Martin Goodman, BA, PhD (Lancaster)


Professor Martin GoodmanProfessor of Creative Writing

Director of the Philip Larkin Centre for Poetry and Creative Writing

Email: m.j.goodman@hull.ac.uk

Tel: 01482-465892

Room: Larkin building, Room 249 (L249)


My writing covers different prose genres, in both fiction and nonfiction. As an AHRC/BBC New Generation Thinker 2012-13, I opened up new avenues for my research in radio. My most recent biography, of the scientist J. S. Haldane, Suffer & Survive (Simon & Schuster), was awarded First Prize, Basis of Medicine in the 2008 BMA Book Awards. My recent dystopian novel Ectopia is set in a baked London, sixteen years into a world in which no females have been born.

As Director of the Philip Larkin Centre, I have been glad to draw many of the world’s finest writers such as Hilary Mantel, Christopher Hampton, Edna O’Brien and Kate Mosse, into public conversation about their work. The Centre’s work includes a Children’s Writing Series (recently featuring Emma Thompson, David Almond and Malorie Blackman) and Man Booker Prize Initiatives with the writers D. B. C. Pierre and, in November 2013, Julian Barnes.

A major two-year research grant, from the MacIntosh Foundation of Washington DC, USA, will allow me to pursue a life writing project (2013-15), detailing how a group of public interest lawyers are working throughout Europe and West Africa to tackle urgent environmental issues such as loss of biodiversity and climate change.

Selected Publications


  • Ectopia, Barbican Press, 2013
  • Look Who's Watching, Caffeine Nights, 2011
  • Slippery When Wet, Transita, 2006
  • On Bended Knees, Macmillan, 1992 (Whitbread shortlisted)

Non fiction

  • Suffer & Survive: The Extreme Life of J.S.Haldane, Simon & Schuster, 2007
  • Mentoring for Creative Writers, with Sara Maitland for New Writing North/Arts Council England, 2007
  • On Sacred Mountains, Heart of Albion, 2002
  • I Was Carlos Castaneda, Three Rivers / Random House, 2001
  • In Search of the Divine Mother, Harper Collins, 1998


  • Living the Lives of Others – In the BBC Radio 3 Essay slot, November 2012
  • The New North, a two-part documentary for Radio 4 on how the north of England is reimaging itself through culture and iconic architecture. May / June 2013

Recent Stories / Articles

  • ‘Lessons from Cruising’, Warwick Review, September 2013
  • ‘Teaching Writers’ Commentaries’ - Writing in Education, Summer 2012
  • ‘Mom, in Passing’ Short Fiction, Issue 5, 2011
  • ‘My Tri-athlete', The International Literary Quarterly, Issue 10, February 2010
  • ‘Ten Challenges for Teaching Writing at University,’ Writing in Education, Spring 2010.
  • ‘Letters to the Parishioners’, The Edinburgh Review, January 2009
  • ‘India, by design’, The Edinburgh Review, January 2007
  • ‘Zimbabwe through its Writers’, The Edinburgh Review, October 2006


Feeding the Roses, performance by the Virtual Theatre Project at Wake Forest University, 2007 – winner in the ‘Pen is a Mighty Sword’ playwriting competition.


A common theme through my fiction and nonfiction is the inheritance of war guilt by succeeding generations. I am a member of the War and Displacement Research Network. Through interviews with writers, I investigate current trends in writers’ craft. A forthcoming programme for BBC Radio 4 sees me in conversation with the writer Alan Garner. As the biographer of J. S. Haldane I maintain an interest in his areas of physiological investigation, particularly in relation to oxygen treatments developed through World War I, and his series of high-altitude experiments on Pikes Peak in 1911. Forthcoming articles feature new research on Edmund Gosse’s Father and Son, particularly Gosse’s friendship with Andre Gide, and the treatment of Canadian Patients in World War I. A recent paper, and area of research, focuses on literary censorship in the 1950s. My new long-term biographical subject is the Japanese-American Zen master Maezumi, and the way his lineage is impacting western society through the integration and re-conception of Soto Zen. I am writing a book about how a group of environmental lawyers at the NGO ClientEarth are addressing key planetary issues threatening environmental wellbeing.


I teach courses from first year undergraduate modules, through the Creative Writing MA course, to PhD – nonfiction, fiction and screenwriting. At PhD Creative Writing level I supervise students in nonfiction, the novel and playwriting.


Director of the Philip Larkin Centre for Poetry and Creative Writing
Back to top