Denise Riley

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Denise Riley (born 1948, Carlisle) is an English poet and philosopher who began to be published in the 1970s. Her poetry is remarkable for its paradoxical interrogation of selfhood within the lyric mode.[1] Her critical writings on motherhood, women in history, "identity", and philosophy of language, are recognised as an important contribution to feminism and contemporary philosophy. She was, until recently, Professor of Literature with Philosophy at the University of East Anglia and is currently A. D. White Professor-at-large at Cornell University.[2] She was formerly Writer in Residence at Tate Gallery London, and has held fellowships at Brown University and at Birkbeck, University of London. Among her poetry publications is Penguin Modern Poets 10, with Douglas Oliver and Iain Sinclair (1996).[3] She lives in London.

She is not related to the poet Peter Riley.

Awards and honors[edit]



  • Marxism for Infants, Cambridge, UK: Street Editions, 1977.
  • No Fee, Cambridge, UK: Street Editions, 1978.
  • Dry Air, London: Virago: 1985, ISBN 0-86068-539-X.
  • Mop Mop Georgette: New and Selected Poems 1986-1993, London: Reality Street Editions, 1993, ISBN 1-874400-04-0.
  • Penguin Modern Poets 10 (with Douglas Oliver and Iain Sinclair), Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin Books, 1996.
  • Denise Riley: Selected Poems, London: Reality Street, 2000.
  • Say Something Back, London: Picador, 2016.


  • War in the Nursery: Theories of the Child and Mother, Virago, 1983, ISBN 0-86068-273-0.
  • "Am I That Name?": Feminism and the Category of "Women" in History, Macmillan, 1988, ISBN 0-8166-4269-9.
  • Poets on Writing: Britain 1970-1991, Macmillan, 1992.
  • The Words of Selves: Identification, Solidarity, Irony, Stanford University Press, 2000, ISBN 0-8047-3911-0.
  • The Force of Language (Denise Riley with Jean-Jacques Lecercle), Palgrave Macmillan, 2004 ISBN 1-4039-4248-X.
  • Impersonal Passion: Language as Affect, Duke University Press, 2004, ISBN 0-8223-3512-3.
  • Stephen Heath, Colin MacCabe and Denise Riley, editors, The Language, Discourse, Society Reader, Palgrave, 2004, ISBN 0-333-76372-6.
  • Time Lived, Without Its Flow, Capsule Editions, 2012, ISBN 978-0-9571395-0-3.


  1. ^ Tony Lopez, Meaning Performance: Essays on Poetry, Cambridge, UK: Salt, 2006, 123-4; see also Christine Kennedy and David Kennedy, "'Expectant Contexts': Corporeal and desiring spaces in Denise Riley's Poetry," Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry, 1, 1 (2009): 79-101.
  2. ^ Birkbeck, University of London staff: [1] Retrieved 17.10.2011.
  3. ^ British Council Writers Directory: [2] Retrieved 15.10.2011.
  4. ^ Alison Flood (1 October 2012). "Jorie Graham takes 2012 Forward prize". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 October 2012. 
  5. ^ "Denise Riley nominated for 2016 Forward prize". 

External links[edit]