon, Ciaran Carson and Derek Mahon, on the documentary films of John T. Davis, and on First Nations Canadian writing.

Kathleen's teaches Creative Writing, with specialisation in poetry, at undergraduate and postgraduate level. She also teaches in the areas of American countercultures, Canadian and American indigenous literatures, literature of the North American West, gender and writing, and poetry and the visual arts.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Toronto

Award Date: 1 Oct 1989

Master, York University Toronto

Award Date: 30 Jun 1984

Bachelor, York University Toronto

Award Date: 30 Jun 1983


  • PS American literature
  • Beat Generation Literature
  • First Nations Literature
  • Contemporary Poetry
  • Literature of the American West
  • Canadian Literature
  • PR English literature
  • Creative Writing (Poetry)
  • Literature and Visual Arts
  • Contemporary Poetry


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